Fermented Foods: Good for Digestion
The holiday season is peppered with delicious albeit heavy, hard to digest dishes but you can alleviate the suffering by eating some powerhouse fermented foods. According to a report by Tufts University, adding fermented foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut aid in digestion and potentially improves health and weight loss. This is because fermented foods have microorganisms that contain compounds such as lactic acid and ‘friendly bacteria” which help break down certain food components, making food more easily digestible and allowing for the absorption of nutrients. The report also notes that to get the most out of fermented foods it’s best to prepare your own, since many store bought pickles, yogurts and salads are loaded with sodium and preservatives.
There are so many ways to incorporate delicious fermented foods into your diet. For Thanksgiving try our autumnal take on the Salvadoran curtido, a punchy slaw of raw butternut squash and cabbage or swirl plain yogurt into chimichurri sauce for a creamy, verdant dip. Get creative and experiment with fermented foods – your stomach will thank you.
Jalapeño Pepper: A Vitamin Packed Capsicum
Here at Healthy Latin Eating we love a kick in our food, especially the vibrant, herbal punch of a fresh chili. Chili peppers are not only a cooking ingredient but have been used as medicine by Native Mexican and South American Indians, noted in a study done by the American Cancer Society. Capsicums or night shades such as jalapeños are said to contain high amounts of vitamin A and C and capacasin which might help fight cancer causing agents such as the carcinogen, “nitrosamine”. The study also suggests that capacasin can also relive skin pain but only in a topical cream format.
Before you start rubbing jalapenos on your tired calves (ouch!) try incorporating them into your daily cooking. Roast a few jalapeños and braise them with pork or pickle sliced jalapeños and use them as a topping for scrambled eggs. A little goes a long way but even a spicy-phobe can get behind these flavorful and healthy peppers.
photo credit: healthstylecenter.com