Whatever diet you follow, whether it be vegetarian, organic or gluten free, you can enjoy the health benefits of fermented foods because the wonders of fermented food are limitless.
There are a huge selection of fermented foods that can be taken from different cuisines and cultures around the world.
Some fermented foods have been created as side dishes, some as condiments, or some as beverages.
Fermentation is naturally occurring in nature, even the cells in our bodies are capable of fermentation, it is a natural phenomenon happening before human culinary practice ever discovered it.
Aside from the fact that fermented foods contain probiotics that support the microbial balance in the gut, fermented foods are good digestive aids for they contain enzymes which promote effective nutrient absorption.
That is why you can often see pickled vegetables served together with greasy dishes that are sometimes difficult to digest.
Fermented foods are also predigested to a degree as they have already converted natural sugars and proteins, making them easily digested, thus you don’t have to use your own digestive enzymes.
Wine and cheeses are among some of the more mainstream fermented foods and drinks. But there are tons of options to choose from suiting everyone’s taste and dietary needs. Here are a few:
Made from fermented mashed cooked beans with salt and koji, this is a popular condiment and flavouring for broth dishes in Japan, Korea and China, it is also popular in South East Asian countries such as Thailand, The Philippines, and Vietnam.
Miso is known to be helpful in preventing certain cancers including breast and prostate cancer.
A popular beverage throughout the Caucus region, Turkey, and Iran. This refreshing tart-yoghurt like drink is made from dairy milk, but there are also vegan options which can be made by using coconut and nut milks.
Kefir contains microorganisms that are good for the gastrointestinal tract and is also helpful in establishing a healthy gut.
Drinking this in the morning with an empty stomach is recommended for people who have been using medications, such as antibiotics, as this can help eradicate unwanted excess bacteria and microscopic algae and fungi in the gut.
A great alternative to soda and sugary juices, kombucha is tangy and a bit bubbly and is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a kombucha SCOBY.
Komucha is a rich source of amino acids, vitamin C and B, and polyphenols, it is also an effective detoxification aid.
You can pair Kombucha with your favourite meal or desserts and Kombucha remains one of our favourite Fermented substances.
This cake-like delicacy originated from the island of Java, Indonesia. This is traditionally made from soybeans but can be made with other bean varieties or combinations of beans and grains.
Tempeh is fermented with white mycelium spore and can be a great substitute to meat.
A slightly tart and fizzy beverage, this is made from sprouted grains and pure water, gluten free grains such as quinoa and millet can also be used in making this.
Rejuvelac is best consumed in small amounts during the mornings and has been known to have natural laxative properties.
Have you tried any of these fermented foods? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.