Every year there is a food trend (or two) that takes over the grocery aisles and recipe books. Last year it was Kale and Himalayan Pink Salt, the year before it was Quinoa. Before that we saw chia seeds, flax, greek yogurt, manuka honey, salmon, etc. I could go on and on.
Trendy foods are a good thing, because they create a heightened awareness about health and what we are actually putting into our bodies. When trendy foods become popular, people begin to do their research and want to know more about why things are popular and what they can do for us!
The food trend for 2014 that we are going to be discussing is fermentation. This encompasses everything from Kombucha to Kimchi. Read on to learn more!
Why should you be eating fermented foods?
People all over the world have been fermenting foods for hundreds of years. From wine and beer to cheese and sauerkraut, fermentation is an ancient art.
Here are the top 5 reasons you should be eating fermented foods on the daily (besides the fact that they are delicious).
1) Fermented foods improve digestion.
If you think about this one, it makes a lot of sense. Fermenting foods before eating them is basically like pre-digesting your food a bit before eating it! This is why some people who are lactose intolerant and cannot enjoy milk, can eat yoghurt! The fermentation process breaks down the lactose.
2) Fermented foods improve the balance of bacteria in the gut.
Certain ailments such as gluten intolerance, lactose intolerance, indigestion, etc. can be caused by an imbalance of bacteria in the gut. Fermented foods and beverages can help restore that balance!
3) Raw, fermented foods are rich in enzymes.
Enzymes in your body help break down food so that you can absorb nutrients properly. As you age, your enzyme levels decrease and eating fermented foods can help keep an internal balance in your gut.
4) Fermenting foods helps preserve them for longer periods of time.
If you’ve got large amounts of fruits and vegetables that you won’t be able to use up in time, ferment it!
5) Fermented food has more flavour!
There is a reason that wine and old cheese are crowd pleasers!
Which fermented foods should you try?
A fermented milk drink from the Caucasus mountains.
A lightly effervescent fermented drink of sweetened black tea that is used as a functional food.
Translation: sour cabbage.
The classic pickle is the pickled cucumber, but pickling can be applied to many different foods, such as olives, cucumbers, and cauliflower.
A fermented korean side dish, made of vegetables and spices. Often described as both sweet and sour.
A Japanese fermented soy bean paste considered to be an acquired taste due to it’s strong scent and flavour.
Feature image from Well and Good NYC.
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