Fermented foods have been a well-established part of the human diet for thousands of years, without much of an appreciation for, or an understanding of, their underlying microbial functionality, until recently. The use of many organisms derived from these foods, and their applications in probiotics, have further illustrated their impact on gastrointestinal wellbeing and diseases affecting other sites in the body. However, despite the many benefits of fermented foods, their recommended consumption has not been widely translated to global inclusion in food guides. Here, we present the case for such inclusion, and challenge health authorities around the world to consider advocating for the many benefits of these foods.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The expansive use of, and benefits gained from, fermented foods supports their greater inclusion in Food Guides around the world. They have long been a part of the human diet, and with further supplementation of probiotic microbes in some cases, they offer nutritional and health attributes worthy of recommendation of regular consumption. It is hoped that this review contributes to policy changes and increases the inclusion of fermented foods when Food Guides are next revised. This might, for now, exclude fermented fish consumed in parts of Asia. It would be a great detriment to human health if fermented food use were to decline, as has been noted in parts of Africa, through lack of generational transfer of knowledge, poor availability and affordability of probiotics, and introduction of food and drink products high in certain sugars.