Take your healthy-eating habits to the next level by upping your intake of fermented foods. The good bacteria that fermented foods boast will improve your gut health, which will have a knock on effect on your overall wellbeing.
This spicy fermented cabbage is a staple side dish in Korea and has started to appear on the shelves of the UK’s health stores and even mainstream supermarkets lately - thanks in large part to its impressive health benefits.
While it’s rich in antioxidants and high in fibre, it’s actually kimchi’s positive effects on digestion that make it such a firm favourite among the health conscious. Thanks to the abundance of the good bacteria lactobacilli it boasts as a result of the fermentation process it goes through, kimchi is now more commonly being added to the diets of those looking to keep their gut in check. We approve!
A perfect addition to any salad or meat dish, sauerkraut is actually fermented in a similar way to kimchi. This finely cut cabbage has more of a sour taste and has become particularly popular in German and Polish cuisine.
Sauerkraut of course gives you all the nutritional benefits of cabbage - but with the added superpowers that come with fermentation. Think a boosted immune system, relief from constipation and, of course, improved digestion. You can buy jars of sauerkraut in most big supermarkets now, so why not add this to your next weekly shop?
Drinking miso as a soup is probably the most common way to get your fill of this Japanese classic. The fermented soya bean paste has a salty, ‘umami’ taste that’s packed with protein (an ideal source of protein for vegans) and nutrients.
By improving your gut flora, the probiotics present in miso will boost your overall health, from your digestion to your energy levels. It’ll even prime your gut to better absorb nutrients. Drink up!
Another great source of protein for vegans is tempeh. It’s a great alternative if you’re bored of tofu - not to mention it has some serious added nutritional benefits.
Made from fermented soya beans, tempeh is high in protein, fibre and B vitamins. Like other fermented foods, it also works wonders for gut health; protecting the intestines from damage, helping to regulate bowel movements and tackling inflammation.
The taste can be acquired, so make sure you season well when you first try cooking with it.
Kombucha is all the rage in health circles these days, and with good reason. The fermented tea can easily be made at home with a little planning, but you can find tonnes of varieties in your local health store, from ginger to lavender flavours.
Whichever flavour of the slightly fizzy tea you choose, it’ll bring with it some serious health benefits. It’s high in vitamin B12 so may help with energy production, it’s packed with antioxidants to help ward off disease and, of course, the good bacteria present will support that gut health.