Fermented foods and drinks have been around for centuries, and they have recently been making a comeback due to their numerous health benefits. Fermentation is the process of converting sugars in food into alcohol, acids, or gases through the action of bacteria or yeast. These microorganisms break down the complex molecules in the food into simpler and more easily digestible forms.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that live in our gut and aid in digestion, boost our immune system, and improve our overall health. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, can make nutrients for bio-available and can help reduce inflammation and improve mental health.
If you're looking to incorporate more fermented foods and drinks into your diet, here are some tips from The Fermentation Station team on how to get started:
- Start Small
If you're new to fermented foods, start small and gradually increase your intake. You don't want to overwhelm your digestive system with too many probiotics all at once. Begin with small servings of fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, or a glass of kombucha with meals. Over time, you can increase your portions as your body adjusts to the increased probiotic intake.
- Get Creative with Your Meals
Being experimental and creative with our food is what gave us the passion to start The Fermentation Station, so we really couldn't recommend tip number two more. Fermented foods can be added to almost any meal for an extra boost of flavour and health benefits. Try adding sauerkraut or pickles to your sandwiches or salads, or use kimchi as a topping for your rice bowls or tacos. You can also use fermented condiments like hot sauce or mustard to add flavour to your meals.
- Experiment with Different Fermented Foods
There are so many different types of fermented foods to choose from, so don't be afraid to try something new. In addition to the traditional sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha, you can try fermented dairy products like yogurt or kefir (you can get plant-based diary free alternatives), try water kefir or even fermented grains like sourdough bread. Look for new and interesting products at your local health food store, or try making your own at home.
- Make Your Own Fermented Foods
Making your own fermented foods is a great way to ensure that you're getting high-quality probiotics and to save money in the long run. Fermenting at home is easy and doesn't require any special equipment. You can start by making your own sauerkraut or pickles, or try brewing your own kombucha or kefir. We run a number of workshops at The Fermentation Station across the country to help you get started on your fermentation journey, check out our available dates here. Alternatively there are plenty of resources online to help you get started, and you can experiment with different flavours and ingredients to find what you like best.
- Drink Fermented Beverages
Fermented drinks like kombucha, kefir, tepache, and kvass are a delicious and refreshing way to get more probiotics into your diet. Look for drinks that are low in sugar and high in live cultures. You can also experiment with making your own fermented drinks at home using a starter culture and natural fruit juices or teas.
Incorporating more fermented foods and drinks into your diet is a simple and effective way to improve your gut health and overall well-being. With a little creativity and experimentation, you can find new and exciting ways to add probiotics to your meals and snacks. Whether you choose to make your own fermented foods or try new products from The Fermentation Station, your gut will thank you for it.