7 recipes for great gut health
From kombucha to kimchi, sauerkraut to sourdough, kefir to kashk, the fermentation bug is catching because it’s tasty, easy and good for you.
If you want to catch the fermentation bug, start in your garden, then get a little salty.
There is no doubt that fermented food is good for you. The good bacteria that live in your gut and show up in fermented foods improve digestion, boost immunity and – according to some preliminary studies – may even help us lose weight.
Research is still emerging on just how important these mighty microbes might be for our health, but there is no doubt we need them. The best thing you can do to encourage their growth is to eat fermented foods.
The fermentation process encourages essential bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to flourish. This makes fermentation a good source of probiotics. When fermenting something like vegetables, they are submerged in a salty brine during preparation to kill off dangerous, pathogenic bacteria. The good bacteria break down lactose and other sugars and starches in the food, making digestion easier. Once these reach your gut, they continue to help break down food and keep out bad guys like E. coli and C. difficile.
Incorporating healthy foods into your diet can get expensive, but not so with fermented foods. However, some fermented foods like kombucha, kefir or sourdough bread do require daily maintenance and lots of fridge space. For these nutritious fermented products you need to keep alive their fermentation starter by feeding it regularly and this can be a bit off-putting for those starting out in fermented foods. Why not start off easily and cheaply without a requirement for lots of fridge space and care?
You can grow your own vegetables at home for a couple of dollars, then use sea salt to ferment them, a very inexpensive way to get started. For those new to fermented foods like reluctant spouses and picky children, it’s often best to begin their introduction by fermenting foods the family already enjoy – homemade tomato sauce and homemade yoghurt are good choices. But many vegetables from the garden can be easily fermented and then used in dishes the family already like to eat.
When making any of these fermented foods you can use whey if you have any, instead of salt, to kill off the bad bacteria and introduce the good bacteria to the food.
If your family refuse to eat any of these, you can console yourself with the fact that beer and cheese are also fermented foods!
Incorporating healthy foods into your diet can be expensive, but not so with fermented foods.