Probiotic microbes can be divided into two major categories: the lactobacilli and the bifidobacteria. Lactobacilli are also known as “friendly” bacteria because they typically reduce the growth of other types of harmful microbes, such as yeasts, fungi and viruses. The other category of bacteria is known as pathogens or “anaerobic” bacteria. The anaerobic bacteria grow best in an oxygen enriched environment. One of the proven, fermented vegetables benefits is the reduction of inflammation by lactobacilli and probiotics.
Another of the proven, fermented foods benefits is the use of probiotics to combat the production of toxins in the body. Toxins are believed to contribute to a number of illnesses, including allergies, asthma and even cancer. A few examples of toxins are hydrogen sulfide, formaldehyde, methane and ethanol. Fermented foods such as kombucha and yogurt contain yeast that produce fermentation. The yeast converts sugars in the food into alcohol and other chemicals that may have a negative effect on the digestive tract and increase the risk of developing colon and breast cancer. Therefore, the use of probiotics to counteract the production of toxins can provide a natural defense against inflammatory diseases.
Lactobacillus is one of the most common strains of beneficial bacteria that exists in the GI tract. It is the one responsible for preventing harmful bacteria and yeast from taking up residence in the GI tract. Healthy individuals usually secrete a low level of lactobacilli but when there is an imbalance caused by a poor diet or other problems, the levels of the good bacteria can also decrease. As a result, the growth of harmful microbes such as yeast, Candida and even parasites is promoted.
Probiotic vegetables are considered the best sources of probiotic bacteria. This means that they are able to maintain the normal levels of microorganisms in the gut. Some of the best fermented foods that contain lactobacilli and other beneficial bacteria are cabbage, red bell pepper, cabbage leaves, kale and among others. When consuming these vegetables, you can expect to achieve better digestion, regular bowel movements, lower cholesterol and reduction of stomach acidity.
There are different benefits of consuming fermented foods, but one of the most significant is the promotion of lacto-fermentation. This is the process by which the beneficial bacteria promote the growth of lactase, the enzyme that works to digest lactose, fats, sugar and other carbohydrates found in dairy products like cow’s milk and cheese. Since these foods contain lactose, you will not have difficulties when you are aiming for healthier digestion of other foods including whole grains and vegetables.
Aside, from promoting the growth of lactobacilli, fermented vegetables also benefit from salt. You can derive several health benefits from salty vegetables, and especially from fermented carrots. This is because these contain a substance called lysine which helps in keeping the acid levels in your stomach consistent. In fact, this substance is said to be a necessary element in controlling gastric reflux.
If you want to include fermented vegetables in your diet, the best thing to do is to place them in a jar that has an airtight lid. The first thing that you need to do is to let the jar of vegetables sit in a dark place for a few days until it has absorbed the flavor and the smell of the food that you will prepare for it. Make sure that you keep the jar in a cool and dark place until you’re ready to use it. This way, you will get to enjoy its flavor and the aroma for as long as you have the jar with you.