Every year, the health food powers that be put out a list of the top health food trends for the year. Last year was the “Year of the Pulse”. This year, fermented foods are topping all the lists.
What are fermented foods?
Fermentation occurs when a yeast or bacteria converts sugar into acid, gas, or alcohol. You probably know it best as the process that turns grapes into wine, and gross-tasting grain-water into beer. I mean, you MAY know it best. I wouldn’t presume to know anything about your after work drinking habits . . .
Fermented foods include dairy products like yogurt, kefir, and cheese, vegetables like sauerkraut, kimchi, and some pickles, condiments like soy sauce and vinegar, beverages like kombucha, cider, and a plethora of alcoholic beverages.
Why should I be eating fermented foods?
Okay, so apart from the buzz that fermentation can create, why else should you be eating fermented foods?
- They are FULL of probiotics!
- They can improve digestive health
- Fermentation increases bioavailability of nutrients. This means you get more bang for your buck when you choose these foods over their unfermented counterparts
- Studies show they may reduce symptoms of lactose intolerance
- Consuming fermented foods may reduce the risk of certain cancers
- They may help improve mental health
Plus, fermentation preserves foods, meaning that your sauerkraut will last far longer than the cabbage used to make it would have.
Now, not all types of sauerkraut and pickles are fermented. Look for the ones that are made in brine (salt water) over vinegar, and make sure they’re refrigerated. Most probiotics can’t survive out of the fridge, so if you’re buying the vinegary sauerkraut you find on the shelf of your local grocery store, you’re not getting the good stuff. Our Bubbies Sauerkraut and Kosher Dills are FULL of probiotics, and mighty tasty, too.
If you have some yogurt with breakfast, a pickle or two with your sandwich for lunch, a bottle of kombucha in the afternoon, and some sauerkraut with dinner, you’ll be making the most of your digestive health in no time!
What’s your favourite way to get fermented?
About The Author:
Kelly Boaz, CNP
Kelly is a holistic nutritionist, specializing in eating disorder recovery and food freedom. She is also a public speaker (TEDx King St. West, TDSB) and a writer. Learn more about Kelly, and about booking private consultations at kellyboaz.com Twitter: @kelly_boaz Facebook: /KellyBoazDotCom