Simple Health Exercises

5 Fermented Foods to Boost Digestion and Health

– Fermentation is a process that involves the breakdown of sugar
by bacteria or yeast. Not only does this help enhance
the preservation of food, but eating fermented foods
can increase the number of good or healthy bacteria in your gut, also known as probiotics. In this video, I'm looking
at five fermented foods shown to improve health and digestion. (chimes) Number one, kefir. Kefir is a type of cultured dairy product. It's made by adding kefir
grains, which are made up of a combination of yeast
and bacteria, into milk. Now, this results in a
thick and tangy beverage with a taste that is
often compared to yogurt. Studies have shown that kefir
may come with many benefits. In this small study, it was
shown to improve the digestion of lactose in 15 people
with lactose intolerance. Another study found that
consuming 6.7 ounces or 200 milliliters of
kefir daily for six weeks decreased markers of
inflammation, a known contributor to the development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Enjoy kefir on its own, although it does taste a little bit tangy. You can also add it to
smoothies or shakes. Number two, kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented tea
that is fizzy, a bit tart, and described as flavorful. It's made from fermenting
either black or green tea, and of course, contains their
health-promoting properties. Animal studies show that drinking kombucha could help prevent liver
toxicity and damage caused by exposure to harmful chemicals. Test-tube studies have also found that kombucha could help
induce cancer cell death and block the spread of cancer cells.

One animal study even found
that kombucha helped reduce blood sugar, triglycerides,
and LDL cholesterol. Now, in saying that,
further studies are needed to determine how kombucha
may affect humans. Thanks to its rising popularity,
kombucha can be found at most health food and
even general grocery stores. You can also prepare it at
home, but you have to be really careful to avoid
contamination or over-fermentation.

Number three, tempeh. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed
into a compacted cake. This high-protein meat
substitute is firm but chewy, and can be baked, steamed, or sauteed before being added to dishes. In addition to its
impressive probiotic content, tempeh is rich in many nutrients that can be beneficial for your health. For example, soy protein
has been shown to reduce certain risk factors for heart disease. One study in 42 people
with high cholesterol looked at the effects of eating either soy protein or animal protein. Now, those eating soy
protein had a 5.7% decrease in bad LDL cholesterol, a 4.4% reduction in total cholesterol, and a 13% reduction in
blood triglycerides.

Additionally, a test-tube study found that certain plant compounds in
tempeh could act as antioxidants, helping reduce the
buildup of free radicals, which are harmful compounds that can contribute to chronic disease. So tempeh is perfect for
vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Use it for anything from
sandwiches to stir-fries to take advantage of its health benefits. Number four, kimchi. Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish that is usually made
from fermented cabbage. It boasts an extensive
array of health benefits, and may be especially
effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and
reducing insulin resistance. Insulin is responsible for transporting glucose, or sugar, from
the blood to the tissues. And when you sustain
high levels of insulin for long periods, your body
stops responding to it normally, resulting in high blood
sugar and insulin resistance.

Now, in this study, 21
people with prediabetes consumed either fresh or
fermented kimchi for eight weeks. And by the end of the
study, those consuming fermented kimchi had
decreased insulin resistance, blood pressure, and body weight. Kimchi is easy to make and
can be added to anything from noodle bowls to sandwiches. Number five, probiotic yogurt. Yogurt is produced from milk
that has been fermented, usually with a form of
lactic acid bacteria. And it's been associated
with a wide variety of health benefits. One review of 14 studies showed
that fermented milk products like probiotic yogurt could
help reduce blood pressure, especially in those with
high blood pressure. Another study found that
a higher intake of yogurt was linked to improvements
in bone mineral density and physical function in older adults.

It may also help keep
your waistline in check. A recent review showed that
eating yogurt was associated with a lower body weight, less body fat, and a smaller waist circumference. Remember that not all yogurt
varieties contain probiotics, as the bacteria can be
killed during processing. So look for yogurts that
say on the packaging they contain live cultures in order to get your dose of probiotics. Thanks for watching, make
sure to give this video a thumbs up if you found it informative. And don't forget to
subscribe to Healthline's Authority Nutrition YouTube channel by clicking the red subscribe
button below this video. (gentle music).

As found on YouTube

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