Here are the Health Benefits of Fermentation

Embrace at-home fermentation to maximise nutrition

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fermentation
The concept of fermentation becomes more apt a current times when we are not spoilt for plenty, and need to make full use of current stocks. Pixabay

2.7 billion people globally have been called on to stay home; this includes 130 crore Indians in the wake of the pandemic. The entire family can get involved in activities together– like the long forgotten, organic and natural method of cooking: fermentation

The concept of fermentation becomes more apt a current times when we are not spoilt for plenty, and need to make full use of current stocks. the technique has lately regained its popularity, mainly driven by anti-waste trends and healthy cooking concepts. It us one of the oldest method of food preservation, and very popular in tribal areas of the country mostly, the North East.

Lacto-fermentation takes place when lactic acid bacteria transform carbohydrates into lactic acid. Food processed in this manner to obtain a more or less pronounced tart flavour depends on the length of fermentation. The process being a natural one is cost-effective and involves no cooking; allows one to obtain food of high nutritional quality, with excellent health benefits, in particular for the digestive system. It is also a good alternative to freezing and sterilization.

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Lacto-fermentation can be used to preserve a wide variety of vegetables and even certain types of fruit. For example, in French gastronomy, one can mention sauerkraut. More exotic examples include kefir, Kimchi, soy sauce, black tea or pickles.

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During the fermentation process, lactic acid bacteria develop, thanks to anaerobic conditions and the presence of salt. Pixabay

Health benefits Various benefits of lacto-fermentation include:

This preservation method does not use heat, therefore the enzymes in food are not altered and the minerals are better assimilated upon consumption.

The high enzyme content allows “breaking” the larger molecules that the body usually takes longer to digest, making the product easily digestible.

The number of vitamins and lactobacilli is increased: bacteria produce vitamins during the fermentation process and these foods are an excellent source of probiotics, necessary for the proper balance of the intestinal flora.

The concentration of nitrites, nitrates and pesticides harmful to health is reduced.

For intolerant people particularly, the fermentation obtained in the making of sourdough bread decreases the phytic acid content of cereals used.

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In order to fully enjoy the benefits of this preservation method, it is advisable to consume raw fermented foods rather than cooked, as it allows for the enzymes and vitamins to be entirely conserved. On the other hand, with fibers, it is advisable to avoid abruptly consuming a large quantity of lacto-fermented vegetables in order to allow the body time to get accustomed to these new foods.

Expert opinion:

“Open-mindedness and curiosity are an integral part of our job as a cook. Fermentation is an old technique used for centuries, and recently brought up to date by Nordic Chefs, and it questions us! Always on the lookout for what is happening around us and sensitive to the questions of our students and visitors, this desire to try new things and create a new course therefore comes mainly from the inspirations of the in-house team,” says Cidric Barbarat, Executive Chef at �cole Ducasse – Paris Studio.

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Lacto-fermentation takes place when lactic acid bacteria transform carbohydrates into lactic acid. Pixabay

“We started by bringing jars from home. We fill them, question, observe and start over, not always in agreement among us… but that pushes us to work even harder. And then we also continue at home, with our family. There is nothing better than doing this with a child, always curious about the goal. Then it’s time for the tasting comes and it’s a total surprise: incredible textures and new tastes to introduce into our daily lives and that of our clients,”adds chef Barbarat.

Step-by-step guide

Take vegetables, wash them, cut them into pieces or grate them, and put them in a clean glass jar. Cover with brine: salt water where there is usually 30g of salt per liter of water. You can add flavourings (parsley, tarragon, bay leaf, thyme, dill, etc.) or spices (star anise, cinnamon, ginger, etc.) to your taste.

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During the fermentation process, lactic acid bacteria develop, thanks to anaerobic conditions and the presence of salt: this stage is called pre-fermentation. It is then left to ferment at room temperature for 3 days (between 18 and 25�C.). A duration of 3 days is generally recommended but it can be slightly less (2 days) or more depending on your preference for acidity.

The jars used must be able to close tightly, those with a rubber seal are perfectly suitable. No need to sterilize, the usual washing is enough. Then place the jars in a cool place: cellar or refrigerator, where the fermentation will continue but at a much slower pace.

Also Read- Make Grocery Shopping and Usage Safe While You Are Quarantined

The vegetables prepared in this manner can be preserved for a year or more. Once opened, they can be stored for several days or even weeks in the refrigerator. The result may not be up to your expectations: it is by performing your own experiments that you will obtain vegetables to your liking.

