Unless you’ve somehow avoided all stores that sell food, you’ve been exposed to numerous fermented foods that are on the market. From popular products like wine and yogurt to more niche items like kombucha, there is no shortage of fermented foods lining store shelves.
What exactly is fermentation, though, and why is it so common in food? If you’re searching for the answers to those and other related questions, you’ve come to the right place!
What is Fermentation?
At its root, fermentation is a technique used to preserve food. A more scientific explanation, however, is that, through natural processes, microorganisms convert carbohydrates into alcohols or acids. The growth of bacteria—the good kind—is also promoted through fermentation. These bacteria are commonly referred to as probiotics and are known to have tremendous health benefits, which is why we ferment our hot sauce!
Food can dramatically affect the way you feel and your overall wellbeing. Thanks to the production of probiotics during fermentation, the effect of eating fermented foods is positive on many aspects of health!
Remember earlier when we mentioned that fermentation involves the breakdown and conversion of carbohydrates? That same process also makes fermented food easier to digest!
For example, those who are lactose intolerant are often totally fine consuming dairy products such as yogurt because the lactose has been broken down! At the same time, fermentation can contribute to easier and better absorption of nutrients, making foods healthy and the body’s usage of them more efficient.
Fermentation’s positive impact on the digestion of food extends to improving digestive health. The probiotics present in fermented foods help create a balance in your gut, making it healthier and even alleviating certain issues.
For those who suffer from digestive disorders, including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), this is exceptionally helpful. In fact, several studies have shown that consuming probiotic-heavy fermented foods can reduce the symptoms of IBS.
If you experience digestive issues, adding fermented food to your diet may help alleviate many of the unpleasant things that accompany those problems. Adding such foods to your diet for the health benefits doesn’t have to be hard or unpleasant, either. It can be as simple as adding a fermented hot sauce to your lunch!
Probiotics can help you stay illness-free and aid the recovery process should you come down with a sickness. Eating fermented food can boost your immune system, effectively making you less susceptible to infections. The icing on the probiotic cake is that many fermented foods have high iron, vitamin C, and zinc content—other contributors to a strong and healthy immune system.
There are numerous other benefits of fermented foods, from heart health to weight loss. These benefits are essentially risk-free, though some people may experience certain side effects, including temporary bloating and gassiness.
It’s also important to note that fermented foods are just that—food. That means that some are better than others, and it is best that you read the labels and even do a bit of research before purchasing a product and adding it to your diet.
Look for foods that fit or exceed your normal standards. Non-GMO, organic, and raw are great words to look for, as they tend to indicate a high level of care and quality! Habit Hot Sauce checks all of these boxes and more, making it an easy, delicious way to improve your diet and start reaping the benefits of fermented food!
Author: Bud Torcom President of Habit (fermented) Hot Sauce.