Why is it so important to include fermented food in your diet? How do you explain the current popularity of kimchi and kombucha? Fruit and vegetables were originally fermented to make them last longer. These days – with fridges and freezers at hand – there is another reason for the revival in fermented food. Healthy gut flora! People have been eating fermented food as part of their standard diet in Sardinia (Italy), Okinawa (Japan), Ikaria (Greece) and elsewhere, for centuries. People here live longer on average than elsewhere, and this is why these areas are known as Blue Zones.
Chemical reactions occur during fermentation (fermentare is Latin for letting yeast grow). These convert food into chemicals which are digested more easily, producing digestive enzymes as well as useful bacteria and nutrients. It's probiotics on tap: microorganisms which build up your gut flora. Fermentation is also very environmentally friendly: you use no electricity for a fridge or freezer, you can preserve seasonal vegetables for the winter and you do not have to throw away so much when you have a glut.
✓ it has a fresh, rich, (more) intense taste.
✓ it helps digestion and healthy bowel function
✓ nutrients are absorbed better by your body, due to “predigestion” from fermentation
✓ fermentation ensures healthy gut flora, giving your immune system a boost
✓ vitamins and minerals are more effective thanks to the enzymes produced by fermentation
✓ there is increased alkaline reaction (neutralising acids) for optimum acid balance in your body
Buy fermented food which you know for sure has been allowed ample time to ferment. With true fermentation, the product is already partly predigested and is absorbed much better and more quickly into the body, in contrast to rapid industrial fermentation. British company Loving Foods has been offering a whole range of organic, fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, as well as fermented drinks such as kombucha and apple cider vinegar, since 2006, all of which have been given ample time to ferment into a delicious, living product.