So you may have read or heard some talk lately about fermented foods and how great they are for you (If you have no idea what we are talking about DON’T WORRY… that’s what we’re here for). It’s also possible that you are wondering what the deal is with that off-smelling drink called Kombucha that everyone keeps telling you to try. Well that drink is…you guessed it – fermented!
So what are fermented foods and why should I bother with them?
These foods have been through lacto fermentation, a process whereby natural bacteria feed on sugar and starch in the food, producing lactic acid. Not only does this preserve the food, but it also creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins and probiotics! This process has also been shown to improve overall digestion.
The benefits gained by incorporating fermented foods into your diet are fantastic and they include:
- Provide beneficial bacteria to your digestive system (cheaper than a probiotic!) and balance your micro flora
- Help with improving bowel health
- Aid in digestion
- Improve your immune system
- Allow absorption of more nutrients from food
- Help us maintain a healthy weight
- Supports mood and brain function
Here are some great fermented foods you can try introducing to your diet today!
- Kefir (fermented yogurt) – We like plain Saugeen Country kefir – try adding real berries, cinnamon or a small amount of raw unpasteurized honey for sweetness if desired.
- Raw unpasteurized sauerkraut – this will likely be in the refrigerator aisle of your grocery store (the ones non-refrigerated with vinegar will not have the same beneficial bacteria) – Have a spoonful before a meal or with a meal to aid with digestion. Check out www.rootednutrition.ca at the farmers market for some amazing sauerkraut!
- Kombucha – At most grocery stores like Whole Foods, Choices, IGA etc. Or dare to make your own! Click here for more information.
- Kimchi – Korean dish of fermented cabbage - again in the refrigerator section
- Sourdough bread – only if made from a sourdough culture, Terra Breads makes all of their bread from a culture (or just ask your local baker how it’s made). This can be wonderful for those who have a hard time digesting bread.
We try to incorporate some form of fermented food in to our diet every day and we have really noticed the benefits!