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7 Surprising Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables: A Tasty & Nutritious Addition to Your Diet!

The process of fermentation in vegetables results in a change of texture and taste over time as the microbes present in the vegetables grow. Fermented vegetables are incredibly healthy and have many health benefits.

Aarushi Chadha
Popular fermented foods include yogurt, wine, cheese, kimchi, and sauerkraut.
Popular fermented foods include yogurt, wine, cheese, kimchi, and sauerkraut.

Fermentation is an ancient technique for preserving food. Fermented foods are foods or beverages that are produced via controlled microbial growth, along with the conversion of food components through enzymatic action.

Popular fermented foods include yogurt, wine, cheese, kimchi, and sauerkraut. The process of fermenting vegetables adds nuance to the taste of vegetables and makes them tastier. Usually, fermented vegetables are served as side dishes as they can make any boring dish stand out.

Now, let us take a look at the benefits of fermented vegetables.

  • Fermented vegetables support gut microbiome- The beneficial bacteria and organisms present in fermented vegetables support our gut microbiome, which is home to good bacteria that aid digestion. Consuming the bacteria present in fermented vegetables helps alleviate issues like bloating, constipation, flatulence, and diarrhea.

  • Fermented vegetables are easier to digest- Vegetables that have gone through the process of fermentation are easier to digest. This is because the natural sugars and starches present in the vegetable significantly break down during the fermentation process. For instance, for lactose intolerant people, it is easier to digest yogurt and cheese because, during the fermentation process, the lactose present in milk is converted to simpler sugars.

  • Fermented vegetables have a higher concentration of nutrients- The process of fermentation is considered a better way of preserving vegetables because, unlike the process of canning, the vegetables retain all of their nutrients when they are fermented. Generally, during the process of fermentation, the micro-organisms present in the fermentation jar generate more nutrients such as vitamin K, vitamin C, and B group vitamins. In some vegetables and foods, the process of fermentation can either destroy or neutralize several toxic substances, and get rid of antinutrients.

  • Consumption of fermented vegetables and foods is linked with better mood- A recent study conducted on our gut microbiome and mood indicated that eating foods that enrich our gut microbiome has a positive effect on our mental health. The study showed that foods that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber, along with fermented foods helped improve the quality of sleep in the test subjects and caused an overall reduction in the feelings of stress and anxiety.

  • Fermented foods support heart health- Many studies show that fermented vegetables should be made a part of a healthy diet as it lowers our risk of developing heart disease. Consuming fermented vegetables reduces our blood pressure and lowers bad cholesterol while increasing the levels of HDL or good cholesterol.

  • Fermented vegetables improve our immune system- Fermented vegetables have a high content of beneficial bacteria which can reduce our risk of common infections and boost our immune system. Eating fermented vegetables, drinks, and foods also helps us recover faster from our sickness as they are a rich source of nutrients such as vitamin C, zinc, iron, and magnesium, which contribute to strengthening the immune system.

  • Fermented vegetables are prebiotic foods- Prebiotic foods are foods that stimulate the growth of healthy bacteria in our gut. They are generally found in fruits and vegetables which contain complex carbohydrates. Fermented vegetables are an excellent source of fiber, which feeds the good bacteria in our stomachs.

Fermented vegetables are safe for consumption by most people. However, some individuals may experience some side effects. If you do not eat a diet that contains probiotic and prebiotic foods, then consuming fermented vegetables can cause bloating and gas. When making your own fermented vegetables, it is important that you use the right utensils and clean them properly before use. Also, make sure to ferment the vegetables at the right temperature and for the right duration of time.

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