Several Good Reasons to Include Fermented Drinks in Your Diet
Have you heard of Kombucha, Kefir or Kvass?
Have you tried any of them? If you have, then you already know that fermented
drinks are not just another health trend, but a really rich source of benefits for
For those of you, who want to find out more
about these beverages, and why beauty experts and nutritionists swear by them,
we’ve prepared a brief overview of the wonderful properties of fermented drinks.
is fermentation anyway?
In the pre-refrigeration era, people had to
use other methods to preserve food and prevent spoilage. After lots of trial
and error, they came up with fermentation – a metabolic process in which naturally
occurring bacteria feeds on sugar and starch found in the food, and converts
them into preservative alcohols and acids. That is how fermented drinks were invented.
Whether these people knew it or not, fermented drinks do not only last longer,
and enrich one’s diet with new flavours and textures, but they also have many
positive effects on how we feel and look.
Image source: Pinterest
benefits of fermented drinks
As you probably know, the balance of ‘good’
vs. ‘bad’ bacteria in your gut is essential for your overall health. Consumption
of fermented beverages promotes the creation of probiotic bacteria strains, which
helps maintain the balance (or helps restore it, in case it was disrupted). No
wonder, nutritionists love to say “If you heal the gut, you heal the body”.
During fermentation, the microbes in fermented
drinks produce certain enzymes that have the ability to break down
hard-to-digest foods into more digestible forms. For example, lactose is broken
down into glucose and galactose (which can be a lifesaver for
lactose-intolerant people), and cellulose into simple sugars.
Natural fermentation can increase and
preserve the levels of nutrients in food, especially vitamin B and omega-3
fatty acids. Some ingredients found in fermented beverages are even believed to
destroy anti-nutrients (the compounds that hinder the absorption of nutrients)
allowing you to get the best of what you eat.
Image source: Pinterest
Scientists believe that good bacteria play
an important role in preserving normal body weight. Given that fermented drinks
restore the levels of good bacteria in your intestines, and improve metabolism,
they can also prevent unintentional weight gain.
It is no secret that skin appearance and good
diet are closely related. Latest studies show that the good bacteria that
reside in the gastrointestinal tract promote the healing of inflamed skin,
hence why indulging on fermented beverages can be a great, alternative way to prevent and treat acne.
The probiotics naturally found in fermented
drinks improve the metabolism and absorption of nutrients/antioxidants found in
food. This way, they contribute to the nourishment of the skin on a cellular
level, helping it heal from the inside out. Antioxidants, on the other hand, destroy
toxins and free radicals that are considered to be the primary culprits for
Drinks To Try
Finally, let’s meet some of these miracle-doers!
Kombucha, known as the ‘Immortal Health
Elixir’, originated thousands of years ago, in the Far East. It is made from
black tea and sugar, fermented with yeast. Kombucha contains high levels of
enzymes, b-vitamins, probiotics, and acetic and lactic acids.
Yoghurt requires no special introduction.
It is worth mentioning, however, that the live bacteria that remain in yoghurt after
the fermentation process is over, is what makes it so unique and special, in
terms of its health benefits.
Kefir is yoghurt’s close relative and
probably the most popular homemade milk-based fermented drink. It’s a natural
source of probiotics + it is believed to support the immune system.
Kvass is commonly made in Russia from
fermented slices of rye bread. It has a rather long fermentation cycle of 3 to
7 days, however, it tastes so amazing that it’s totally worth waiting 7 days.
Boza can be traced all the way back to Mesopotamia
and ancient Egypt. Different cereals (wheat, millet or rye) can be mixed with
yeast and lactic-acid bacteria to start fermentation.
The list could go on forever, since almost
every region in the world has its traditional local fermented drink. The point
is – if you haven’t tried any fermented beverage so far, we hope we’ve managed
to convince you to give them a go (at least to one). We hope you’ll like them, as much as we do!
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