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Probiotics & Superfoods On The Rise in The UK

Team V+A with the team from Turmericandhoney.com

Team V+A with the team from Turmericandhoney.com

When it comes to the nutrition and wellbeing industry, probiotics and superfoods are most certainly on everyone’s lips!  Read more

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Time To Eat Fermented: Today’s 8 Healthiest Fermented Foods

Depending on where you usually hang out, you may or may not have heard a lot of buzz around fermented foods lately. Fermented foods and their influence on your microbiome/beneficial bacteria has been getting a lot of traction around the health and food industries of late, and for a good reason. We’re learning more every day about the billions and billions of bacteria that live on and inside us. Currently we only know a teeny tiny amount about how all the different types and strains of bacteria work together to help our bodies function correctly but we do know that what we eat impacts on them significantly.

Our gut is like a second brain; You may not realise but when you have bloating, tummy pain, infections, or any other digestive issues, it can really impact on your wellness and mood in general. Think about it! There are over 100 million neurons (the same type of cells our brains are made of) in our gut and the bacteria that makes up our microbiome has a big influence on our “second brain” and how it functions. So, what can you do to give your microbiome the best chance? Eat a variety of whole, unprocessed foods. Try new and different things too, as the bacteria love variety. Fermented foods in particular are great for those friendly types.  Minimise refined, processed, high sugar foods whenever possible, as these are what the not-so-friendly bacteria and yeasts thrive on.

V+A Top 8 Fermented Foods

Here’s our list of 8 great fermented foods and drinks for you to try. They may sound funny at first but they’re definitely worth giving a go, even just for your microbiome’s sake! Who knows, you might even find a new favourite food!

Miso

Fermented Foods Clearspring Organic Miso PaceThis is a unpastirised paste made from fermented soy beans. Commonly made into a soup. You may have seen miso soup on the menu in your favourite Japanese restaurant.
We use this great Clearspring organic brown rice Miso pace which you can order directly from their website or planetorganic.com or at your local Waitrose.

Tempeh

Also made from fermented soy beans but this time formed into a block. It has a firm texture and earthy, sweet taste. You can get yours from Planet Organic or Ocado.

Sauerkraut

Fermented Foods Biona Organic Sauerkraut

A traditional German food made from fermenting cabbage. With a salty, rich flavour it’s great as a little something extra on top of your burger (veggie or otherwise), salads, and anything you like really!
Also, it’s easy to make it at home or find some like our favourite brand for sauerkraut, Biona Organic, available in most of your local health stores in the UK like As Nature Intended.

Kimchi

This Korean side dish is similar to sauerkraut, made up of fermented vegetables, most commonly cabbage. Kimchi packs a bit of a punch as it is normally seasoned with chilli, ginger and garlic. Yummers!

Natto

Another in the list made of soy beans, this time fermented with a particular type of bacteria. Natto is a traditional Japanese food with a strong flavour and slimy texture. An acquired taste? Almost certainly. You can purchase Natto from most of your Asian supermarkets.

 


You may also like to read about Probiotics and Superfoods


 

Kefir

This drink is made from fermenting milk using “kefir grains”, with its origins in the Caucasus mountains. Kefir grains are made up of certain types of bacteria and yeasts. With a sour taste, kefir may take a little bit of getting used to but is a great way to diversify the drinks you consume. Kefir can also be made using coconut water, great for vegans! Nowadays, you can probably find some fresh organic kefir at your local weekend farmers market or in most Sainsbury’s. Turmeric & Honey have even pushed it further with their brand new supplement Kefir Plus made in a soluble powder.

Kombucha

Fermented Foods Jarr Raw KombuchaA refreshing, lightly fizzy drink made from fermenting black or green tea using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). You can find kombucha in numerous flavours from ginger to blueberry to natural.
Make sure when you buy a bottle, there are still “floaty” bits in the bottom! This is known as the “Mother” and is where all the enzymes and good stuff is so drink up!

Yoghurt

Probably the most commonly consumed fermented food, probiotic yoghurt is available virtually anywhere. Traditionally, yoghurt is made from cow, sheep or goat milk. Choosing a natural yoghurt, preferably one that is “pot set”, i.e. fermented in the pot you buy, is key. Go for the ones without the unnecessary added sugar. This means less meddling with from the manufacturer and  potential for added ingredients you don’t need. And always choose full fat! The fat content provides some protection for the good bacteria to make it through the harsh acidic climate of your stomach. For those folks who are avoiding or don’t tolerate dairy, there are still options for you too. Alpro make a range of soy-based probiotic yoghurts. Other options include coconut-based probiotic yoghurts from Koko Dairy-Free, The Coconut Collaborative and Coyo. Nush has a range of almond and cashew milk probiotic yoghurts as well.

 

As always we love to hear what you think

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Maintaining Gut Health On The Road in South America

Hello, I’m Sarah Jayne, an enthusiastic member of the V+A family! I’m taking over Vitality+Awesomeness temporarily to share some insights on gut health that Daen helped me with during my travels in South America. Read more

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Pret A Manger’s Bone Broth in London: Improve Your Gut Health On The Go!

