The process of Fermentation has been around for over 10,000 years, but like all good things, it's making a comeback.
Fermentation works by using bacteria and yeast to break down sugars in a variety of foods and drinks. Including fermented foods and drinks in your diet can greatly improve your health and well-being by increasing the number and variety of good bacteria in your gut.
Today, we discover the top 10 fermented foods and how you can easily make them at home to save money on your grocery shopping.
1. Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotic yogurt is a rich source of live bacteria that can be beneficial for your gut health. It is made by fermenting milk with specific strains of bacteria, mainly Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria. Regular consumption of probiotic yogurt can aid in the maintenance of a balanced gut microbiota, which is crucial for digestion and overall health. Moreover, it can help alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and lactose intolerance. The calcium and protein content in yogurt also contribute to stronger bones and muscles.
If you want to save money and make your own probiotic yogurt, see our simple guide on How to Make Probiotic Yogurt at Home.
Kefir is a fermented milk drink known for its potent probiotic content and creamy texture. It is created by adding kefir grains, a type of yeast/bacterial fermentation starter, to milk. Kefir promotes a healthy gut flora which, in turn, supports digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Furthermore, it's a rich source of calcium, protein, and B vitamins which are essential for overall health. Its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a beneficial addition to your diet.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage that is popular in many parts of Europe. It's a nutritional powerhouse, providing ample amounts of dietary fibre, vitamins C and K, and probiotics that can enhance gut health. Regular consumption of sauerkraut can aid digestion, boost the immune system, and even help in reducing inflammation in the body. Its low calorie and high fibre content also make it a great choice for weight management.
Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, mainly cabbage and Korean radishes, along with a mixture of spices. Rich in probiotics, vitamins, and minerals, kimchi is known for promoting gut health by supporting a healthy microbiome. It also contains antioxidants that help in combating oxidative stress, and its spicy nature can boost metabolism. Moreover, its potential anti-inflammatory properties are a boon for overall wellness.
Tempeh is a fermented soy product originating from Indonesia. It is a fantastic source of protein, making it a popular choice among vegetarians and vegans. The fermentation process reduces the phytic acid in soy, which in turn enhances nutrient absorption. Tempeh also contains prebiotics, which provide nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria, thereby supporting digestive health. Its probiotic content further assists in maintaining a balanced gut flora.
Miso is a traditional Japanese paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji (a type of fungus). It is a staple in Japanese cuisine and is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial for gut health. Miso also contains essential nutrients like vitamins B and E, and folic acid. The isoflavones in miso have been linked to a reduced risk of breast cancer, while its saponins can support a healthy cholesterol level.
Kombucha is a type of fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years. It is known for its probiotic content, which can help balance the gut microbiome and improve digestion. Additionally, kombucha contains bioactive compounds like polyphenols that act as antioxidants, protecting cells from damage. Its acetic acid content can have antimicrobial properties, further enhancing its health benefits.
8. Pickled Vegetables
Pickled vegetables are made by immersing fresh vegetables in an acidic solution or brine, which facilitates the growth of beneficial bacteria. They are a good source of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming pickled vegetables can promote digestive health by supporting a balanced gut microbiome. Moreover, the vinegar used in pickling can help control blood sugar levels, making pickled vegetables a healthy choice.
Natto is a traditional Japanese food made by fermenting soybeans with Bacillus subtilis. It's a potent source of protein and vitamin K2, which is essential for bone and heart health. The fermentation process generates a unique probiotic strain that can support gut health, improve digestion, and boost the immune system. Additionally, natto is rich in a fibrinolytic enzyme called nattokinase, which may help in preventing blood clots.
10. Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is made by fermenting dough using naturally occurring lactobacilli and yeast. The fermentation process not only imparts a unique tangy flavour but also breaks down phytic acid, making nutrients more bioavailable. Sourdough bread is easier to digest compared to regular bread, and its prebiotic content can nourish the gut microbiota. Furthermore, it has a lower glycemic index, which can be beneficial for blood sugar control.
Support Your Diet with Supplements
Supporting your fermented foods diet with supplements can be a wise choice, especially if you are aiming to meet specific health goals or address certain health concerns. While fermented foods are a natural source of probiotic bacteria, gut health supplements can provide a more concentrated and diverse range of these beneficial microbes. This ensures that your body receives a variety of strains that may not be present in the fermented foods you consume.
Moreover, supplements can fill in any nutritional gaps and work synergistically with the probiotic bacteria from fermented foods to amplify the health benefits, such as enhanced digestion, boosted immunity, and improved nutrient absorption. By combining the natural goodness of fermented foods with the targeted support of supplements, you can create a robust foundation for optimal gut health and overall well-being.
Shop Fermentation Kits & Supplements
At Nourishme Organics, we supply everything you need to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy gut. You can find fermentation kits and fermentation books to make your own fermented foods at home, but also probiotic supplements to support your diet.
Here are some of our most popular fermentation kits:
- Probiotic Yogurt Making Kit
- Kefir Making Kit
- All Vegetables/Sauerkraut Fermentation Kit
- Kombucha Brewing Kit
- Sourdough Making Kit
For more information regarding our products or for professional help choosing the best one for you, get in touch today. One of our friendly team members will be happy to assist you!