The benefits of fermented foods and their role in a healthy diet

June 18, 2024
Die Vorteile von fermentierten Lebensmitteln und ihre Rolle in einer gesunden Ernährung
Published on  Updated on  

For centuries, all different cultures have used methods to preserve food, for example by pickling it in salt or fermenting it.  

In Asia, well-known examples are foods such as kimchi, natto and kombucha. In our country, well-known fermented foods include sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt. And they have all been considered healthy for the stomach and body. And this belief is true.  

There is a whole science behind it, which has become increasingly relevant in research in recent years. With more knowledge about nutrition with fermented foods, you can do something good for your body in a natural way, all from the comfort of your own home.  

But what exactly is fermentation? It is one of the oldest methods that we as humans have discovered for processing food. Around 14,000 years old!  

In this process, bacteria convert food into other substances, usually without oxygen, which is known as fermentation. These bacteria are often already contained in the food. In the dairy industry, targeted bacterial starter cultures are added. The bacteria most commonly involved in fermentation are lactic acid bacteria. These include Lactobacillus and Lactococcus bacteria , which you sometimes hear about or read about on fermented products. The name of these bacteria suggests that they are mainly found in fermented milk products, but they are also present in fermented vegetables. These bacteria are classified as harmless to us. And even if the word bacteria causes concern for many people, you can rest assured here. Because the bacteria in fermentation produce numerous substances when converting food that are good for our intestines and our body. Among other things, these substances have the advantage that they have been proven to lower blood pressure and blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and are anti-oxidant and antimicrobial. They also improve the availability of vitamins and minerals. In addition, some also have a positive influence on mental health by improving mood and having an anti-depressant effect.  

The bacteria themselves are also beneficial for our bodies in the fermented products. Products that contain these "good" bacteria are called probiotics. In recent years, a lot of research has been done on them, as studies have shown that taking them leads to improvements in many diseases such as obesity, diabetes and chronic inflammatory bowel disease.  

Prebiotics, on the other hand, are fiber, food components that we cannot digest ourselves. But our good gut bacteria love them! This also makes them grow better, which means that "bad", disease-promoting bacteria have a harder time growing and spreading. In the intestine, the prebiotics are converted into short-chain fatty acids. The short-chain fatty acids are substances that, among other things, reduce hunger, fat storage and weight. They also play a role in controlling blood sugar. Prebiotics therefore ensure that the beneficial bacteria in our intestines have enough food to produce these healthy substances.  

Our microbiome is the interaction of all the bacteria in our intestines, which have a strong influence on our health - the more diverse, the better. However, due to the unhealthier diet and more frequent use of antibiotics in modern times, we are losing this diversity. Since the microbiome can change metabolic processes, there is a direct connection between our microbiome and obesity. If we lack diverse bacteria, it can cause obesity. An unhealthy diet can also have other consequences.  

In order to protect our body from the microbiome, we have a protective mucus layer in the intestines. A high-fat diet and few prebiotics/fiber can cause this to become thinner and damaged. Since bad bacteria can multiply much more easily with such a diet, an infection can occur and this can result in dangerous intestinal inflammation. Because direct communication between our intestines and our brain and nervous system has also been proven, the disadvantages are not limited to inflammation. Emotions are influenced, which can contribute to depression, with an unhealthy microbiome, and stress reactions in the body are also increased. In some neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, a connection to an altered microbiome has also been found. A healthy microbiome is therefore also suspected to prevent diseases such as Parkinson's.  

The whole area of ​​healthy intestinal flora is very diverse, but what is certain is that you can also shape your microbiome healthily at home, through a healthy diet and, above all, by consuming fermented foods more frequently. There are plenty of ideas for possible fermented foods that you can make yourself: sauerkraut, beetroot, pickled cucumbers and tomatoes, carrots and cabbage, water kefir - there is something for everyone.  


One of our products, ProtectAgil (link here?), also contains a good bacterium as a probiotic, Bacillus coagulans , as well as numerous healthy fiber from acacia fiber and vitamins to protect your microbiome against such vulnerabilities and promote intestinal health. The bacterium we use has an antimicrobial effect and has been shown in studies to lower cholesterol and relieve abdominal pain and bloating in patients with chronic intestinal diseases. Bacillus coagulans also promotes digestion in healthy people and also stimulates the immune system. In contrast to other probiotics such as Lactobacillus , the Bacillus coagulans we use is more stable and shows its health-promoting properties much sooner due to its higher chance of survival.  



  1. Gänzle M. The periodic table of fermented foods: limitations and opportunities. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2022 Apr;106(8):2815-2826
  2. Schroeder BO, Birchenough GMB, Ståhlman M, Arike L, Johansson MEV, Hansson GC and Bäckhed F. Bifidobacteria or fiber protect against diet-induced microbiota-mediated colonic mucus deterioration. Cell Host & Microbe 23, 1-14. (2018)
  3. Şanlier N, Gökcen BB, Sezgin AC. Health benefits of fermented foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2019;59(3):506-527. 2017. Epub 2017 Oct 20.
  4. Merchak A, Gaultier A (December 2020). "Microbial metabolites and immune regulation: New targets for major depressive disorder". Brain, Behavior, & Immunity - Health. 9: 100169.
  5. Douwe F. de Wit et al., Evidence for the contribution of the gut microbiome to obesity and its reversal.Sci. Transl. Med.15, eadg2773(2023).
  6. DGN One. (12.12.2023).
  7. Kim SK, Guevarra RB, Kim YT, Kwon J, Kim H, Cho JH, Kim HB, Lee JH. Role of probiotics in human gut microbiome-associated diseases. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2019 Sep 28;29(9):1335-1340.
  8. Hun, L. (2009). "Bacillus coagulans significantly improved abdominal pain and bloating in patients with IBS". Postgraduate Medicine. 121 (2): 119–124.
  9. Lee NK, Kim WS, Paik HD. Bacillus strains as human probiotics: characterization, safety, microbiome, and probiotic carrier. Food Sci Biotechnol. 2019 Oct 8;28(5):1297-1305.
  10. Mathur, H., Beresford, T. P., & Cotter, P. D. (2020). Health Benefits of Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) Fermentates. Nutrients, 12(6), 1679.
  11. Jiang Cao, Zhiming Yu, Wenyin Liu, Jianxin Zhao, Hao Zhang, Qixiao Zhai, Wei Chen, Probiotic characteristics of Bacillus coagulans and associated implications for human health and diseases, Journal of Functional Foods, Volume 64, 2020, 103643, ISSN 1756-4646.


Published on  Updated on  

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.