April 6, 2012 9:21 PM EDT

Fermented Foods: Benefits And Types

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Fermented Foods: Benefits And Types

Fermented Foods Boost Immune System

In ancient era, ferment food was thought as a gift from god, because fermentation makes perishable foods nonperishable and rich in flavor and nutrition. Fermented foods can help your fast-food-spoiled body keep healthy and prolong the life span.

Decay vs Fermentation

Fermentation is a process to break down organic compounds with enzymes that microorganisms have. Through the process, they generate alcohol, lactic acid and acetic acid. These materials prevent nutrition from being destructed.

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Though fermentation and decay progress similarly, after the enzymes break down organic compounds, if good materials for our health are generated, it is fermentation and if bad smells or harmful materials are generated, it decays. Consider cheese, yogurt, vinegar, and doenjang. They have their own unique flavor and smell, and texture. So for those who have eaten them from childhood love their tastes, but for people who haven’t are easily be repulsed by their smell.

It Prolongs Lifespan

Eating fermented foods that have cultured bacteria means letting various cultured bacteria live in your body. In order to maintain ecosystem, various organisms are needed. Human body is like a small ecosystem that can function with effect, as long as various microorganisms flourish.

Natural foods that have cultured bacteria help our body adjust to the changing condition rapidly and prevent disease. Bacteriologist Elie Mechnikoff made a conclusion that lactic acid bacteria is effective in preventing aging and keeping heath.

Effectiveness of Fermented Foods

1. Boosting the immune system and prevent aging.
2. Preventing cancer and mutation.
3. Preventing diabetes.
4. Curing high cholesterol
5. Relieving atopic diseases and allergies
6. Losing weight
7. Relieving diarrhea and constipation
8. Protecting the liver and bowels.

Many Types of Fermented Food in the World

There are about 80 fermented foods in the world. They can be divided by the microorganisms depending on how they work and how they ferment. To store waterish vegetables, people usually dehydrate them or soak them into salty water or acid. As the Western people usually eat meat and oily food, they have used acid for ferment. On the contrary, the East commonly eat carbohydrate and vegetables, so they have preserve them in salt. Check out various types of fermented food and their benefits from this slideshow. 

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