We’re all concerned with maintaining a healthy weight. Our ancestors somehow lived without obesity but for some reason, it plagues us even with our modern conveniences and inventions. What gives? One possibility is that the way our ancestors ate was very different than the way we eat today—specifically, the inclusion of fermented foods at many meals. Does it make sense to eat fermented foods for weight loss? Let’s find out.
Do fermented foods help you lose weight? Including them in your diet isn’t a cure-all but is a great first step to maintaining a healthy weight. Studies show that the microbiota of the digestive system of healthy weight people is very different than those who suffer from obesity. This information suggests that including foods that can improve your gut health and the microbiome of your digestive system could benefit your weight.
How Fermented Foods Help You Lose Weight?
Healthy bacteria in the gut help to fully digest our food. Some of the carbohydrates we eat simply can’t be broken down without these healthy bacteria. That means less of the nutrition we’re eating can be used by our body if we don’t have enough beneficial bacteria in our gut. Eating fermented foods helps to replenish these bacteria. Lactic acid, a byproduct of the fermentation process, also helps stimulate digestive enzymes and juices so that we can digest our food better. Additionally, fermenting food may increase the vitamin count, particularly B vitamins.
Many of our health concerns today are related to inflammation, and obesity is no exception. A meta-analysis found that consuming probiotics can reduce inflammation. One way this can happen is that probiotics help heal the gut which is a common source of inflammation. Seventy to 80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut. If the immune system is out of balance it can cause a lot of inflammation, especially in the gut, since inflammation is the mechanism that helps eliminate invaders. Therefore, another possibility is that probiotics heal the gut, helping the immune system stay in balance.
Fermented foods are nutrient dense
Fermented foods are nutrient dense foods, and if we’re talking about fermented vegetables, they’re bulky foods too. If you’re adding fermented foods to your diet, you have less room for nutrient-poor foods. You may even have less desire for those nutrient-poor foods because you’re getting the nutrition you need and are less hungry because of it.
There are many ways that fermented foods and the probiotics that they provide are beneficial to our health, particularly in maintaining a healthy weight. If you want to see how they work for you, start by trying an easy sauerkraut or fermented root vegetable. Once you get used to (and begin loving) the taste you can try more unique tastes and textures. Fermented fruit is a fun way to get more fermented foods too, just be careful to eat them before they turn alcoholic!
If you are just beginning your fermentation journey, and are unsure if it’s for you, try the Fermentools Starter Kit. Less expensive than a fermentation crock, the kit will turn your Mason jar into a fermentation vessel for a fraction of the cost.
Mindy Wood is a writer, wife, mother, and homesteader, living in the beautiful mountains of New Hampshire. She writes at Purposefully Simple where she shows people how to live more self-reliant and healthy lives by growing their own food and learning other homesteading skills.