Lacto-Fermented Foods: What Is It and How They Are Made!
Fermentation is the ancient method of processing food. It's a process in which the yeast, bacteria, fungi, or mold is used to break down the carbs like sugar and starch into alcohol, acid, or gas.
Traditionally used to increase the shelf life of food, fermentation offers many other health benefits. The article below describes everything about Lacto-fermentation.
What Is Lacto Fermentation?
Fermentation is of different types- using yeast, wine is fermented through alcoholic fermentation, soybeans are fermented by using mold into Tampa, and vinegar is fermented with bacteria producing acetic-acid.
Lacto or lactobacillus is a bacteria that are produced upon the breakdown of sugar without oxygen to form alcohol, carbon dioxide, and sometimes alcohol. Some of the most common Lacto-fermented foods include- yogurts, milk, meats, Kimchi, cucumber, sauerkraut, olives, cucumber, and more.
Furthermore, the fermented food benefits include a healthy digestive system and fewer yeast infections. Lactobacillus also offers many anti-inflammatory properties that help to prevent certain types of cancer.
Process Of Lacto-Fermentation:
The general Lacto-fermentation process involves dipping veggies in a brine solution of salt and water. It is usually done in two stages-
- Stage 1- In this stage, veggies are immersed in saltwater with enough salt to kill the harmful bacteria. The good bacteria survive at this stage and pass to the next stage.
- Stage 2- In this, the lacto organism start converting lactose and other sugars into lactic acid. This create an acidic environment that protects the vegetables and also give a tangy flavor to the food.
Why Fermentation Is Used:
Fermentation is one of the easiest, inexpensive, and effective way to preserve food for years. By overgrowing food with specific good bacteria, harmful organisms will not be able to grow, thereby preventing food spoilage.
*Note: The addition of salt and the oxygen-less environment helps to create an environment that is perfect for good bacteria and is not good for molds and fungi.
5 Fermented Foods That Are Important For Gut Health:
Sauerkraut is one of the most traditional and ages-old foods having its roots from Russian, Chinese, and German cuisine. Sauerkraut is basically a "sour cabbage," which is made by fermenting red or green cabbage. It is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K and B. It is also a rich source of calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
It's a fermented milk product that is made from cow, goat, and sheep's milk, which tastes like yogurt. It is used to provide a high level of magnesium, vitamin k, biotin, enzymes, vitamin B12, folate, and probiotics to the body. For the right fermentation, Kefir has been consumed to over 3,000 years.
Miso is produced by fermenting soybeans, brown rice/barley with Koji. As a miso soup, it is used in a variety of Japanese ingredients. Also, it has been a staple in Chinese diets for over 2,500 years.
Another super healthy and gut beneficial fermented food made from soybeans is Tampa. Tampa is created by combining soybeans with tempeh starter. Let it sit for a day or two until it becomes dense, cake-like, protein-rich food. Tampa is just like tofu, but it's not as grainy and spongy.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar is raw and contains probiotics along with some acids like acetic acid. You can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in water to drink twice a day. You can also consume it by adding one tablespoon in your meals.
It is very important to know a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria. Do include them in your diet!