As far as health trends go, this is a tasty one.
The buzz around fermented foods is growing by the day.
It’s all down to our relatively new understanding and appreciation of gut health and the importance of nourishing the good bacteria that live down there.
How? By feeding them the foods they thrive on; namely fermented saurkraut, kefir, sprouts and pickles.
Fermentation fangirl Virginia O’Gara will be giving a handy explainer on fermented foods at Cork VegFest in May.
The founder and co-owner of My Goodness, the ever-popular English Market stall, Virginia has a particular interest in using fermentation as a method of promoting health.
In fact, My Goodness is the city’s top spot to stock up on raw living food. Think sauerkrauts, sprouts, raw cakes, salads, fermented salsas and vinaigrette.
Oh and the cucumber, lemon and mint kefir they sell at Mahon Point Farmer’s Market is delicious.
Virginia’s workshop at Cork Vegfest could change the way you feel about cabbage forever.
In the meantime, here are five reasons to eat more fermented foods:
1. They’ve been around for years: Fermentation is not a fad. Humans have been using it to preserve food since 6000 BC. From the sauerkraut of Germany to the kimchi of Korea and the Bulgarian obsession with kefir, fermented foods have been keeping people healthy for centuries.
2. Fermented foods help reduce inflammation: A key culprit in almost any ailment you can think of, inflammation is the body’s response to stress or illness. Chronic inflammation has been linked to serious diseases including cancer, heart disease, skin problems and musculo-skeletal conditions, to name but a few.
Fermented foods contain good bacteria called probiotics, which are anti-inflammatory and help digestion.
3. They’re good for your skin: Eating fermented foods helps the body to absorb more nutrients, which helps skin to glow. A healthy gut is also primed to balance your hormones, reducing acne breakouts, eczema and psoriasis.
4. They can boost your weight loss: Filling your plate with fermented foods is not just good for your gut, it’s also great for your waistline. Most pickles, sauerkrauts and vinaigrettes are low in calories so choosing them as a side is a smart swap.
5. Fermented foods can boost your mood: Scientific evidence suggests that a healthy microbiome (the microorganisms that live in your body) can boost the endocrine and nervous system. In fact, more than 90 percent of the body’s happy hormone seratonin is produced in the gut.