Gut health has been put at the forefront of health concerns thanks to emerging studies showing the importance of cultivating your microbiome. The microbiome is the hub inside your body that contains all the organisms living in your gut. Your microbiome makes up for about eighty percent of your immune system–so it’s really important! One of the best ways to support this microbiome is by eating fermented foods.
You’ve heard really good things about fermented foods, but have you ever wondered what the fermentation process really does?
Essentially, the foods are exposed to bacteria and yeast, and steeped until the carbohydrates and the sugars become bacteria-boosting agents. This undoubtedly results in unique flavours that can require some getting used to. Once you have, the delicious flavour and health benefits are truly rewarding.
To add some good probiotic into your microbiome, try these delicious fermented foods.
You’d have to be Rip Van Winkle to not have heard of kombucha. Seriously, it’s all craze, and for good reasons. Kombucha is essentially fermented sweetened tea. The starter tea is exposed to SCOBY (kombucha bacteria culture) and fermented for about a month, resulting in a mild and pleasant vinegary taste. Kombucha is excellent for boosting your microbiome and is tremendous when it comes to digestive aid. If you’re having a little bowel trouble, grab a bottle of kombucha!
2. Kefir Water
There’s a little debate on whether kefir water is better than kombucha. The truth is, they both offer different benefits. Kefir water likely appear to more people for its delicious flavour slightly resembling coconut water. It is made by adding kefir grain to sugar water, fruit juice, or coconut water, and fermenting it for one to two days. Kefir water contains more bacteria strains than kombucha, which means that you’re adding microbiome diversity. Need a little probiotic boost? Try kefir water.
Wondering what tempeh is? It started off as an accidental creation when the Chinese brought the tofu industry to Indonesia, and somehow flourished in an amazing way. Tempeh is actually healthier than tofu! This is largely due to its fermentation process. It’s essentially whole soybeans that have been cooked and pressed down, giving it a meaty and grainy texture. The fermentation process adds a pleasant tangy flavour. Besides the probiotics, tempeh packs a lot of protein and a long list of minerals.
4. Pickled Foods
Pickling is a surefire way to not let any produce go to waste, and there are a lot of pickling methods out there! But to truly reap the health benefits of pickled foods, make sure that they’re fermented. The naturally occurring microorganisms on the vegetables’ skins forms lactic acid (which gives pickled foods the sour taste). Steep your fresh vegetables in a salt brine inside an airtight container for up to four weeks. Don’t forget to salvage your leftover vegetable parts–they’re not necessarily compost!
Let’s not forget about the most popular type of culture dairy product: yogurt! Whether you’re having regular yogurt, Greek yogurt, full-fat yogurt, or even dairy-free yogurt, you can get a good boost of probiotics! The probiotics found in yogurt help with digestive function, and help produce vitamin B12. It also contains diverse strains of bacteria, which really helps with your microbiome. Whether you’re making a yogurt bowl or yogurt bark, you’ll be happy to know that you’re giving your immune system a good boost.
Probiotics are really important, as they can help protect you from the cold and the flu. And fermented foods are packed with probiotics. Have you tried any fermented foods? Share with us your favourites, so we can add it to the list.