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The Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods contain beneficial probiotics, digestive enzymes and health boosting nutrients. But what is a fermented food, and how can you incorporate these probiotic powerhouses into your diet? Fermentation is an ancient and natural way of preserving foods, without any use of preservatives or chemicals. They are so easy to make yourself at home, and many can now be bought at various health food shops. Its important if you're buying fermented foods to check the label however, as some shop bought fermented foods contain added nasties such as refined sugar. Bacteria in our gut (potentially enhanced by bacteria in foods, as well as probiotic supplements) can have a far-reaching and profound impact on our health. Fermented foods promote a healthy balance of bacteria and digestive enzymes in the gut which in turn, help you absorb more of the nutrients in the foods you eat. They are also budget friendly and allow you to store foods for longer periods of time without losing vital nutrients as you would with traditional canning. Here are a few of our favourite fermented foods that you can try at home to aid your digestive health: 1. Miso Jeff Cox, author of The Essential book of Fermentation states that miso is 'full of essential minerals, like potassium, and consists of millions of microorganisms giving us strength and stamina'. Our favourite brand of miso is Clearspring's Hatcho Miso, not only is it an incredible source of protein and tends to have a lesser salt content than some other types of miso (brown rice/barley miso). It is great as a salad dressing – or use it like a stock to cook your rice. Really urge you to get into Miso as is so so delicious and can transform a dish. Try our Sweetcorn & Broad Bean Fritters recipe in our first cookbook - it is served with one of my all time favourite dressings made with Sweet Miso. 2. Coconut yoghurt Sheep, goat or coconut yoghurt is a delicious, cows dairy-free way to incorporate plenty of enzymes and probiotics into your diet, we especially love COYO. Its so yummy and goes so well on top of loads of our breakfast recipes. We especially like to use coconut yoghurt with our alkalising Juicy Grilled Grapefruit recipe. Also great as an afternoon snack on its own, add it to smoothies, or serve it with fresh fruit as a healthy alkalising dessert. 3. Sauerkraut  Made of fermented cabbage, sauerkraut has a powerful impact on brain health, including depression and anxiety. If you can though, make it yourself as unlike non-refrigerated, store-bought varieties, homemade sauerkraut has no chemical preservatives or added sugar. But sauerkraut is not the only vegetable that you can ferment. Pick your favourites and ferment them in a jar all together!     So thats a few you can incorporate into your diet that not only have fantastic health benefits but also taste great! Check out our article from our article from HH Hero Laura Bond on The Top 5 Foods To Help You Nourish & Slim - in which you will find that Sauerkraut makes a reappearance.

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