Should you be eating fermented food or is it best to avoid it?

Fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, and pickled vegetables can be easily incorporated into meals.

 Jars of fermenting foods. (photo credit: RAWPIXEL)
Jars of fermenting foods.
(photo credit: RAWPIXEL)

Fermented foods have been eaten for centuries and their many health benefits have already been proven. The fermentation process involves the breakdown of sugars by bacteria and yeast, which produces beneficial compounds. 

Azhar Ali Sayed, holistic health coach and author of Eat Your Cake and Lose Weight, says fermented foods have a unique flavor, smell, texture and appearance, and fermentation, the traditional method of preserving food extends the shelf life of these items and improves its nutritional content by making nutrients more bioavailable.

Sayed said that fermentation affects the immune system and the intestines, which helps prevent inflammation that can cause many diseases. 

Vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds can all be fermented. Because fermented foods are often rich in prebiotics and probiotics, they have significant health benefits like improving digestion, strengthening the immune system and preventing many diseases.

Easy incorporated into meals

He added that fermented foods like yogurt, cheese, and pickled vegetables can be easily incorporated into meals because they can be bought at standard supermarkets. 

 Yogurt  (credit: INGIMAGE)
Yogurt (credit: INGIMAGE)

Sayed also said that most people don't experience problems when eating fermented foods, but people who have histamine activity which is an organic compound, an imidazole derivative involved in local reactions of the immune system that causes dilation of blood vessels and contraction of smooth muscles, shouldn't eat fermented products.

He also warned that when people first start eating fermented foods they might experience bloating, and advised people who have a chronic illness or are immunocompromised to start with small amounts of fermented food to be sure their system can tolerate these items.