But above all fermentation takes time and you can learn it: take part in all the preparation stages and taste the outcome of all recipes at the end of the course: Fermented cabbage, fruit and milk Kefir, Fermented vegetables, Radish pickles with kumquats, Sarmales, herbal condiments and Kasha (IANS)

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Oil Pulling: An Ayurvedic Treatment to Boost Immunity

Oil pulling is an ancient treatment dateing back to more than 3,000 years

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Oil pulling
Oil pulling can boost your Immunity. Pixabay

Oil pulling is regarded as an ancient Ayurveda treatment that dates back to more than 3,000 years.

Considered as a detoxification therapy, it is done by taking a spoonful of cold pressed virgin oil (preferably coconut oil) and swishing it in your mouth for about 5 minutes, similar to using a mouthwash. The purpose of oil pulling is to swish the oil around in your mouth, between the teeth to get rid of bacteria in the mouth, spit it out and immediately rinse with some warm water.

Nutritionist Sheryl Salis shares how oil pulling that can help improve your immunity, uses of virgin coconut oil and the method of oil pulling:

Oil pulling is an alternative health practice gaining traction in recent times not only for oral health but also as an immunity boosting measure. As the mouth is a home to millions of microbes including bacteria, the oil pulling process helps get rid of these bacteria through swishing oil in the mouth and in-between the teeth. Swishing the oil for a prolonged period cleanses the mouth and decreases the bacterial load. Not only does this promote oral hygiene, this technique aids in overall health and well-being.

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Other than basic precautions like sanitizing and washing hands, immunty is the key factor to protect yourself from COVID-19 pandemic. Pixabay

With the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe, it is recommended to build and maintain a strong immune system to help combat the risk of being infected. While external precautionary measures like sanitizing and washing hands are essential, maintaining basic hygiene measures and eating healthy to build one’s immunity is of utmost importance.

Using virgin coconut oil to build immunity

Cold pressed virgin coconut oil is a superfood recommended for its myriad health benefits; it is a rich source of naturally occurring Lauric acid and contains Vitamin E which helps to improve body’s immunity. The medium Chain Fatty Acids (MCFAs) that contain lauric acid and caprylic acid strengthens the immune system and has anti-viral properties. Therefore, Adding 2 spoons of virgin coconut oil to the diet every day can help improve the immunity and maintain a healthy, holistic lifestyle.

In most Indian household’s, virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices and is slowly making its way in the mainstream wellness community for oil pulling. Known for its immune boosting properties, virgin coconut oil can be introduced as an effective technique into your heath regime.

Oil Pulling
Virgin coconut oil is a staple for consumption and beauty practices. Pixabay

How to do it?

eStart by swishing it in your mouth on an empty stomach, first thing in the morning

Also Read: Ace Learning From Home During Lockdown

eTake about 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil in the mouth and swish it for about 3-5 minutes.

eDiscard the oil by spitting it out. Do not swallow the oil as you will ingest the toxins with it as well

eRinse the mouth with warm water and brush your teeth as usual

eRepeat the process 3-4 times a week. (IANS)

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Ace Learning From Home During Lockdown

The ongoing lockdown which has been imposed in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic has interrupted the education of students

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In these testing times of pandemic and lockdown, students should ace the idea of learning from home. Pixabay

The COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways. It has changed the way we interact with people and spend our free time. With the nationwide lockdown is gradually easing, there is still a long way to go before life restores to a normalcy. Navigating education in these strange times can seem daunting and can be challenging for students everywhere, as per Education News.

With schools being shut indefinitely, there has been an interruption in the education of children- especially those who depend on classrooms to learn.

But learning is a continuous process, and the reality is that anyone can learn anywhere through e-learning. Schools,play schools, colleges, tutorials and coaching centres have taken their education online. To avail of this benefit all we need is self-motivation and the right mindset. Ankita Kishore, Chief Strategy officer, BYJU’s shares with IANSlife 6 ways to ace “Learning from Home”.

Here are a few things students can do to help create the right learning environment and make the most of their time at home:

Set up camp, create your “study zone”:

Staying all day at home can also mean lots of distractions. So in order to be focused, dedicate a specific area in the house for studies. Ensure this designated area is free of clutter, has good internet connectivity, and is comfortable enough for uninterrupted learning. And to give your study zone a special touch, decorate your space with motivational quotes for that extra push!

