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Using fermented vegetables in  your daily eating regimen is important for gut health and immunity.

 

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Phone: 01564 33 99 55 Email: hello@andreabayles.co.uk
Andrea Bayles Nutritional Therapist
ND, Dip Nutr, Dip Herb, MBANT, MURHP, MCNHC

What's the fascination with fermented foods?

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Fermented Food Fascination

Working as a Nutritionist, I come across many food fads and sometimes it can be difficult to determine which we should really be paying attention to.
 

The Fads

For example, Avocados – such a food craze surrounded the avocado that we now have a medical term for the injury caused by someone harming themselves when trying to remove an avocado stone, que the ‘Avocado Hand’ media frenzy back in May.

Currently high street coffee chains are battling it out to be the go to for a coconut or oat milk latte, despite non dairy alternatives being around for a long time.

Lastly this brings me to fermented foods, good for the gut due to their microorganisms, which play a huge role in our health and wellbeing, both physically and mentally. This is down to the way they’re produced, full of microorganisms which promote a healthy gut and boost the diversity of the good bacteria which live in our gut.
 

The Science

Fermented foods use micro-organisms to change a foods state, similar to pickling. It changes and deepens flavour, the bacteria converts the natural sugars in the food to alcohol or lactic acid and gives the food a tangy taste.

The microbes in your gut can weigh as much as your brain and have an abundance of health benefits, providing we keep them happy! By feeding your gut with the food it naturally thrives on, we’re boosting what’s referred to as ‘gut flora’.

Aside from fermented foods which come under the probiotic foodie category, and contain good bacteria, garlic, leeks, onions, asparagus and bananas are all worthy to include in your diet as ‘prebiotics’ which aid microbe growth.
 

The Food

Fermented foods are easy for us to digest and most of the time taste good too! Probiotic yoghurts could be a welcome addition to your breakfast in the morning, especially teamed with a banana. Similarly, try adding Miso paste (fermented beans) to your cooking, it adds a very savoury, earthy richness to fish such as salmon. Vinegary Kimchi (fermented vegetables from Korea) gives balance by adding a sourness to your meal.
 

The Verdict

Anything which can boost the diversity of good bacteria is worth taking note of. Including these types of food in your diet has been linked to aid digestion, lower obesity and on the wellbeing side, it can increase our happiness levels and brain function.
 

Of course, each gut is different, so if you are going to introduce more fermented food into your diet then do so slowly!

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