Bowl of miso soup with chopsticks, an example of fermented food
What are fermented foods and what are their benefits?

Benefits of Fermented Foods: Numerous and Various

3 minutes

Fermentation has been used all over the world for centuries. Naturally occurring bacteria in food is combined with a salt brine. The bacteria break down the sugars in the food, turning them into alcohol and acids. There are many benefits to fermented food, from health benefits to preservation, to amazing taste and texture!

Table of content

Benefit of Fermented Food #1: Preservation

People have known about the benefits of fermented food for as long as 12,000 years. Fermentation was a great way to preserve food in lean times. For instance:

  • Sauerkraut was a useful winter source of vitamin C.
  • Fermented yogurt in the Middle East developed as a way of preserving that food in a place where food goes off quickly.

Fermentation was also a way of preserving
the flavour and freshness of food.

These days it's easy to make your own fermented food, which can then be stored in jars or tins and eaten at a later date.

Jar of fermented carrots
One of the benefits of fermented food is that it’s an easy way to preserve things.

Benefits of Fermented Food #2: Taste and Texture

For foodies, perhaps the main benefit of fermented foods is their unique taste and texture. The microorganisms like bacteria and yeast turn the sugars and starch into alcohol or acid:

This creates a strong, salty flavour that is slightly acidic and sour.
This sharp flavour can be combined with other foods to create a delicious taste explosion.

Try adding a fermented food like sauerkraut to coleslaw or egg or cheese dishes for a tangy, sour kick. Kimchi and sauerkraut also combine deliciously with meat dishes, why not add them as a topping to hotdogs? Sauerkraut has the added advantage of a crispy, crunchy texture too! 

For a creamier texture but still with that acidic, sour tang try kefir. This fermented-milk drink can be had on its own or made into a smoothie. Basically, treat it like you would milk, but getting added flavour and creamier texture…

Ham, gherkin, and sauerkraut sandwich: examples of fermented foods
Unique flavour and exciting textures are another benefit of fermented food.

Benefits of Fermented Food #3: Better Long-Term Health

Lots of people are also enjoying fermented foods for their wellbeing benefits. Many studies have shown that the microorganisms present in the fermentation process entail health benefits. Of particular interest are lactic acid bacteria (LAB). When food is fermented, these bacteria create biologically active peptides and also synthesise vitamins and minerals. 

These peptides are known to offer health benefits such as lowering blood pressure. They also have antioxidant, anti-allergenic, and antimicrobial properties. Another benefit of fermented food is that it can increase the number of good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut. These probiotics are thought to improve digestion and boost immunity.

Woman eating vegetables, with bread and yogurt, two fermented foods
Include fermented foods in a balanced diet, a good way to enjoy the benefits of fermentation.

The benefits of fermented foods are many. Try incorporating some of these delicious flavours and textures into your diet. You’ll enjoy the wellbeing benefits, but also discover a whole new world of mouth-watering dishes. From kefir to pickles, there’s so much to choose from!

Get inspiration from your favourite restaurants:

Book a restaurant with TheFork

Fermented foods in a nutshell

Fermented food is reputedly good for gut health because it can help increase the number of good bacteria (probiotics) in your gut.

There are lots of foods to choose from, all offering delicious flavours and textures. Why not begin by trying sauerkraut, kimchi, or kombucha?

Fermented foods have a unique sour flavour that many people love. Fermentation also means you can preserve food for longer, and there are some great health benefits too.

Click to share
Copy the link