Why should we all be including fermented foods in our diet?
Fermenting foods and drinks is nothing new (think yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, olives and traditional pickles). Before refrigeration, fermentation was used to preserve foods and drinks to store them without them spoiling. It wasn’t understood that there is also a whole host of health benefits to eating these foods. Scientific research into the gut microbiome (the bacteria that live in our digestive tract) is discovering links to many health problems from obesity, diabetes and mental health disorders. And with these discoveries has come a resurgence of interest in probiotic foods.
It is known that fermented foods contain live bacteria that encourage our own gut bacteria to produce health-boosting compounds.
The live bacteria “pre-digest” the foods making them easier for the body to handle and for the nutrients they contain to be more readily absorbed. Some of these nutrients are believed to play a role in fighting cancer.
On top of all this research is the fact that fermented foods, especially fermented vegetables, are so delicious. The new flavours you will experience by fermenting will blow your mind! We all need to be eating more vegetables and this is another way to get them into your diet. They are conveniently waiting for you to toss into a salad, or pimp up your sandwich!
What I do find really troubling is the evidence that with each generation our gut microbiome is becoming less diverse, our gut bacteria diversity is less than our grandparents, our children’s will be less than ours. Our diets have become too limited, with too much refined carbohydrates and processed foods. With the links to rising obesity and mental health problems we need to fix this. We all need to be eating more varied, vegetable rich diets, and we definitely need to get our children eating more vegetables and fermented foods.
If you want to learn more join Jess (Bread for Life) and I at our first Wild Fermentary Workshop at Foundry Woods on 20th May for a basics introduction where we will be showing you how to make a simple vegetable kraut. We are also running a more advanced workshop with a gut healthy lunch at Oken’s Kitchen on 23rd June. More dates to follow. Please send us a message to book on.