Fermented food and drinks have undergone something of a renaissance in recent years. Coinciding with the broader cultural shift towards wellness and wellbeing, all things fermented have spiked in popularity due to the radical health benefits offered by this ancient approach to health.
Food and Drinks become fermented when left to soak in water or its own juice – a process that prompts the growth of “good” bacteria. This natural bacterium is now understood to play a vital role in the promotion of good health, particularly digestive and “gut” health, which is linked to improved immunity and better mental health.
Add these fermented food and drinks to your diet for a healthy dose of probiotics:
Sauerkraut (which literally means “sour cabbage” in German) was originally invented as a way to preserve cabbage. It’s made by mixing together shredded fresh cabbage and salt, and pressing down on the mixture, which releases water and causes fermentation. This fermented food delivers a healthy dose of probiotics and fibre. You can make your own or buy sauerkraut at the store.
Kefir is usually made by adding live kefir grains to milk (although non-dairy milk or water versions exist) and allowing them to ferment. The result is a tart, fresh, slightly effervescent, thick milk that tastes like a stronger version of natural yoghurt – and can contain up to 10 times the number of bacterial strains.
Kefir is increasingly cited as one of the healthiest drinks for resetting gut health; it’s also a great source of calcium and vitamin K2, which improve bone density.
The fermented Asian dish made with cabbage, radishes and scallions is loaded with gut-friendly bacteria. These healthy-for-you bacteria have been linked with many health benefits, all of which start in the digestive tract.
Researchers from Korea have also found evidence that this spicy, briny dish can help you stay slim.
Water Kefir is a fruit-and-water mix brewed with a probiotic cocktail of bacteria and yeast called water kefir grain (nothing to do with actual grain). It is a nice option for people looking for probiotics who eat vegan or dairy free.
The best part about making water kefir is that within 24 hours you have a fermented low sugar drink that is: dairy-free, organic, contains 30 probiotic strains, concentrated with b12, b6, and b1, full of magnesium, folate, vitamin k, electrolytes, and enzymes.
Yogurt is one of the best sources of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that can improve your health. It is made from milk that has been fermented by friendly bacteria, mainly lactic acid bacteria and bifidobacterial.
Eating yogurt is associated with many health benefits, including improved bone health. It is also beneficial for people with high blood pressure.
Kombucha is probably the hottest fermented drink on the market right now. Kombucha is created when green tea and sugar are fermented using a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The resulting drink is fizzy, very slightly alcoholic (usually under 0.5 per cent) and while some of the sugar remains, most is consumed by the bacteria, which can be visible in the drinks as stringy “bits” – perfectly safe and, indeed, desirable to consume.
Are you ready to see how kombucha can help you feel better naturally? Check out our Kombucha Range to get your own Home Brew Kit and start your journey to a healthier gut, boosted immune system and the best functioning liver and kidneys around!