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Spend time understanding a topic, rather than skipping it. Pixabay

Take up a challenge, strengthen your concepts:

This is your personal time and you need to free yourself from the hesitation of asking questions or accepting difficulties. It’s the best time to revisit lessons, strengthen fundamentals, and master challenging topics. So if you’re struggling with a certain topic, instead of shrugging it off, take the time to understand it. There are various study materials available online – videos and written – that explain concepts in an easy-to-grasp and engaging manner.

Watch videos, learn smarter :

Did you know that visuals are processed 60,000 times faster by your brain than text? And I’m sure that anyone can vouch for the fact that learning from videos is a lot more fun than reading! Learning apps have videos with well-explained animated content and live classes that are designed to help students grasp concepts faster and retain them longer. So take the time to find videos that explain concepts visually so you can learn, understand, and remember them better.

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Make a time-table for yourself and follow it every day. Pixabay

Create a routine and stick to it:

Having a routine can help you become a consistent and disciplined learner. So make a time-table for the day and allocate a certain amount of time to learn, practise, and revise. To ensure you make the best use of this routine, make sure that you stick to it. Opting for LIVE online classes could also help set a routine to your learning.

Make your surroundings your Teacher :

Did you know that James Watt’s inspiration for the steam engine came from a boiling kettle? He noticed how the steam forced the kettle’s lid to rise and realised that he could use steam to power an engine.

Also Read: Imperative For Heart failure Patients To Be Health Literate: Study

What this story tells us is that science is all around us – in your kitchen, the garden, and everywhere else. So be observant of your surroundings, ask questions. If you’re curious to know why certain things work the way they do, look it up online. If you want to go a step further, analyse what you learn and mentally map each of your newly discovered facts to understand how everything is interconnected!

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Make your surrroundings your teacher and be curious to know how things around you work. Pixabay

Practise, revise, and practise some more:

There’s no better time than now to master concepts. Once you cover a new topic, practise and revise. There are unlimited practise tests and quizzes available online and on apps such as BYJU’S and more, that can help you practice, ensuring that you have a thorough understanding of every concept and unit. You can also refresh your memory by occasionally revisiting old topics.

So make the best use of your time indoors to learn, grow now and thrive to be future-ready!! (IANS)

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A Blend of Spices May Help in Lowering Inflammation in the Body: Researchers

Researchers suggest that adding a blend of spices to your meal may help in reducing inflammation

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Adding spices to your meal may increase its health benefits. Pixabay

Adding an array of spices to your meal is a surefire way to make it tastier and a part of Healthy Recipes, but it may increase its health benefits as well, say researchers, suggesting that a blend of spices may help in lowering inflammation in the body.

For the findings, published in the Journal of Nutrition, the research team used a blend of basil, bay leaf, black pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, ginger, oregano, parsley, red pepper, rosemary, thyme and turmeric.

In a randomised, controlled feeding study, the researchers found that when participants ate a meal high in fat and carbohydrates with six grams of a spice blend added, the participants had lower inflammation markers compared to when they ate a meal with less or no spices. “If spices are palatable to you, they might be a way to make a high-fat or high-carb meal more healthful,” said study researcher Connie Rogers, Associate Professor at Penn State University in the US.

According to the researchers, previous research has linked a variety of different spices, like ginger and turmeric, with anti-inflammatory properties. For the current study, the researchers recruited 12 men between the ages of 40 and 65, with overweight or obesity, and at least one risk factor for cardiovascular disease. In random order, each participant ate three versions of a meal high in saturated fat and carbohydrates on three separate days: one with no spices, one with two grams of the spice blend, and one with six grams of the spice blend. The researchers drew blood samples before and then after each meal hourly for four hours to measure inflammatory markers.

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the research team used a blend of many spices including oregano. Pixabay

“Additionally, we cultured the white blood cells and stimulated them to get the cells to respond to an inflammatory stimulus, similar to what would happen while your body is fighting an infection,” Rogers said. “We think that’s important because it’s representative of what would happen in the body. Cells would encounter a pathogen and produce inflammatory cytokines,” Rogers added.

Also Read: Get Your Sunshine Vitamin With These Dietary Sources

After analysing the data, the findings showed that inflammatory cytokines were reduced following the meal containing six grams of spices compared to the meal containing two grams of spices or no spices.

While the researchers can’t be sure which spice or spices are contributing to the effect, or the precise mechanism in which the effect is created, the results suggest that the spices have anti-inflammatory properties that help offset inflammation caused by the high-carb and high-fat meal. (IANS)