TOP 10 FERMENTED FOODS
Traditionally made from white cabbage, but it can also be made with red cabbage. Sauerkraut is rich in dietary fibre, B vitamins, Vitamin K & Vitamin C
It is an ideal source of trace minerals which are important for blood clotting & healthy bones. It is extremely cheap & easy to make. Simply add a spoonful of sauerkraut to your salads or soups 3-4 times per week for optimum health benefits.
Kimchi is a Korean delicacy that dates back to the 7th century. It is a spicier version of sauerkraut. It is typically made with Chinese leaves, garlic, ginger & chillies. These add potent anti-inflammatory properties as well as antioxidants to the probiotic benefits. It can be added to stir-fries & ramen bowls for a strong flavour boost.
A fermented tea drink, made from tea & sugar using a colony of yeast and bacteria known as a Scoby. It sounds terrible but tastes delicious!
It can be flavoured with different fruits & spices to create a mildly fizzy, gut loving, highly beneficial, delicious drink!
Simply replace your usual afternoon tea/coffee with a glass of kombucha!
Milk kefir can be described as a more tart tasting, drinkable, natural yoghurt. It contains many beneficial probiotics and is high in Vitamin B12, calcium & magnesium. It is ideal to add to smoothies for that easy probiotic boost.
Water kefir is just as beneficial & is ideal for vegans. It is made from different grains & can be flavoured in a similar way to Kombucha for a delicious health promoting drink.
Yoghurt is one of the most popular fermented products available. Ensure you choose organic, natural & probiotic rich yoghurt for maximum health benefits.
Making your own yoghurt is not only cheaper & more sustainable, but the quantity of beneficial bacteria strains contained in your homemade yoghurt is far greater, in comparison to the shop bought variety. This is due to the length of fermentation time given – the longer the fermentation (16hours+) the higher the quantity of beneficial strains. Most commercially produced yoghurt is only fermented for a few hours max. reducing the number of bacteria strains.
Vegans, can also enjoy coconut yoghurt using organic coconut milk fermented with probiotic powder. You can also add seasonal fruits & spices to your homemade yoghurt for added flavour.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is a well researched digestive support. ACV which contains the mother (the culture) contains acetic acid which supports the function of probiotics & prebiotics in your gut. It is ideal as a blood sugar balancer & as a digestive aid.
Start with a teaspoon mixed with warm water before meals. it can help with digestion as it contains important digestive enzymes. Taken before bed, it can positively affect fasting blood sugars on waking - supporting diabetics in their blood sugar management. You can also add it to salad dressings or add a teaspoon to homemade soup before eating.
7. Sourdough Bread
The long fermentation process involved with making sourdough bread, helps to make nutrients found in the grains, more available for absorption and reduces the antinutrient content that may make digestion difficult.
Those with a gluten sensitivity, who might usually experience bloating & indigestion when eating regular bread, have no digestive symptoms when eating real sourdough bread.
Quality long ferment Sourdough bread is hard to find - Learn how to make sourdough bread yourself on my course
Miso is a fermented soy bean paste made from brown rice or barley using a type of fungus called Koji. It is traditionally used in Asian recipes – mainly as a base for soup (miso soup).
You can buy it in health food shops or make it yourself (it takes at least 12 months to mature in a crock pot) I also use it in salad dressings to add a probiotic boost along with apple cider vinegar.
Tempeh is made from the whole fermented soybean, to create a very dense, cake like product that contains more probiotic & health benefits than its more well-known sister Tofu. It is more textured, chewier & also much higher in protein.
Tofu is also made from fermented soybean but is more sponge like & grainy in comparison to Tempeh. It can easily absorb flavours & is therefore very versatile in recipes. It is a great source of protein important for the growth & repair of tissues. It also contains phyto-oestrogen compounds - important for hormone balancing (particularly in menopause)
Always choose non-GMO sourced soya. The negative effects reported in the press, come from the highly processed soy protein isolate.
THE BENEFITS OF FERMENTED FOODS
Some of the Important Benefits of Fermented Foods:
(too many to list them all!)
- Fermented foods enhance the nutrient content of your food, making it more bio-available & digestible.
- Fermented Foods reduce sugar & carbohydrate cravings!
- Fermented Foods help to regulate hunger hormones which in turn controls your weight.
- Fermented Foods increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut some of which convert to hormones. One of these hormones is Serotonin (the happy hormone) which controls your mood.
- A healthy gut full of beneficial bacteria contributes to & supports your mental health & cognitive function – think improved memory & concentration!
- Fermented foods reduce systemic wide inflammation in the body – the root cause of most chronic disease i.e. arthritis & cardiovascular disease as well as inflammatory lifestyle factors i.e. poor diet, excess caffeine & sugar, medications etc..
- Fermented Foods increase your antibodies which protect you against invading pathogens naturally improving your immunity – particularly beneficial for endurance athletes, children & the elderly..
Important to remember:
- Incorporate fermented foods slowly into your diet. You don’t want to overwhelm your gut! Little & often, for a sustained period is the way forward.
- Set yourself a 90-day goal & keep a journal throughout. Write down any symptoms you may experience & how you are feeling. Then look back & track your journey & discover what works for you.
- A great & tasty way to sustainably support your health for the long term – without the hefty price tag of high-quality supplements.
- The key to success is daily consumption of different types of fermented foods -all containing different probiotic strains.
- It is the diversity of strains that provides the greatest health benefits, and home-made fermented foods is the easiest way to achieve this diversity.
Learn how to make your own range of fermented foods get all the details of my Fermentation workshops here