Decades ago, when I first started practicing medicine, I was introduced to the fermentation process.
In fact, an old co-worker of mine, Klara, was growing kombucha in her office. (Yes, in her office! Because back then—long before fermentation became popular—you had to grow fermented foods or drinks yourself.)
Of course, many people mastered the art of fermentation during COVID-19 lockdowns, too.
But aside from being a hobby, food fermentation offers a ream of health benefits. And according to a recent study, they can even combat two DANGEROUS health conditions.
I’ll tell you all about that exciting research in just a moment. But first, let’s understand some basics about fermentation…
Fermentation is a natural process of curdling or culturing that has been used for thousands of years to preserve foods.
Fermented foods and drinks are made through desired microbial growth and enzymatic conversions of food components. (I say desirable because it’s an intentional process. If it were undesirable, you’d just be eating rotten food.)
More specifically, these products are created either by the bacteria and yeast already present in the food—or by intentionally introducing bacteria or yeast to help start the fermentation process.
Popular fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, tempeh, and more. And popular fermented drinks include kombucha or kefir. (If you’ve never had any of these products, just know they have a sour, vinegar-like taste.)
Now, let’s talk about what these foods can do for our health…
Prevent diabetes, inflammation
According to researchers from Stanford University, eating fermented foods can help prevent diabetes and inflammation—two DANGEROUS health conditions.
For the study, 36 healthy adults followed a randomly assigned, 10-week diet that included either fermented or high-fiber foods.
Ultimately, the fermented-food diet offered promising effects on the gut microbiome and the immune system.
In fact, eating these foods led to an increase in overall microbial diversity. And the more the subjects ate, the stronger the effect.
(Higher microbial diversity helps nutrients to be better absorbed in the gut—leading to improved metabolic health. In fact, low microbial diversity often translates to weight gain and diabetes.)
Not to mention, blood levels of 19 different inflammatory proteins decreased in the fermented-food group. One of these proteins was interleukin 6 (IL-6)—a key indicator of chronic inflammation that’s linked to multiple health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.
Meanwhile, none of these inflammatory proteins decreased in the high-fiber group—and microbial diversity remained stable, on average.
Take advantage of a daily probiotic
The health benefits of fermented foods don’t stop there. For example, some fermented foods—like tempeh—also contain prebiotics, which support the all-important gut microbiome. (Our gut bacteria need prebiotics to grow and multiply.)
And of course, fermented foods contain neurotransmitters that are important to our brain and mental health. (The all-important gut-brain axis!)
Of course, if you’re like me, it’s hard to consume daily, necessary amounts of fermented foods to gain desired health outcomes.
So in addition to thoroughly enjoying fermented foods when I can—and sometimes, mastering the art of fermentation myself!—I always take a daily probiotic to continuously help nourish my gut.
The one I take is live, multi-strained, made through the fermentation process, and contains lactic acid bacteria and pre- and postbiotics. (Remember, the key is quality of strains… not quantity. Look for one that contains prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics from a brand you trust.)
To learn more about why it’s so important to nourish your gut, check out the March and April 2019 issues of my monthly Logical Health Alternatives newsletter, where I outline a guide to a complete microbiome makeover. (Not yet a subscriber? Click here to become one!)
Until next time,
P.S. For additional ways to ultimately improve your metabolic health and help keep diabetes at bay, check out my Metabolic Repair Protocol.
And to learn more about how to fight the stealth culprit behind deadly disease, check out my Essential Guide to Combating Inflammation.
“A fermented-food diet increases microbiome diversity and lowers inflammation, study finds”. ScienceDaily, 07/12/2021. (sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/07/210712122151.htm)