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The benefits and risk of fermented foods

Posted at 7:35 AM, Jan 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-28 08:35:40-05

The next time you head to the grocery store, take a closer look at what you're buying.

Officials say fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi, and raw cheese are flooding the shelves.

Fermentation is when yeast and bacteria change carbs into alcohol or acids.

Fermented foods include pickles, aged cheese, sauerkraut, yogurt, and kombucha.

They contain good bugs or micro-organisms that aid in health and digestion.

They may be able to help diarrhea, urinary tract infections, irritable bowel syndrome, yeast infections, and shorten the severity of a cold or the flu, officials say.

Foods like kefir, a thick, acidic fermented milk, can also boost the immune system.

The drink is being examined as a possible treatment for tuberculosis and cancer.

Officials say in a small study, people with diabetes consumed the popular fermented beverage kombucha for three months had their blood sugar levels stabilize.

But there may also be downsides, officials say.

A study published in "Cancer Science" found that eating a high amount of fermented soy foods was associated with a significantly increased risk of gastric cancer.

Officials say despite being marketed as non-alcoholic, it contains some ethanol.

The fermentation process allows for the alcohol content to increase after the product hits the shelves.

Officials say a little fermentation is probably fine, but don't overdo it.

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