As a vegan, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting all the essential nutrients your body needs, as a plant-based diet can sometimes be lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. That’s where lacto-fermented foods come in.
Here are some specific reasons why vegans should be eating more lacto-fermented foods:
1) They are a great source of vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 is essential for a healthy nervous system and the production of red blood cells. However, it is mostly found in animal products, making it difficult for vegans to get enough of this important vitamin. Lacto-fermented foods, such as tempeh and miso, are high in vitamin B12 and can help vegans meet their daily requirements. For example, a 100g serving of tempeh contains around 0.5-1.0 micrograms of vitamin B12, which is up to 42% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults.
2) They provide beneficial bacteria:
Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our gut and support digestion and overall health. Vegan diets can sometimes lack probiotics, as many fermented foods contain animal products. Lacto-fermented foods, on the other hand, are a plant-based option that can provide vegans with the probiotics they need. For example, a study found that consuming a daily serving of fermented soy milk for 4 weeks led to an increase in beneficial bacteria in the gut.
3) They can help with iron absorption:
Iron is an important nutrient for vegans, as plant-based sources of iron are not as readily absorbed by the body as animal sources. However, the lactic acid produced during the fermentation process can help improve iron absorption. In fact, a study found that eating a meal with fermented vegetables led to a 50-100% increase in iron absorption compared to a meal without fermented vegetables.
4) They can improve digestive health:
Lacto-fermented foods contain probiotics that help support the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut, which can improve overall digestive health. A healthy gut microbiome has been linked to a range of health benefits, including improved immune function and reduced risk of certain diseases.
5) They can enhance flavour and variety in a vegan diet:
Lacto-fermented foods add a unique tangy and savoury flavour to meals, making them a delicious addition to a vegan diet. They also provide a variety of textures, from crunchy pickled vegetables to creamy fermented dips. Adding lacto-fermented foods to your meals can help you explore new flavours and textures and make your vegan meals more interesting and satisfying.