Fermented Foods: It’s Better For You Than It Sounds

Fermented Foods

This country knows the remarkable effects fermented goods has on the body. Fermented supplements, drinks, food, and teas are offered in stores all over the country. Extensive research is carried out and articles are published all over the world proving the health treatments of fermentation on the human body. But are we eating enough fermented foods? Or at all?

The above photo includes four traditional ingredients used in Japanese cuisine: soy sauce, fish sauce, kombucha tea, and miso. An additional five are commonly used in the modern Japanese diet: Tabasco sauce, yogurt, sourdough bread, Worcestershire sauce, and kimchi. In addition to all of these, the Japanese consume various, additional fermented goods such as kurozu ‘black vinegar’ or probiotic supplements . However, in the western diet, in order to ingest an adequate amount of the probiotics found in fermented food you would need to eat a large amount of sourdough bread or Tabasco sauce which would counteract the health benefits and just result in weight gain and an upset stomach.

Fermentation and Why it is Great For You:

We all have bacteria in our body, some good and some bad. We should make an effort to increase the good, probiotic bacteria and fight the bad, pathogenic bacteria. The fermentation of food and drinks are for promoting good bacteria within our body with the intention of:

♦ Destroy bad bacteria trying to flourish in our organs. Lactic and Acetic Acids are organic acids produced by probiotic bacteria. These acids lower the pH in the stomach and eliminate harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, Staph, and Salmonella. Other probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium, inhibit pathogenic bacteria. Fermented foods contain numerous probiotic types each with their own suppression and terminating abilities of numerous bad bacteria.

♦ Prevent or alleviate diarrhea and its symptoms. There is an organism called Clostridium difficile that is found in the intestine of a percentage of the population, however, in small numbers, it does no harm. Diarrhea is caused when the quantity of this bacteria greatly rises. Regular consumption of Lactobacillus keeps this bacteria at bay and relieves diarrhea and its symptoms. This probiotic also treats rotavirus diarrhea, one of the most globally common triggers of acute diarrhea in children. Probiotics found in fermentation are effective towards treating traveler’s diarrhea. another common affliction caused by E. coli when visiting other countries.

♦ Help in the digestion of milk and milk products. More than 50% of the population do not have the enzymes needed to digest milk since most of us lose them after we finish breastfeeding as a baby. Despite this, many foods and drinks are made with milk and taste too good to avoid. Fermented foods can contain a good amount of βd-galactosidase which is used to help break down and absorb lactose.

♦ Kill mutagens trying to change DNA of cells. Probiotic organisms will attack and bind to mutagens as they attack cells and change the DNA which is known to result in cancer and other deadly diseases. Probiotics have been reported to specifically kill enzymes called β-glucuronidase, azoreductase, and nitroreductase that are well-known to create these harmful mutagens. This connects and leads to probiotics anticancer abilities.

♦ Reduce the risk of tumor and cancer development. The above-mentioned enzymes that create mutagens also produce carcinogens. When the activity of these enzymes is reduced, the production of cancerous cells is lowered, and the body has more time and power to perform apoptosis (cell death) on the tumor/cancer cells.

♦ Lower cholesterol. Some probiotic bacteria just take the bad cholesterol and use it for itself, making it completely unavailable for absorption in our blood. Other bacteria unjoin bile salts, the result of digested lipids in the gallbladder. When the bile salts are unjoined, they cannot absorb lipids as readily resulting in lowered cholesterol levels.

♦ Stimulate a stronger immune system. Probiotics stimulate cytokine production in blood cells, boost macrophage activity, and more to enhance the immune system. This activity has shown in research to improve immunity in HIV+ children, reduce inflammatory response, and prolong remission period of those with Crohn’s Disease.

A high-fat, high protein, high sugar, and low fiber diet unbalances the gut bacteria and allows bad bacteria to flourish causing you to not feel your best and be more susceptible to sicknesses. Many fermented foods contain probiotics but not a high enough concentration to prove effective. Refrigerated or frozen, fermented dairy products (e.g. yogurt and aged cheese) become sensitive to oxygen permeation and lose a number of necessary probiotics to implement these health benefits. Other foods do not contain a high concentration of probiotics to be capable of the abilities mentioned in this article. This is why Japan produces and encourages many fermented supplements and drinks. The positive effects are apparent when you look at their clear face, healthy weight, and when you think they look too young for their age.

* The statements contained herein have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information contained in this website is intended for education, entertainment and information purposes only. This information is not intended to be used to diagnose, prescribe or replace proper medical care. The plant described herein is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease.


Shah, Nagendra P. “Functional cultures and health benefits.” International Dairy Journal 17.11 (2007): 1262-1277.
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van Hylckama Vlieg, Johan ET, et al. “Impact of microbial transformation of food on health—from fermented foods to fermentation in the gastro-intestinal tract.” Current opinion in biotechnology 22.2 (2011): 211-219.
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Roberfroid, Marcel, et al. “Prebiotic effects: metabolic and health benefits.” British Journal of Nutrition 104.S2 (2010): S1-S63.
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