Fermented Foods

Fermented foods are predigested by bacteria, yeast, and molds that change the composition of the food. As part of a daily diet, they encourage the production of beneficial bacteria in the intestine that are necessary for complete and proper digestion, a strong immune system, and as an aid to the production of anticancer compounds. Fermented foods include yogurt with live active cultures, kefir, miso, tempeh, soy sauce, umeboshi, amasake, kombucha, natto, and apple cider and brown rice vinegars. Miso is a fermented paste made from soybeans. It can be used as a bouillon and as a replacement for salt, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for no longer than 1 minute to preserve the microorganisms. Natto is fermented soybeans and can be used as a condiment with rice, pasta, and other grains or added to soups. Tempeh is fermented soybeans and has a meaty taste that can substitute for burgers and meat in other dishes. It can be fried, grilled, baked, broiled, or steamed. Umeboshi is fermented plums and used as a seasoning to replace salt and vinegar. Amasake is made from fermented sweet rice and available as a beverage in the refrigerated sections of food markets.

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