Pickled cabbage may very well be the newest cure for colds, coughs and allergies, a new research suggests.
Fermented foods left to age from a few days to weeks before they're eaten may bring forth some wonderful health benefits to the body. A team of researchers from Cambridge University backs up this finding, reporting that regular consumption of fermented low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt, fromage frais and cottage cheese, could reduce one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 25 percent over 11 years. This may, in part, be due to the fact that when certain foods are left to ferment, they are 'pre-digested' by good bacteria and yeast found naturally on the surface of the food. These microbes eat the food, thus, breaking down the sugars and starches and making the nutrients much easier for the body to absorb.
"Between 70 to 80 percent of our immune cells are in the gut," said Alison Clark, of the British Dietetic Association. "Fermented foods stimulate bacteria that help with immunity. So for someone who suffers with lots of coughs and colds, they could help.We also know that a food that's high in probiotics could help control the symptoms of things such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, bloating and flatulence."
U.S. food writer, Michael Pollan, has embraced fermentation and has pointed out that in the body, microbes outnumber human cells ten to one. "Much of public health has been obsessed with bacteria as the enemy," he says. "But 99.9 percent are benign, and a great number are also in a symbiotic relationship with us. They help us, and we need them."
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