Fermentation is a preserving method that injects food with naturally occurring microorganisms that helps promote a diversity of cultures to thrive within your body. Consuming and creating these “live” foods have become a movement to many and an art form for some. Increase your gut flora and replenish the microbiome with these “good bacteria” foods.
Miso – This fermented soybean paste is rich in enzymes and is traditionally used in Japanese cooking. You can add miso to soups, sauces, dressings, dips and marinades.
Tempeh – Another fermented soy product that comes in a patty form, tempeh’s fermentation process allows it to retain a higher content of protein, dietary fiber and vitamins.
Kefir – More nutritious than yogurt, kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains.” It’s considered one of the most probioticly rich foods on the planet, having originated centuries ago in the Caucasus Mountains. Are you vegan? No worries, kefir water is available in a variety of flavors.
Kombucha – Known by some as the “Elixir of Life,” kombucha is a fermented tea that is created from a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast). The outcome is an effervescent drink that contains b-vitamins, enzymes, probiotics and a high concentration of acid (acetic, gluconic, and lactic).
Kimchi – A traditional, Korean side dish made by lacto-fermentation, similar to sauerkraut. Both spicy and sour, Kimchi is the combination a variety of Asian vegetables (like napa cabbage and daikon radish) and seasonings.
Sauerkraut – Lactobacillus is at work again to give you this wonderfully tangy condiment. Derived from the German word that simply means sour white cabbage, sauerkraut has a long history of health benefits due to its high levels of glucosinolates. These compounds have been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
You can find most of these foods at your nearest health food store. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous you can try to make your own!