When it comes to the overall health of our body, it is important to include different nutrients in our food program for proper nutrition. For example, probiotic foods… Fermented foods containing beneficial bacteria should be included in a person’s diet.
What is Lactic Acid Fermentation?
Lactofermentation, or lactic acid fermentation, is a process in which foods are converted into lactic acid. The increase in lactobacilli in foods gives the food a sour taste that will be difficult to digest. Fermented foods are literally full of beneficial bacteria.
The most important thing, especially for our intestinal flora, is the preservation of probiotics. For this reason, it is very important to consume fermented foods. Sensitive probiotics can die very quickly due to reasons such as irregular nutrition, consuming processed products, and stress. Fermented foods enable them to become stronger and multiply.
Fermented foods show positive developments as a result of the process they go through. They are enriched with lactic acid, and the amount of essential amino acids increases. They reduce cholesterol, balances blood pressure, supports the intestinal system, and are good for colonic heart diseases. Many fermented foods become the best friends of those undergoing cancer treatment. It also prevents the formation of cancer cells. Therefore, it is necessary to consume more of these products regularly and in a balanced way.
If we look at the fermented foods traditionally consumed in Turkey,
– Yogurt and Kefir
– Boza and Şalgam
A very valuable traditional product of Turkish cuisine in terms of nutrition and health, tarhana is obtained by fermenting the dough kneaded with wheat flour, yogurt, pepper, salt, onion, tomato, and flavoring herbal ingredients and spices, then drying, grinding, and sifting. It is a very delicious, nutritious, and healthy food consumed as soup. It is a source of vitamins and minerals and is rich in protein, especially vitamin B, calcium, iron, and zinc. It has probiotic properties because it is fermented.
Water, black carrot, bulgur, salt, and turnip plants are used in its preparation. It is a source of antioxidants because of the vitamins and minerals it contains. It helps digestion when consumed with indigestible meals.
Pickles are frequently made in Turkey in order to preserve some food items for a longer period of time using salt and vinegar and to benefit from these products in seasons when they are not available. Among the vegetables and fruits that can be pickled, we can list cucumber, cabbage, pepper, green tomato, sloe, cucumber, carrot, zucchini, beans, and beet. While preparing the pickle, ingredients such as chickpeas, pomegranate, garlic, dill, parsley, and ginger are added to give it flavor. It is preferred because it helps digestion and contains beneficial bacteria. It contains a lot of sodium, so it should be consumed with caution. Because it retains water in the body and negatively affects the kidneys and blood pressure, pickles should be consumed sparingly in different salads, and water consumption should be increased while consuming pickles.
It contains plenty of vitamins A, B, C, and E. It is lightly sugared and does not contain fat. It enriches the intestinal flora with its probiotic properties. It is nutritious as it contains carbohydrates, protein, and vitamin B. Those who do not want to gain weight should pay attention to the amount they consume. Boza, the favorite drink of the winter months, is often preferred with freshly roasted yellow chickpeas and cinnamon.
Vinegar prevents the formation of harmful bacteria and protects the flora by ensuring the growth of natural bacteria (probiotics) in the intestine. It increases the body’s alkaline level. Natural vinegar is formed by the natural fermentation of fresh fruits in a warm environment. Natural vinegar, which has been formed over a long period of time, has very beneficial properties. Vinegar kills bacteria that are harmful to human health in vegetables and greens and also cleans up chemical waste on them.
It is one of the most beneficial foods when it comes to probiotics. However, non-sour yogurts sold on supermarket shelves are gradually losing this feature. The most important feature of traditional Turkish yogurts is that they are slightly sour. While they were supposed to last for a week at most, companies that produce yogurt on the market have started to offer yogurts that have a longer shelf life and are different in terms of consistency and taste. In order for yogurt to be beneficial, it must contain “live active cultures,” so attention must be paid to pasteurization.
Pasteurization is preferred to kill harmful bacteria, but during this process, the beneficial lactic acid bacteria in yogurt are also largely killed. You can ferment your own yogurt with natural milk in a healthy way, in accordance with traditional methods. Avoid yogurts that contain artificial colors and sweeteners. In addition, although fruit-filled yogurt is a delicious option, ready-made ones often contain more sugar. You can prepare your own fruit yogurt with fresh fruits without adding sugar.
It is a dairy product obtained by fermenting milk. Its taste is similar to that of yogurt or ayran. With the ability of kefir yeast to break down the milk acid lactose, all individuals, young and old, can consume kefir, and even those who are normally sensitive to milk can drink kefir. Kefir can be purchased ready-made or produced at home with the help of kefir yeast. Kefir is a healthy, easy-to-digest drink with high nutritional value. The most important feature that distinguishes kefir from other fermented milk products is the combination of lactic acid and alcohol fermentation in this product.