Fermented foods are also referred to as products containing probiotics, according to the University of Michigan Health System. Foods with probiotics are a source of live organisms that can offer many health benefits to your body. These benefits include supporting your immune system, fighting the growth of toxic intestinal bacteria, decreasing discomfort from lactose intolerance, treating diarrhea and normalizing carcinogens in your food. Many dairy products are sources of fermented foods that can help produce a healthy bacteria balance in your digestive system.
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According to the University of Michigan Health System, yogurt is a fermented product that can help promote a healthy digestive system. A daily and long-term intake of yogurt can increase your HDL cholesterol, or good cholesterol, while decreasing your LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol. This particular benefit may be more associated with the fatty acid content, however, than with fermentation. Yogurt is also a healthy addition to your diet. According to the University of Michigan Health System, 1 cup of low-fat or non-fat yogurt contains less than 3 grams of fat.
Kefir and Fermented Milk
Kefir is a fermented dairy product that contains live cultures characteristic of fermentation. According to the University of Michigan Health System, research has shown some of its benefits include a method of treating diarrhea in children, protection against tumor growth in the colon and preventing allergic reactions in some people. You can find kefir in many grocery stores, and it can be used alone, or added to cereals and smoothies. Fermented milk is also a source of probiotics. The Choose skim, 1 percent and 2 percent milk to lower your intake of saturated fat.
Fermented Cheese and Other Products
Other dairy products that may be fermented include cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, ricotta cheese and frozen yogurt. Look for live active cultures on the label of these foods to determine whether they are fermented. Full-fat cheese is higher in saturated fat, but consuming small amounts of minimally processed cheese can be part of a healthy diet. The University of Michigan Health System recommends that you consume full-fat cheese in moderation. You can also purchase low-fat or non-fat fermented cheeses while still benefiting from probiotics.