It’s been hot lately and many people are feeling frazzled and noticing sore throats and cold advancing.
It is timely to remember that our microbiome (our body’s own bacterial balance) is thought to steer 70 per cent of our immune system
Fermented foods help balance our microbiome. That is, the all-important balance of beneficial versus pathogenic bacteria in our gut (and mouth, nose, throat, lungs…).
Here are our top choices for fermented foods:
1. Sauerkraut and Fermented Veggies
Fermented vegetables taste great and can easily be made at home if you have a little time or otherwise bought in-store. We’re fortunate to have a few great brands to choose from now as just a few years back there were no quality store bought options.
A teaspoon or two of fermented veggies with meals is a great start and can be increased from there. Most people find them the most delicious of health supplements!
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage of Russian origin, typically containing 10 to 20 different strains of beneficial bacteria. As well as benefits for digestive health, the fermentation process consumes excess sugar allowing it to be better for people who are diabetic or lactose-intolerant as compared to regular milk. The lactic acid produced by kefir is antimicrobial and studies have found it can help reduce a range of bad bacteria from Candida albicans to Salmonella. It can be used in all kinds of recipes, from smoothies to salad dressings.
Kombucha is a sweetened tea that is fermented with a SCOBY (a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) to become a nutrient-rich Beveridge. The fermentation process takes 7-12 days and the SCOBY consumes 90% of the sugar during the fermentation, resulting in a slightly sweet, tangy probiotic-rich drink. As well as a range of good bacteria, it also contains lactic acid and B vitamins.
If you’ve never had fermented food before, pick one which one appeals to you and start with small amounts daily and build up. Enjoy!