Pret-UK-Bone-Broth - Photo taken from https://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb/pret-trials-bone-broth

Pret-UK-Bone-Broth – Photo taken from https://www.pret.co.uk/en-gb/pret-trials-bone-broth

There is no way you haven’t stepped into a Pret A Manger if you live in London! And if you’ve travelled to London, you’ve surely grabbed one of their healthy takeaway salads at one of London’s airports or had a coffee from them when wandering in the city centre. What you may have not discovered yet is that Pret has been trialling Bone Broth for a while and it’s now on their menus. That’s right, they are going one step ahead in the world of gut health and making bone broth almost a casual thing, adding it to their takeaway offerings. Read more

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Peanut Butter, Banana, Kale: Your Protein Green Smoothie this winter!

green-protein-smoothie

Read more

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Little Lemons Make a Colossal Contribution: Lemon Water Detox!

As a nutritionist, one of the most common asked question is how do I get my day started? Here’s a super easy way I get each and every day off to a flying start!

For an easy detox or cleanse, all you need is half a lemon and some water. Here’s what I do: First thing each morning, squeeze the half lemon into a nice big glass of water.

Lemon water detox, watch our quick video:

Drink the lemon water down. Leave it for 15-20mins before you have breakfast. This is a good time to go take a shower, prep your lunch for the day or pop the pan on the hob ready to poach those eggs! Just make sure you rinse your mouth with a little fresh water afterwards to avoid leaving acid residue on your teeth.

The benefits of lemon water are multiple…

  • It stimulates your gastric juices and prepares your stomach for the food that you’re about to eat, making it easier to digest properly and absorb the nutrients you need,
  • It helps your liver to detox, cleanse your body and flush out unwanted toxins, it also helps stimulate the bowels,
  • It has an alkalising effect, helping to balance out the acidity of most of our modern diets,
  • It gives you a head start on your water intake for the day, a great way to hydrate. If you use a pint glass, for instance, you’ll be around half a litre into your suggested 2 litres before you’ve done anything! (568mL in the UK/imperial, 473mL in the US).
  • It can be something you do throughout the year or for a few weeks 3 or 4 times a year.

Always use fresh lemons, not juice from concentrate. Some of the nutrients in the lemon juice may have been damaged or lost during the concentration/reconstitution process.


You may also like to read Our Food Grocery Essentials


An alternative to fresh lemon is Apple Cider Vinegar, which is generally available in health food stores. You only need to use around a dessertspoonful.

Voila! Lemon water. It’s such an easy thing to incorporate into your day with such wonderful benefits to detox and cleanse your body!

Please note: This may not be suitable if you have a stomach ulcer, experience heartburn or reflux.

 

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Bone Broth Recipe: Your New Bestie For Gut Health & Healing

BONE BROTH IS BECOMING A TREND AVAILABLE TO THE MAINSTREAM

Bone broth is getting more and more popular. Folks in NYC have been swapping their morning cup of Joe for a warming, nourishing cup of bone broth since at least November 2014 when Brodo opened their little takeaway window in the East VillageLondon has caught on to the trend with a few outlets with broth on the menu, like CrusshDaylesford or Bone Tea. You can even pick up a pouch of Ossa broth for home if you pop into Fortnum & Mason to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly* 😆 Pret A Manger also caught up with the broth trend, which is a great option to have yours on the go. They offer bone broth, vegetarian broth and miso.

those Sydneysiders out there, if you’re in the Bronte/Glamarama ‘hood, you can grab a cup at Broth Bar & Larder ☕️


BROTH HEALTH BENEFITS

Bone Broth has amazing health benefits due to it being rich in collagen, minerals and amino acids and, as it’s in liquid form, all these goodies are easier for your body to absorb. Bone Broth is also incredibly nourishing for your gut and has anti-inflammatory properties to boot! Oh, and did I mention it’s gluten free, dairy free and sugar free? BOOM!


You may also like to read Lemon Water Detox


HOMEMADE BONE BROTH

If you’re making a lovely Sunday (or any day) roast, for heaven’s sake don’t throw out the bones! They’ll do nicely as a base for your very own batch of bone broth. And if you’re making it just for yourself/your family, keep any bones (and veggie peels for that matter) left over from meals during the week. Just pop them in a freezer bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready for them; I’m personally not bothered about them being gnawed on a bit by family but the choice is yours.

If you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan broth, a great alternative to the bone broth is a miso soup. We have been using Clearspring miso and it’s delicious!

Below is our homemade recipe to make your own batch of chicken bone broth.

Vitality Homemade Bone Broth

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fresh, light and healthy broth option to serve before or with your dinner. Perfect for gut health.

Ingredients

  • Carcass/bones from a roast or from your local butcher (tell them you’re making broth/stock and they should be able to help you out with the right type of bones/trotters etc.)
  • Veggie peels (we normally keep them in the freezer until we have plenty)
  • A few whole black peppercorns
  • 2cm fresh turmeric, chopped (or ½tsp ground)
  • 2cm fresh ginger, chopped
  • 10ml apple cider vinegar (this helps break down the connective tissue to get all the goodness out)
  • Water, enough to fill your saucepan/pot

Directions

  1. Everything goes into your saucepan/pot (I use the largest pot I can find so I get a nice big batch!)
  2. Fill almost to the top with water. Bring to the boil.
  3. Turn down the heat and simmer for at least 3 hours.
  4. Strain all the chunks out and you’re good to go!
  5. Once it’s cooled sufficiently you can put whatever you’re not going to use there and then into the freezer to have when you please.

If you’re considering purchasing broth from a commercial outlet or restaurant, make sure you consider any food intolerances you may have. Commercial broth may be made with onion or garlic so make sure you check the label or ask the restauranteur/wait staff.