Fermenting fruit and vegetables is one of the oldest-known ways to preserve food for longer, making it tastier and in some cases easier to digest. Useful microorganisms (bacteria, fungi or yeasts) that are naturally present in, or added to, food, convert certain substances in the absence of oxygen, which changes the food. That might sound a bit worrying, but (sourdough) bread, beer, wine, cheese, yoghurt etc. are everyday examples of this.
Our gut contains around 100 trillion bacteria, most of which are useful, although some are harmful. As long as there is harmonious balance between the two, then you have healthy gut flora. Foods rich in probiotics, such as kimchi and sauerkraut, help strengthen the lining in your gut – boosting your immune system and helping prevent inflammation. Other examples of natural sources of probiotics include yoghurt, miso soup, kefir, kombucha and apple cider vinegar.
Kimchi, particularly popular in Korean cuisine, is a mix of fermented vegetables and cabbage packed with vitamins, enzymes and healthy bacteria. Sauerkraut is exactly how it translates: sour (fermented) cabbage. Finely chopped cabbage is fermented in salt, which produces an acidic superfood packed with probiotics. Add to that plentiful vitamin C and iron, and you have a great boost for your immune system.
Both sauerkraut and kimchi are easy to make: you just need a little patience. Click HERE for a delicious kimchi recipe. Are you not very patient? Then browse our extensive range of fermented kimchi and sauerkraut from British company, Loving Foods.
Loving Foods was founded in 2006 by brother and sister, Mendel and Faye, and later soon joined by Faye's husband, Adam. Mendel is a qualified nutritional therapist and Faye acquired her healthy interest in natural food the hard way: as someone suffering with chronic IBS. As their expertise in fermentation grew and Faye’s health visibly improved, Mendel began preparing his own fermented food. All ingredients are organic except for the salt and water. We work as far as possible with local organic wholesalers and farms.
Kombucha is a type of fermented tea, which has been slurped around the world for thousands of years. Slightly sparkling and slightly acidic, it uses something called a "SCOBY": a "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts." You can use kombucha as a marinade, soak cereal grain in it, or drink it neat in place of your usual (sugar-rich) drinks. Like other fermented foods such as yoghurt and sauerkraut, kombucha contains microorganisms which are very welcome in the gut.