Although uncommon in the typical Western diet, fermented foods are staples in the diets of other cultures, especially Asian, with beneficial results. Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi help curb diabetes by stabilizing and reducing glucose levels. Eating fermented foods can also help you lose weight and prevent diabetic complications such as heart disease.
Additionally, the probiotics in fermented foods boost the immune system and are rich in essential vitamins. According to a study published in Natural News, a fermented food has a lower glycemic index (GI) than its non-fermented version because the probiotics convent sugar into lactic acid.
- Lactobacilli aid digestion. Lacto-fermentation works through the action of lactobacilli, friendly bacteria the best known as the probiotic in yogurt. Also present in fruits and vegetables, lactobacilli convert those natural sugars into lactic acid, creating a natural preservative.
Lacto-fermented foods aid digestion and benefit overall health by introducing these beneficial bacteria to your digestive system. Traditional, homemade lacto-fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi and umeboshi plums, all of which are known to retain and even increase the nutrients and vitamins that are lost in industrially processed and pasteurized foods.
- Fermented foods stabilize blood sugar. The recipe for fermented foods is generally quite simple: fresh vegetables, salt, pure water and time. Sometimes whey, a byproduct of the cheese-making process, is added for additional lactobacilli.
Yogurt, kefir and buttermilk are traditional fermented foods that are also low in carbohydrates. Among the many benefits of eating yogurt, kefir or buttermilk is one particularly helpful for people with diabetes: they help blood sugar levels remain stable.
- More benefits of fermented foods. The vitamin B in fermented foods helps with cell growth and metabolism. Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, helps boost the immune system and combat free radicals. Vitamin K helps prevent atherosclerosis and heart failure, a huge risk-factor for diabetics.
Keep fermented food in your Diabetes Healing Pantry so you can add some sauerkraut to your salad or sandwich and/or eat some kimchi with your stir-fry. And don’t forget, a 1/4 cup of yogurt a day will chase diabetes away!