1. Fermented Vegetables Are Easier to Digest:
Did you know that vegetables are much more digestible when fermented? Lacto-fermentation is an excellent ally of our digestive system because lactic acid bacteria “predigest” food for us during fermentation. They create enzymes and break down some of the large molecules that are difficult to assimilate by our digestive system. Among other things, fermentation reduces carbohydrates and some components (oligosaccharides) that cause flatulence and digestion problems. Fermented cabbage (sauerkraut), for example, is much more digestible than raw cabbage and will cause less discomfort.
Fermented vegetables are proven to help reduce the symptoms of chronic gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
2. Fermented Foods Contain Higher Levels of Nutrients:
Fermentation increases the nutritional value of food, the bioavailability of nutrients, and the enzyme concentration and neutralizes several toxic substances. In fact, during fermentation, microorganisms generate various nutrients such as vitamin C, B vitamins (including the famous B12), and vitamin K. Bacteria also consume sugar from vegetables. Lacto-fermentation can also destroy or neutralize several toxic substances such as cyanide, phytates, and saponins which can be present in some vegetable. Studies have shown that iron and zinc are more easily absorbed through fermented vegetables. Lacto-fermentation also releases proteins, amino acids, vitamins, and antioxidants. Eating fermented foods together with a meal helps absorb nutrients from other foods through the effect of enzymes.
3. Fermentation Reinforces Our Microbiota
Lacto-fermented foods are an essential source of probiotics and prebiotics. Incorporating them into our diet help support and strengthen our digestion and health. Digestion depends mainly on the microbiota, also known as the second brain. The microbiota gathers all the bacteria, yeast, and other microorganisms that live on and in our bodies, more than one hundred thousand billion microorganisms divided into more than 3,000 species. These microorganisms live in symbiosis with our body and carry out many biological processes. The microbiota plays a role in the body’s defence system, regulating blood pressure and the digestion of food. It can even influence our eating habits and choices!
4. Fermentation is a Safe Way to Preserve Food
Safe food preservation is one of the great benefits of Lacto-fermentation. Technically, fermented food is safer than raw food because of how the body can digest it easily and we get way more nutritional value along with.getting out the bad bacteria. The environment (like your sauerkraut) becomes unliveable for undesirable microorganisms such as E. coli, botulism, salmonella, etc. As a result food that is packed with good bacteria will protect it and can be stored for years to come! A well-prepared Lacto-fermentation is therefore safe and harmless.
5. Fermentation Produces New Flavours
The taste of Lacto-fermentation is tangy and full of nuances and frankly delicious.
Indeed, fermentation creates dozens of new gustative components. For example, in essential fermented celery, we can find notes of citrus fruits or even anise! Besides, some Lacto-fermentation produces umami, the fifth most addictive and tasty flavour. Fermented foods are therefore used as flavour enhancers. Any bland dish can shine with the addition of sauerkraut, kimchi, or a simple pickle! Lacto-fermentation is easy to integrate into your diet adding colour, flavour, and texture to your meals. Much more enjoyable than eating probiotic pills!
Moreover, fermented vegetables are suitable for a wide range of diets. Lacto-fermentation is:
6. Lacto-fermentation is Easy to Do
Finally, the most significant advantage of Lacto-fermentation is that it is safe and easy to do at home. You can therefore enjoy all its delicious benefits any time!
To successfully carry out a Lacto-fermentation, you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen:
Compressing the vegetables with salt in a jar creates an oxygen-free environment, perfect for good lactic acid bacteria. There is no need to bring out the heavy artillery: basic fermentation equipment is sufficient.
Then, we let it ferment for a few weeks, and that’s it! We have healthy and delicious fermented vegetables.
Here are some recipes below:
Book: Fermentation for Beginners: The Step-By-Step Guide to Fermentation and Probiotic Foods