Almost all communities and states in India follow either fermentation or pickling of food. Fermenting or pickling is an old-age practice, it is a way of preserving food and enhancing its health benefits and taste. Not just India, countries across the world have their own version of fermentation.
Fermentation is a natural process through which microorganism like yeast and bacteria convert carbs and sugar into alcohol, acids and CO2. Not only it enhances the flavor of food, but also has several health benefits. Similarly, pickling is a way to preserve a food item in salty water or with acidic content like lemon juice or vinegar.
Foods like Kimchi, Achar, Kombucha, and Natto are some examples of traditional fermented dishes. Pickles, on the other hand, are named after the main ingredient, for example carrot pickle, cabbage pickles, lemon pickle, cucumber pickle and onion pickles.
Here are the health benefits of fermented food
Fermented foods help in aiding weight loss because these foods contain intestine-friendly bacteria, which helps in keeping digestive system and immunity in check. When you have a smooth digestive system and strong immunity, you maintain a healthy body weight.
Help in Treating Inflammation
Fermented foods help in treating inflammation. According to health experts, inflammation activates our body's 'fat trigger' cells which simply indicates the brain that body is in distress and to store fat, instead of burning it. Various studies have proven that unfriendly gut bacteria are associated with obesity. By eating fermented food, you make your gut healthy, which is required for losing weight.
Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Fermented foods are loaded with several vitamins and minerals. They are enriched with B vitamins, B12, omega-3 fatty acids and with antioxidant properties. They also help in producing digestive enzymes, lactase and lactic acid. All these dietary foods are great for your weight loss journey.
Health experts also say that fermented foods helps in fighting harmful bacteria and fight against cancerous cells. Include fermented foods in your diet and gain various health benefits.
(Q&A Courtesy Bipasha Das, a certified health coach and nutritionist. She runs a diet and wellness clinic ‘Sugati’. She has been awarded Most Recommended Nutritionist of the Year 2018-19 by Brands Impact. She has worked with top hospitals, and is a life member of the Indian Dietetic Association and on the panels of renowned corporate houses like Ericsson, GE Power. Bipasha is working with Municipal Corporation of Delhi - Public Health Department( South Zone) as a consultant, and creating awareness programmes on Women and Children Health, Health for Public Health Workers, Office Sedentary Workers etc.
*Answers are based on general queries. Please contact a professional for any personal treatment.)