How fermented food helps your health
Many people don’t realise how fermented food helps your health but there is an ‘underground’ society of people that do and this movement is getting stronger 🙂
I’ve been into probiotics for some time and have always wanted to learn how to make my own fermented foods like kefir, sourdough bread, sauerkraut and the fermeted drink, Kombucha. And recently I went on a workshop in Shoreham, West Sussex to do that so I will share that with you in this post.
Did you know your gut is referred to as your second brain? Your gut is very important to your overall wellbeing. There is ever growing evidence to the effect it has on your mental and physical health. Improving your gut health will give you better immunity, more efficient digestion and less stress. Because your digestion is better you will have more energy – yay.
In your gut there are trillions of bacteria that help you process food, produce nutrients, and fight disease. You might remember seeing adverts on TV about ‘healthy bacteria’ and this is what I am talking about here.
A great book on the subject is Gut by
There are three things you need to do to look after your gut bacteria
- Make sure you have enough good bacteria
- Make sure that they survive
- Don’t deplete them
1 – You put healthy bacteria in by eating probiotic foods that contain them.
2 – You preserve them by eating probiotic foods that support them.
3 – You protect them by being aware of what depletes them and that is stress, antibiotics, steroid medications and stomach bugs.
So what can you do to improve your gut health?
You can take a probiotic supplement or eat probiotic food like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, coconut kefir, yoghurt, kefir and apple cider vinegar.
You can eat prebiotic whole foods. Certain foods feed and support the growth of good bacteria. Raw onions, garlic, dandelion greens, artichokes and bananas are some of the best.
Keep hydrated. Your gut needs water to keep bacteria and waste moving through your digestive system, which will help prevent constipation and bloating. Dehydration affects your bacteria balance.
Eat less sugar as it feeds bad bacteria and you are more interested in the good ones.
Reduce your stress levels. Stress makes your brain go into fight or flight mode, causing your digestion and blood flow in the gut to slow down and digestion is not as effective.
Making fermented foods which help your gut bacteria
Making fermented foods is an interesting experience and when the scoby comes out that’s exciting! I learnt at a workshop with my local Homoeopath, Therese Eriksen
During the workshop we made:
Sauerkraut – a kind of pickled vegetable. We made red cabbage and another of carrot and ginger. You can have a little bit on the side of practically any meal to add some lovely flavour. It keeps well too.
Sourdough bread – a bread make without yeast which some people find easier to digest. Once you’ve mastered the basic recipe the world is your bread basket as you can add herbs, cheese, sundried tomatoes. YUM
Milk Kefir – A ‘live’ drink that you make from grains (main blog picture). You can drink it straight if you are hard core or make smoothies with it or flavour it.
Kambucha – Is the tea teetotallers champagne! It’s made with a scoby which I have put a picture of below. It’s a weird disc thing that you put in tea to make the Kambucha but then it takes on a life of its own and grows!
In Copenhagen Kambucha is readily available, they know it helps them get Hyggey 🙂
Let the fermenting commence!
So now my kitchen is full of kilner jars doing their different things. I’m so excited about having fermented foods in my life that I’ve made myself.
One of my guiding principles of life is to cradle my health (mental and physical) like a newborn baby. Not in an obssessive way, but it’s very high up my values list. I want enough energy to fulfil my dreams and enjoy my family. But I am conscious this takes effort and thought. Effort in the sense of eating right and making time for exercise. And thought recognising when thinks are out of balance and addressing it.
In life, the effort has to be worth the reward. I am going to try to maintain my fermented food supplies as the reward is better health and more energy. That has to be worth it!