Fermented foods have been gaining popularity in recent years for their health benefits, but not all fermented foods are created equal. Many foods that we eat regularly may not be familiar as fermented products, but in fact, they are fermented. Here are a few examples of fermented foods you may not know about and how you can incorporate them into your diet:
- Chocolate: Yes, chocolate is fermented! The process of fermenting cocoa beans is what gives chocolate its distinct flavor and aroma. To incorporate chocolate in your diet, you can opt for a dark chocolate which usually has a higher cocoa content and lower sugar content.
- Bread: Bread is also fermented. Yeast and bacteria are used to ferment the dough, which leads to the formation of CO2 gas, which gives the bread its rise. Incorporating bread into your diet can be as simple as having it as a side to a meal or as a sandwich base.
- Cheese: Cheese is a fermented product made from milk, different types of cheeses are made with different types of bacteria, molds and enzymes. Incorporating cheese into your diet can be done in many ways, from using it as a topping on a sandwich or salad, to grating it and using it as a condiment or even incorporating it into a dish.
- Beer and wine: Both beer and wine are fermented products, beer is fermented with yeast while wine is fermented with grapes. Incorporating them into your diet can be done in moderation, as part of a healthy diet, and should be consumed in small amounts.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce is a fermented condiment made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and other ingredients. It can be used as a seasoning or a dip, it’s a good source of protein, amino acids and minerals, it can be added to stir-fries, marinades, or soups.
- Olives: Olives are also fermented, usually in a brine solution, this process give the olives their characteristic flavor and texture. Incorporating olives into your diet can be done in many ways, from adding them to salads, pizzas or sandwiches, to using them as a garnish for pasta dishes or even as a snack.
Incorporating fermented foods into your diet can provide a variety of health benefits, such as improved digestion and a stronger immune system, by including them in your meals and snacks, you can get a taste of the many benefits that fermented foods have to offer. Remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before making any dietary changes.