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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.

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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Tesco Announces Healthier Products To Support Its Consumers

Tesco New Campaign

UK CEO Tesco Matt Davies being interviewed on BBC One earlier – 2nd May 2017

In an economy where healthy food seems to be at the heart of everything in the UK, we are still left wondering what the supermarket chains are doing. Obesity has reached epidemic levels, with 3 in 4 adults overweight or obese in the UK, as mentioned on BBC One this week. Most of the big supermarkets, like Sainsbury’s, Morrisons and Tesco, now have Free From sections available. Does it, however, mean that they are fighting for a healthier food movement?

Customers understand how to be healthier and we’re supporting them by providing healthier products.

UK CEO of Tesco, Matt Davies was on BBC One this week talking about what Tesco is about to do for its customers. Davies believes Read more

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Overnight Oats: It’s All About What You Do With Them!

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Don’t you love when the title tells the story!? Overnight oats is nothing less that oats soaked overnight! The first time I heard about it was back in 2014, on a trip to the Hunter Valley just outside Sydney, Australia. Trying to reduce his sugar, gluten and dairy intake, Daen’s dad
was having Read more

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The Mediterranean Diet Isn’t Just Another Fad

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Unfamiliar with the “Mediterranean Diet”? It started to develop a bit of a buzz a couple of years back but then may have been pushed to the back of the crowd, due to the incessant bombardment of new fad diets and weight-loss crazes that fill our worlds, as well the growing vegan movement, based on a plant based diet. The Mediterranean Diet is essentially formed around Read more

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Women, Abs, Body Fat: The Instagram Dilemma

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Do the barrage of gym selfies of girls in crop tops with flat midsections and exceptionally low body fat really give the full story? Read more

Veganuary Begins! Vegan & Plant Based Diet For A Month…

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We celebrated the New Year, shook off the hangover and embraced the goals for 2017 with vim and vigour!

So Veganuary is underway and we’re more eager than ever to get amongst it Read more

5 Tricks To Keep Your Christmas Healthy



It’s happening: 2 days to go until Christmas! Don’t you feel like it’s come around super quick this year? Well, the opportunity to indulge again is around the corner, this time do it our way! 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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The Lowdown: Day 1 at Food Matters Live in London

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Did you know: one in five kids in the UK are overweight or obese by the time they start school? Did you know by the time they reach year 6 the number increases to Read more