Why You Should Consume Fermented Food Regurarly

fermented food regularly

Today, fermented foods increasingly occupy an important place in the market due to the current demand for healthy foods and high nutritional value. As you can see later, these meet this demand very well by providing probiotics and nutrients that favor human health.

Fermented foods promote overall health; they temporarily improve the natural microbial flora of the intestine thanks to the probiotics that promote intestinal health and increase the level of nutrients in foods such as proteins, vitamins, essential amino acids, etc.

This is because the fermentation of food destroys many of the harmful microorganisms and chemicals contained in them, transforming toxic compounds into organoleptically useful products, helping some poorly digested or reactive foods for certain groups of people to become healthy and highly nutritious foods thanks also to the contribution of beneficial bacteria that favor the digestion of these with the production of enzymes. [1] [2]

What are the benefits of fermented foods?

Fermented foods increase the nutritional value of foods, improve their sensory characteristics such as taste and smell, extend their shelf life, and serve as remedies or substitutes for specific sectors of the population with health or economic problems.

As we have mentioned, fermentation improves the nutritional quality of food since it increases the contribution of proteins and other nutrients, the enrichment of B vitamins (folate, riboflavin, B12), vitamin K2 and the contribution of probiotics to the gastrointestinal tract, in addition to being an excellent economical alternative due to low production costs. [2]

That is why it is considered an important measure to combat malnutrition in developing countries or low-income sectors in the population, being an economical alternative for the supply of healthy and safe food (if they are well prepared), as nutritional supplements in livestock and as substitute foods for people with chronic diseases or different lifestyles such as vegans. [1] [3]

It has been shown to reduce the progression of some diseases or relieve symptoms such as hypertension, diabetes, drowsiness, fever/headache, arthralgia, heart disease, and kidney disease, among other conditions, depending on the fermented food consumed.

For example, fermented dairy products (including yogurt) positively affect the risk of type 2 diabetes and prevent obesity. Fermented olives in vitro studies demonstrate anticancer, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. [1]

In addition, fermented foods can improve the immune system, synthesize, and enhance nutrient bioavailability, reduce lactose intolerance (kefir and lactose intolerance article here)symptoms, decrease allergy prevalence in susceptible individuals, and reduce the risk of certain cancers. [4] [5]

Are there fermented ones better than others?

Yes, this depends on the fermented type since each has characteristics that make them different. In addition, each person could have other effects, where each organism can react differently. [4]

Therefore, some fermented products based on legumes, cereals, or dairy products may have harmful and beneficial effects.

For example, we have alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine cause harmful effects on the human body, increasing the risk of diseases in many organs, in addition to being associated with destructive behaviors such as accidents, violence, addiction, etc. Therefore, it is not recommended for children, pregnant women, adolescents, and people with some risk either of generating addiction or with pathologies associated with the cardiovascular system, hepatic or pancreatic.

On the other hand, some clinical and epidemiological studies have pointed out the possible prevention of some diseases through moderate alcohol consumption, mainly red wine, due to certain polyphenols present in them. But it is not a substitute for a healthy life, and you must consider the difference that each person has to metabolize these.

You can also consider fermented dairy products such as kefir, milk, yogurts, and cheese that have a good contribution of probiotics and high-quality metabolites.

We cannot forget fermented fruits and vegetables as an excellent source of nutrients and probiotics equivalent to fermented dairy, which is a safer option for those who suffer a bit from lactose and a good source of vitamins, minerals, acids, and antioxidants. [5] [6]

How often can I eat fermented?

The consumption can generally be daily if you want to obtain beneficial effects for health. Still, in other ferments, due to its component, it is recommended only from time to time to prevent adverse effects.

Therefore, due to the variety of fermented, differences in the amount and frequency of consumption should be taken into account, where foods such as sauerkraut, alcohol, and some fermented dairy products are recommended only in moderation and/or from time to time since some of their components in high concentrations can become toxic. [7]  [8]

Several studies demonstrated the benefits of fermented food for a certain amount of time; some showed that after four weeks of consuming 500ml of kefir, there was an increase in the frequency of intestinal transit and bowel movements in patients with constipation increasing intestinal satisfaction. In another as the consumption of kimchi for eight weeks caused changes in the expression of genes related to metabolic pathways and immunity and dairy cultures where daily consumption in women prevents breast cancer, even increasing the levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). [9]

What is the best time to consume fermented?

In general, it can be at any time and at any time of the day, you can eat it even when it suits you, but when talking about probiotics, it could be considered a specific time of day when they can be better used by the body and generating better health effects, which is usually fasting. [10]

We talk a lot about kombucha here, so I will leave the link for the article about the best time to drink kombucha.

Can fermented foods hurt me?

In general, most fermented foods have positive effects on promoting health. Still, there may be variations in the results produced in the body depending on the composition and microbial load that can favor the appearance of symptoms or aggravate specific pathologies. However, most of these affect a small number of people.

As mentioned before, beer is usually contraindicated by its noticeable toxic effects. Still, we can also find in fermented dairy or cereals products another type of compound such as biogenic amines tyramine, sponsors, cadaverine, and spermidine produced by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) through the decarboxylation of amino acids that depending on their concentration can become harmful to health.

Consuming foods with biogenic amines could represent a health risk. Still, this risk is related to the handling, processing, and storage of the fermented product so that the formation of these compounds can be reduced and controlled.

Although ferments are beneficial in most of the population, there are cases where some people are affected with specific side effects. For example, in the case of kombucha, some reports associate its daily consumption with stomach discomfort or allergic reactions or Kvass, a trendy cereal-based drink in Russia, and the possible risk of generating chronic alcoholism due to its frequent consumption, among others.

Even so, these statistics are usually low, affecting a small number of people. In addition, some of these effects are due to the poor handling of these foods that, when appropriately prepared in hygienic conditions, can provide health benefits to consumers. [5] [11]

Now that you know why you should consume fermented. In the meantime, we will present more reasons based on specific articles that will catch your attention.


[1] https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/6/1666/htm

[2] https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/4/448/htm

[3] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352618116301172

[4] https://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(16)30004-7/fulltext

[5] https://www.scielo.br/j/cta/a/rbBWqqbMkwt9c4qSNMgFxRh/?lang=en#:~:text=Fermented%20plant%20beverages%20(FPB)%20are,prevent%20many%20health%20oriented%20problems.&text=The%20current%20survey%20revealed%20the,daily%20life%20of%20Thai%20people

[6] https://academic.oup.com/nutritionreviews/article/76/Supplement_1/4/5185609

[7] https://www.mdpi.com/2304-8158/6/8/65/htm

[8] https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/11/8/1806/htm

[9] https://www.nature.com/articles/1601399

[10] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/best-time-to-take-probiotics#timing

[11] https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/nutrition-research-reviews/article/traditional-lowalcoholic-and-nonalcoholic-fermented-beverages-consumed-in-european-countries-a-neglected-food-group/F7DBC2D563B72D393E1EC47F4B228877#sec2