Fermented Foods and Why You Should Eat Them

Recently I attended a talk that was given by a local nutritionist, Daniela Exley of Beets Pulse and Thyme, where she shared some of her extensive knowledge of healthy eating and diet.

One of the things she spoke about was adding fermented foods to our diet.

Ew I hear you say.

Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it!

I’ve always been aware that fermented foods are healthy for you, but until recently I had not researched much into just why they are so good for you. I also did not know how exactly I could incorporate it into my diet, as before this talk the full extent of my discovery of fermented foods had only gone as far as buying (pricey) kombucha from my local health food store. (You can make it at home for super cheap… Recipe coming soon!)

So today I thought I would share some of the things I have learnt about fermented foods, as well as some examples of fermented foods that you can add to your diet very easily. (One of which will cost you less than £1 in a supermarket.)

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First of all, what are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods that have been through a process called lactofermentation. This is when the natural sugar and starch in the food is fed on by the good natural bacteria, and creates a chemical called lactic acid.

Not only does this process preserve the food, but it also creates beneficial enzymes that help make the food you eat it with more digestible. As well as this, the fermentation process also creates b-vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids, and healthy probiotics which are really beneficial for your gut.

In an everyday modern diet, we consume such a tiny amount of probiotics and beneficial enzymes due to the changes in the processes used in making the foods we buy from the supermarket. Everything is much more sterile and therefore the manufacturing processes kill not only the bad bacteria (which is of course a good thing) but also the good bacteria.

Adding fermented foods into your diet can help you get your boost of probiotics and improve the health of your gut. Which can prevent or alleviate many ailments such as a low immune system,  UTIs, IBS, chronic fatigue, kidney stones, acne, even preventing cavities and gum disease!

Sound good?

Here are a list of fermented foods that you can incorporate into your diet:

  • Sauerkraut (Costs me 90p for a large jar from the Polish food section in ASDA).. looks gross.. tastes like a zingy vinegary coleslaw. I use this as a side to most of my dinners.
  • Kombucha (I’m currently brewing my first batch at home, once it’s ready I’ll be sure to share a blog post on how I made it)
  • Kefir (I have not tried this myself, but I know this is a milk based yoghurt type food.)
  • Kimchi (This is very similar to sauerkraut, but has an Asian twist. This often has varied flavours as things like ginger or red pepper flakes may be added.)
  • Live cultured yoghurt. (mix with fruit for a sweet and super healthy treat!)

 

Have you tried any of the above foods? If so, which is your favourite?

If not, which one are you going to give a try?!

Until next time

Emily

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