In a pickle? Why fermented foods are fab

In a pickle? Why fermented foods are fab

Do you know your kimchi from your sauerkraut, or is the idea of eating fermented cabbage enough to turn your stomach?

Where many countries around the globe have been enjoying naturally fermented foods for millennia, we are lagging behind on the practice of letting our foods go through a process known as lactofermentation.

This basically means foods that have been fed on by natural bacteria, creating lactic acid – not quite as disgusting as it sounds. It not only preserves the food, but also releases beneficial enzymes such as Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and b-vitamins.

We don’t advise fermenting any old food – be selective and copy others. Sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, is a real hit with many Europeans. It is said to help beat depression and anxiety and the homemade version has no chemical preservatives or added sugar.

Pickles are great, yep, like the ones you get on your double whopper burger. Full of probiotics and less scary than a lot of fermented food, us Brits feel at home when we see a pickle as they’re not completely unfamiliar territory!

Kimchi is a firm favourite in Korea and is said to be a beauty food. It’s a spicy dish made from fermented cabbage and as it aids digestion it’s also supposed to boost the appearance of your skin.

There are fermented foods and drinks out there with odd names that you might want to investigate once you’ve touched on the more well-known varieties. These include kombucha, a fizzy fermented black tea which is no stranger to New Yorkers; miso, a paste made from fermented soya beans, and tempah, a more solid version of the fermented soya bean.

Natural fermentation of foods is believed to preserve nutrients and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the host of probiotics created during the fermentation process, may explain why the consumption of fermented foods seems to improve digestion.

Eating well alongside your gym visits is the best way to get results. So go on, dare you – eat some pickled cabbage!

Comments

Emma C.
28 February 2014

Emma C.

Olives are healthy? Great! Strangely enough I sort of felt like fermented foods were doing me some good. The strong flavours almost seem to give my insides extra vigour!

Matthew C.
21 February 2014

Matthew C.

Fermented foods are a great reminder that nature - not supplements - provides all we need to stay healthy. When will people realise the simple truth - eating natural foods is all we need to do!

Pete R.
21 February 2014

Pete R.

The most I've got with enjoying pickled food is a pickled egg in a bag of salt and vinegar crisps. But I guess that doesn't count?

Derek B.
20 February 2014

Derek B.

As someone prone to an acid stomach, I'm with Joseph on this one - I'll stick to veg that doesn't come in a jar, thanks!

Mary C.
20 February 2014

Mary C.

I recently discovered kimchi and I'm a convert. Pickled food is about so much more than gherkins!

craig t.
19 February 2014

craig t.

Lidl sell lots of fermented products. We bought some picked celeriac there last week to go with a ploughman's lunch. Delicious! It's great to know it's good for us too though.

Trevor D.
19 February 2014

Trevor D.

gherkins are good for you? Best news all day! But I suppose we have to watch the salt content.

Joseph M.
19 February 2014

Joseph M.

There is no way I could stomach all this pickling. I'm happy eating fresh thanks!

Callum M.
19 February 2014

Callum M.

Gherkins in my opinion are the best bit of a burger! I love them and think they should be celebrated more widely. Also, probiotic yoghurt is really good for the gut.

Mike D.
18 February 2014

Mike D.

Yoghurt is one of the best fermented foods. We make homemade yoghurt and I swear my IBS has improved since I have a bowl each morning. All those good bacteria.

Tanith A.
18 February 2014

Tanith A.

It makes sense that partial fermentation should make things easier to digest, as I guess it's a bit like the food having been pre-digested. And if that sounds a bit icky - well, that's basically the difference between milk and yoghurt...

Bradley C.
18 February 2014

Bradley C.

Yes, what about good old Branston and pickled eggs? Pickled beetroot? We might not call is lactowhatsit but we have a fine British tradition of eating unnecessarily sour things!

Peter W.
18 February 2014

Peter W.

Does pickle count? As in cheese and pickle? How about pickled eggs and pickled onions??

Peter W.
18 February 2014

Peter W.

Does pickle count? As in cheese and pickle? How about pickled eggs and pickled onions??

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