2. Consuming Fermented Foods
The process behind fermented foods may sound unappealing, but it’s an ancient practice that is full of all sorts of health benefits. Fermentation is a metabolic process that uses natural microorganisms like bacteria or yeast to feed on sugars and starch. This process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics. Popular fermented foods are sauerkraut, kimchi, yogurt, tempeh, pickles and miso soup. Fermented beverages like kombucha or kefir is also a popular choice.
Adding fermented foods to your diet will provide you with a whole range of health benefits. Aside from adding “good” bacteria to the gut, fermented foods also increase levels of vitamin A and C and make foods more digestible. This way, you can remove toxins from the body, and eliminate anti-nutrients that interfere with the absorption of healthy vitamins and minerals.
Fermented foods have been linked to such health issues as ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies, diabetes, obesity, cognitive function and even mental illnesses. A popular choice of fermented food in Japan is natto, made by fermenting soybeans. Natto contains a very powerful probiotic called Bacillus subtilis, which has been shown to support the immune system and aid digestion of vitamin K2. Nattokinase is also beneficial, which is an anti-inflammatory enzyme thought to contain cancer-fighting properties.
Not only are fermented foods extremely healthy, they can be made very simply in your own home. Kombucha can be made by fermenting black tea with sugar, sauerkraut is made by just fermenting cabbage with salt. You can also pickle any vegetable of your choosing by adding vinegar or sugar.