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Fermented Foods:  Why should we include them as part of our diet?

Studies suggest that some of the many ways these foods support overall health include:

  • improving digestion and cognitive function
  • boosting immunity
  • helping treat irritable bowel disease
  • providing minerals that build bone density
  • helping fight allergies
  • killing harmful yeast and microbes

Tim Spector's book 'The Diet Myth', revealed that much of what we eat is digested by our gut microbes, which in turn produce vitamins and unlock other nutrients for us. As with live yoghurt, the probiotics are the friendly bacteria food contains, whereas prebiotic is the word for substances that feed your gut flora.

What is fermentation? Fermentation is used to promote the growth and life cycle of good bacteria to transform the flavour and shelf life of ingredients. Food fermentation is the conversion of sugars and other carbohydrates into alcohol or preservative organic acids and carbon dioxide.
All vegetables are covered in the good bacteria lactobacillus and when you slice up, grate and squeeze them with salt, they release their juice, which mingles with the salt to create a brine. Once contained within this briny environment, lactobacillus multiplies and begins to break down the ingredients, digesting the natural sugars and transforming them into lactic acid, which creates the tangy flavour and a sour environment that keeps the growth of nasty bacteria at bay. Ofcourse, don't forget that e.g. alcohol, bread, cheese, vinegar, salami start with fermentation although some items are then pasteurised or cooked thus killing the benefical bacteria.good4youferments

Food fermentation serves several main purposes: to enrich the diet through development of a diversity of flavours, aromas and textures in food substrates; to preserve substantial amounts of food through lactic acid, alcohol, acetic acid and alkaline fermentations; to enrich food substrates with protein, essential amino acids and vitamins and to reduce cooking time and the associated use of fuel.

 Have you tried any of these

  1. Sauerkraut: Sauerkraut is good for more than just topping a hot dog. Made from just cabbage and salt, this fermented food delivers a healthy dose of probiotics and fibre. We have Good for You Ferments range in our fridge (see details below)
  2. Kimchi: This spicy Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage and other vegetables is touted as having anticancer properties and other health benefits. We also know the probiotics found in kimchi are good for our gut health. We have Good for You Ferments Welsh Kimchi in our fridge.
  3. Milk/Water Kefir: Kefir is a fermented pro-biotic, enzyme-rich food filled with friendly micro-organisms that help balance your “inner ecosystem”. It is very similar to Kombucha but is made with milk or sugared water rather than tea and is made with live Kefir grains. It is far more nutritious and therapeutic than yogurt and it supplies complete protein, essential minerals, and valuable B vitamins. Kefir is very simple and inexpensive to make at home
    Milk Kefir tastes like drinkable yogurt and is full of calcium and probiotics. Just like yogurt, probiotics in kefir help break down lactose, so it may be easier to digest for people with lactose intolerance. Kefir is delicious in smoothies or by itself.
  4. Kombucha: Kombucha is a tangy, effervescent fermented tea - typically black or green - that is rich in good-for-you yeast and bacteria. The drink is often flavored with herbs or fruit. We have tins from Kombucha Kat and Lo Bros in the shop.
  5. Miso: A fermented paste made from barley, rice or soybeans, miso adds a nice umami flavour to dishes. It is bold, so a little goes a long way (which is good because it is also high in sodium). Miso is typically found in soups, but also makes salad dressings and marinades even more delicious and gut healthy.
  6. Tempeh: Tempeh is made from naturally fermented soybeans. It is similar to tofu in that it is a plant-based protein made from soy, but unlike tofu, tempeh is fermented. It also has a firmer texture and a slightly nuttier flavour profile. It is a good source of probiotics and, because it contains all the essential amino acids, it is a complete source of vegetarian protein.
  7.  Yogurt: Yogurt is made by fermenting milk. Yogurt labeled with the "Live & Active Cultures" seal guarantees 100 million probiotic cultures per gram (about 17 billion cultures in a 6-ounce cup) at manufacturing time. Even yogurts without this seal contain probiotics. The probiotics in yogurt help digest some of the lactose (milk sugar) so if you are lactose intolerant you may be able to enjoy yogurt.
  8. Raw milk Cheese: Raw milk cheeses are made with milk that hasn’t been pasteurized. Goat milk, sheep milk and A2 cows soft cheeses are particularly high in probiotics, including thermophillus, bifidus, bulgaricus and acidophilus.
  9. Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar that is raw and contains “the mother” is fermented and does contain some probiotics. It also contains certain types of acids like acetic acid, which supports the function of probiotics and prebiotics in your gut.
  10. Sourdough/Artisan Bread: Certain traditionally made breads, such as real sourdough bread, are proved (fermented) for a much longer time than the supermarket stuff, but they don’t contain probiotics. This fermentation helps make nutrients found in the grains more available for absorption.

 

Sauerkraut - Good for You Ferments from Swansea
Good for You Ferments produce naturally fermented, unpasteurised sauerkraut in a range of vibrant flavours. All their sauerkraut is hand crafted in small batches to ensure you get a great tasting produce.
Their ethos is "local is best" so when available, they use Welsh grown vegetables. Their farmers are all chemical free and grown using natural systems producing top quality produce.
How to Look After your Sauerkraut: when opening a jar, if you experience a "fizz" don't get in a tizz - the sauerkrauts are alive! Once opened, keep refridgerated. Use a clean utensil to serve and before returning to the fridge, ensure the sauerkraut is pushed under the brine.
It is: Vegan, raw, unpasteurised, live, gluten free, free from artifical preservatives and vinegar free
p.s. they also do a Welsh Kimchi which we find is very popular with our customes