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Fermented food and its benefits for heart and blood pressure

Fermented food and its benefits for heart and blood pressure Illustrative photo (Freepik)
Author: Maria Kholina

Fermented cabbage (Sauerkraut), pickles, and kefir – these products, familiar to many in Slavic countries, are not just tasty but also have lots of health benefits. It turns out that fermented foods can improve health and even protect against certain diseases, according to nutritionist and physiologist Olha Dorosh.

What is food fermentation?

Food fermentation is the process of changing the properties of food through the action of microorganisms. During this process, vitamins and minerals are formed, and biologically active peptides are produced.

Natto, miso, kimchi, kombucha, tempeh, harcarl – these might be unfamiliar words to some, but along with fermented vegetables, yogurt, kefir, and gouda cheese, they are excellent examples of fermented products that have beneficial properties.

"Fermentation has been part of our diet since the Neolithic era, and it turns out there are more than 100 variations of fermented food worldwide (there's even fermented shark)," the nutritionist says.

Health benefits of fermentation

The advantages of fermented products include:

  • Fermentation makes certain nutrients (zinc, iron) more accessible for absorption. They are also a source of vitamins C and K, as well as B-group vitamins.
  • They are a source of probiotics and prebiotics.
  • Improve digestion: serve as energy sources for the mucous membrane and intestines.
  • During fermentation, oligosaccharides, which can cause bloating and digestion problems in some people, decrease.
  • Lactic acid is associated with increased endurance in athletes who consume fermented vegetables.
  • Positively impact the immune system.
  • Contribute to mental health improvement.
  • May aid in weight loss.
  • Improve heart health and lower blood pressure.
  • Have antimicrobial effects.

The nutritionist noted that fermented cabbage causes less discomfort and is much easier to digest than raw.