Hopefully I’ll see you at one of my fermenting classes very soon?
Every food expert on the planet will tell you that the healthiest foods are usually the freshest. But the latest beneficial food group isn’t a bit farm to table—it’s fermented—meaning ingredients like cabbage and cucumbers have been left to sit and steep until their sugars and carbs become bacteria-boosting agents.Wellness experts are currently enthralled by how these pungent, probiotic powerhouses
, which boost the good bacteria in your digestive tract, can help heal a multitude of health issues, like leaky gut
and IBS, and can even lead to weight loss, better skin, and boosted immunity.One of the reasons? “The gut is the largest part of our immune system
,” explains Drew Ramsey, M.D., author of The Happiness Diet
and 50 Shades of Kale.
So it matters what you put in it. “Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause damage, while fermented foods heal.”
A fizzy, fermented black tea that’s called kombucha gives you a bang for your bacterial buck because of the variety of microorganisms it contains. “When you drink a bottle of kombucha, you’re drinking four to seven microorganisms all at once, building a really strong gut,” explains Michael Schwartz, the fermented-foodie founder of BAO Food And Drink
. Just watch the sugar.
Turns out Sauerkraut, AKA fermented cabbage has a powerful impact on brain health, including depression and anxiety. “There’s a tremendous connection between gut and brain health,” explains Dr. Ramsey. If you’re the DIY type, try making your own. Unlike non-refrigerated, store-bought varieties, homemade ‘kraut has no chemical preservatives or added sugar.
Pickles are the gateway ferment. Not only do they provide a healthy dose of probiotics, they’re a familiar food item and have a taste that many people already love—including those who may hold their nose at the idea of eating fermented foods.
4. Coconut Yogurt
Kimberley Snyder, celebrity nutritionist, loves coconut yogurt, because it’s a delicious, dairy-free way to work plenty of enzymes and probiotics into your diet. Though Greek and regular yogurt are also fermented foods, Snyder is less enthusiastic about them. “Dairy is extremely acid-forming in the body and difficult to digest,” she explains.
Jeff Cox, author of The Essential Book of Fermentation,
loves miso for its nutritional profile. The paste made from fermented soybeans and grains is “full of essential minerals, like potassium, and consists of millions of microorganisms giving us strength and stamina,” he says. To make miso soup, just add a dollop to boiling water, along with some favourite vegetables, like onions, bok choy, or mushrooms.
Tempeh (fermented soybeans) is a complete protein with all of the amino acids, says Cox. He suggests using it as a yummy substitute for bacon in BLTs. Try flavouring organic tempeh with some tamari
(also fermented), then add it to a sandwich with tomato, lettuce, and toast. Or eat it tossed in a bowl of steamed veggies.
Think of this spicy Korean dish—typically made from fermented cabbage—as a beauty food, as well as an energy-booster, says Snyder. It can help “enhance digestion and nutrient assimilation,” she explains. “You may also notice, with improved digestion, an improvement in the look of your skin.” I just love the stuff!!
Well there it is your gateway to health and longevity!!