The health benefits of fermented beverages and food

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EXCERPT: Fermented foods are generally defined as “foods or beverages produced through controlled microbial growth, and the conversion of food components through enzymatic action”. [...]

During fermentation, bacteria can produce vitamins and useful metabolites. Fermented foods contain potentially probiotic microorganisms such as lactic acid bacteria. And, despite the short time these bacteria spend in the gut, they help with food digestion and boost our immune system. Probiotics in fermented food also strengthen the walls of the intestines to keep them from leaking their contents into blood so fermented food can contribute to the prevention of leaky-gut syndrome. It has also been found to contribute to prevention and treatment of diseases such as allergies and eczema.

Consumption of kimchi and other fermented vegetables may reduce asthma and atopic dermatitis. Other studies report the effect of fermented foods on reducing risks of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure. Consumption of fermented milk products reduced the risk of bladder cancer. Yoghurt-rich diets showed a reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, in older Mediterranean adults where a cluster of conditions occur together (including increased blood pressure, high blood sugar and excess body fat).

Probiotics in fermented foods have health-promoting properties such as lowering cholesterol; one study demonstrated that several lactic acid bacterial strains have properties to lower blood cholesterol.
Recipes for fermented foods.

There appear to be other possible benefits, but more research is needed. A recent review demonstrated the anti-cancer properties of lactic acid bacteria in fermented food on a variety of tumour cells from intestine, liver and breast as they modulate the development of tumours. A diet composed of conjugated linoleic acid-rich foods, particularly cheese, may protect against breast cancer in post-menopausal women. However, not all studies agree and a pilot study in mice even suggested increased tumour growth.
Improving mood and sleep

Fermented foods are also shown to improve mood and sleep... (MORE - missing details)

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