Fermented foods are those that undergo fermentation, a food preservation process whereby microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, convert the sugar and starches in foods into alcohol or acids. It’s much more common than you might think, as food and drinks such as wine, cider, cultured milk, and yogurts have all undergone a certain degree of fermentation.
Incorporating fermented foods into the diet is a great way to improve digestive health, immunity, and your overall well-being, as they are rich sources of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. Read on to discover more types of fermented foods and their benefits in Fermented Foods: 5 Healthy Types That’ll Do You Good!
Kefir is a fermented milk drink which is made through the addition of a kefir culture (a grain) to milk and leaving it to ferment for 24 hours. The final product has a slight tang to it and is rich in probiotics and protein.
You can buy it ready made in shops, or even make it yourself. Just buy some kefir grains (Amazon sell them), add it to some milk, and once the milk has fermented you can reuse the grains!
Sauerkraut originated from Germany but has since become increasingly popular in the UK. It is a fermented food made from cabbage, which is rich in vitamins A, B, C and K.
Like most fermented foods, it has a tangy flavour that works well in salads and with eggs or potatoes. You can buy jars of sauerkraut in most food stores, or you can make it yourself by combining cabbage, salt, carrot, ginger, garlic, and turmeric.
Similar to sauerkraut, kimchi is another form of fermented cabbage. This version, however, is much spicier and originates from Korea. Again, you can also make this yourself or you can buy it in stores.
However, if you’re going to buy it ready-made, be sure to buy it from the refrigerated section, as this means that it is more likely to be ‘alive’ (and therefore rich in probiotics)!
This slightly fizzy, sour drink is a healthier alternative for anyone who wants to decrease their consumption of sugar-sweetened fizzy beverages.
It is made through combining tea bags, sugar and a ‘symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts’ (also known as a scoby). Kombucha, as well as being a great source of probiotics, is high in antioxidants and rich in several vitamins and minerals.
Not only is tempeh a fermented food product – it is also an excellent source of protein with a meaty, firm texture and a pleasant, nutty taste.
Originating from Indonesia, this soy-based product is great for mixing into savoury dishes like stir fries, curries, or using in sandwiches. You’ll find it in the chilled, meat-free aisle of supermarkets.
With plenty of options available now, it’s a great idea to experiment with recipes and incorporate fermented foods into your diet for 2-4 months to see how it can boost your overall health. What’s your favourite fermented food that you find benefits your health and well-being the most? Tell us in the comments below, or on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!