And the new “superfood” trend is … wait for that … fermented foods!
Fermented foods such as yoghurt, vegetables pickled in vinegar, kimchi, fermented South Indian foods like idly and dosas or Kombucha tea can have health benefits that go beyond simple nutrition. Their benefits for people with diabetes have been highlighted through various studies and experts back them too.
We asked Nutritionist Vibha Puri, owner of Fitter Fad to share with us reasons why people with diabetes must add fermented foods to their diet and here’s what she says:
1. Probiotic Effect:
Fermentation leads to the production of good bacteria (killing the harmful microbes) which gives the food the quality of probiotics. The good bacteria, thus produced through fermentation for long hours, eat up the carbohydrate content making the food low carb which prevents a spike in blood sugar levels.
2. Weight Control:
Lower the blood sugar levels, lesser are the chances of weight gain. Controlling weight is the key to managing type 2 diabetes. Fermented foods are highly nutritious and low carb which become extremely beneficial for weight management.
3. Better Immunity:
The immune system lies 80% in the gut. Hence, it is important to maintain optimal gut health to enhance better immunity. Fermented foods provide the required immunity shield for the gut lining and a good defence mechanism prevents the risk of sugar levels spiking too high.
4. Increased Nutritional Value:
Fermented foods increase the vitamins and mineral level in itself making it easier to digest and absorb. Fermentation can improve protein quality and digestibility, increase vitamin B and vitamin C content, and increase the bioavailability of minerals such as iron and zinc. This reduces the risk of elevation of the body’s sugar levels.
5. Controls Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Diseases:
People with diabetes are always at a greater risk of damaged blood vessels and unstable cholesterol measures. Fermented foods are known to decrease serum cholesterol levels and also inhibit the activity of vasoconstrictors in the body that leads to cardiovascular diseases (C.V.D). Probiotics like yoghurt can also improve cholesterol levels and help to stimulate insulin sensitivity, which decreases during progression to type 2 diabetes.