Beyond Trendy: 4 Great Reasons to Eat Fermented Foods
These superfoods are enjoying a cultural comeback. Here are a few good reasons why we think they're here to stay.
Fermented foods are all the hype, but have you ever wondered why? We personally think highly of them and below are the reasons why:
They taste good
In a time when we’re constantly looking for the next great flavour, fermented foods are too strong a contender to just brush off. It may seem counterintuitive given our penchant for sweet, but trust us, just a mouthful of that soft cruch and that little extra zing you can only get from fermented foods will get your saliva going.
Fermentation as preservation
Before refrigeration and chemical preservatives were invented, fermentation was the way of life. People basically fermented their foods to make them last longer with little to no effort, thanks to bacteria and yeasts who do much of the work. A head of cabbage will usually rot in a week or so; but if you chop it, salt it and submerge it in its own juices for a few days, you’ll have sauerkraut, which you can keep for many months. The lactic acid that forms in fermented foods is a natural preservative that stops the growth of bad bacteria and keeps food safe and delicious for longer.
They provide some major health benefits
When you consume fermented foods, you’re introducing more strains of good bacteria into your digestive system (versus when you eat them raw). These good bacteria are called probiotics, and they take up temporary residence in your intestines where they produce a chockful of vitamins, and help railroad any disease-promoting bacteria in your gut. And since nearly 80% of your immune system is located in your gut, these probiotics strengthen the immune system too.
These probiotic powerhouses can cost you a pretty penny if bought at the farmers’ market or natural food stores; but fret not, because you could easily make fermented foods on the cheap, and with only a few ingredients! You only need to master the basics and own a few simple tools, and you can soon make a feast of fermented goodies at home. To learn more about fermenting, join chef, author, educator and founder of Iku Wholefoods, Holly Davis, for a fun and interactive Q&A at the Pocket City Farms. Delicious fermented food and drinks included!
Join the conversation on all things fermented!
Food by Holly Davis
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