8 Must-Eat Fermented Foods

Whether you’re a vegetarian or a vegan or just want to eat healthier and more nutritious food, you’ll also find that fermented foods can be a real treat! From the obvious (just to soothe those who might be new to the topic) to the exotic – here are eight must-eat fermented delicacies.

1) Tempeh

It’s made from carefully fermented soybeans, and it’s absolutely delicious. If you’re a vegetarian, the addition of tempeh to your diet will give you a complete source of protein. Tempeh needs to be cooked. Slice it into thin slivers and fry it, or crumble it in to dishes during cooking. The flavor of this traditional Indonesian food is deliciously nutty.

2) Sauerkraut

All it takes is cabbage, salt and a carefully controlled fermentation process, and suddenly the humble cabbage becomes a fantastic source of probiotics that help to keep your whole body healthy. It’s even used for cancer prevention. Get an enhanced load of absorbable minerals, vitamins as well as a healthy source of dietary fiber. Eat it as it is as a vegetable, use it as a burger topping or add it to soups.

3) Kimchi

Most people think of Kimchi as being a spicy cousin of sauerkraut, but there’s more to it than that. There are hundreds of different recipes for this Korean dish, and radish, scallion or cucumber is often used instead of cabbage. Koreans eat this nutritious food as a main course with fried rice or dumplings as well as using it for a spring-roll filling. In a study at Seoul University, birds with avian flu that were fed Kimchi recovered completely.

4) Other fermented vegetables

Since fermentation is basically a form of pickling in brine, so it should come as no surprise to discover that carrots, aubergines, squash, turnips, peppers, green tomatoes and even lettuce are also popular in a fermented format. Serve these tasty treats up as a side dish or experiment with a few of your own recipes.

5) Miso

Try this fermented food as a marinade for fish or chicken or a braising for vegetables. It also makes an excellent dip for fresh veg. Add it to sauces or spread it over corn on the cob before cooking. It’s more of a spice and a salt substitute than a food, and it’s made from a combination of grains that traditionally included soybeans, rice, buckwheat, millet, rice, rye and hemp. These days the range of foods you can make Miso out of extends to chickpeas, quinoa, amaranth and corn.

6) Yoghurt

If you thought you were new to the idea of eating fermented food, this one should reassure you. You’ve been eating fermented food for years! It also proves the point about fermented foods having the ability to give your body probiotics. Watch out for store-bought yoghurt! Sweeteners will destroy the bacteria and even if the yoghurt is unsweetened, you have no idea of how much of the live culture has survived the manufacturing, handling and refrigeration process by the time you buy it.

7) Kefir

Kefir is a drinkable, yoghurt-type drink, but it’s not quite the same as yoghurt. Apart from being a drinkable ‘food’, its flavor differs slightly from that of yoghurt. It’s full of probiotics, vitamins, minerals and protein. Start your day with Kefir taken on an empty stomach.

8) Fermented tofu

Also known as tofu cheese, fermented tofu consists of fermented soybean bean curd. It’s a favorite ingredient in East Asian cuisine. Use it in stir fries or veggie dishes or use it as a seasoning on meat. If you’re exploring Asian cuisine, you will find many recipes that include ‘fermented bean curd’ as fermented tofu is also known.

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Why You Should Add Fermented Foods to Your Weight Loss Program

Have you ever wondered why it’s so hard for many of us to lose weight?

You might say that you think something is wrong with your metabolism, and there’s a good chance you’re on the right track. But how did your metabolism get into this state in the first place, and how can fermented foods help to get it back on track?

Why it’s difficult to lose weight

Modern diets include huge amounts of sugar, and a lot of the sugar we consume is hidden away in processed foods. Most people don’t even realize how much sugar they’re eating. But it’s not just the direct effect of sugar that makes us gain weight, there’s also an indirect effect. Sugar sneakily makes your body store more fat from other foods, and here’s how it does it.

Sugar increases the pH of the stomach. The good bacteria in your stomach don’t like the increased pH, but the bad bacteria thrive on it. This imbalance in the stomach ultimately causes inflammation in the body. Your hypothalamus doesn’t like the look of all this and encourages your body to produce more insulin. More insulin means that your metabolism is now set to retaining as much fat as possible and adding more. It’s really hard to break out of this cycle!

How fermented foods help to solve the problem

  1. Break the vicious metabolic cycle

Lactic acid fermentation produces the probiotics your gut needs to function properly. As a result the chain reaction that causes your metabolism to store up fat is broken, making it possible for you to experience enhanced weight loss compared to someone on the same diet who isn’t eating fermented food.

  1. More nourishment from less food

Obviously, you’ll have to include your fermented food in a calorie restricted diet in order to start losing weight. You might even want to kick start the process with a very restricted diet like the hCG diet. Whatever low calorie diet you choose, your body needs to get all the nourishment it needs from the foods you eat. Thanks to the fermentation process, you get more nutrition per calorie of food you eat – that’s good news for healthy weight loss. You do need to skimp on calories, but there’s no need to skimp on nutrition.

  1. You don’t feel as hungry

Thanks to all the good things you are doing for your metabolism and the better nourishment you’re getting from your food, you will experience less feelings of hunger and weakness. That makes it a whole lot easier to stick to your diet. Less feelings of hunger makes for a happier you – no more crankiness because your diet is making you suffer!

  1. Detox

There’s one more thing: toxins in your body. Detoxing is essential for weight loss. Once again, fermentation comes to the fore as a solution. The bacteria in your ferment help your body to get rid of heavy metals – something that just doesn’t happen when your digestive flora are out of kilter.


Fermented Foods and Rosacea: The Gut-Skin Connection

If you suffer from Rosacea, a skin condition that causes redness and the development of pus-filled bumps on the skin, you might have come to believe that it’s just something you have to live with. Good news! You don’t have to live with Rosacea any more. Balancing your gut flora by eating foods rich in probiotics may signal the end of your rosacea woes.

The gut-brain-skin axis

If you’re eating a lot of processed foods or are suffering from stress, your digestion slows down and the good bacteria in your gut begin to die off. This creates an opportunity for bad bacteria to take over, creating an imbalance in your gut. Your stomach lining replaces itself every day, but in an unhealthy gut with the wrong pH and the wrong combination of microbes, the stomach lining begins to thin, eventually resulting in ‘leaky gut syndrome’. Toxins that would not normally be able to pass through the stomach lining now enter the bloodstream causing a variety of inflammatory conditions including outbreaks of Rosacea.

Treating rosacea

Most dermatologist prescribe rosacea creams to clear up the condition, and some of them even include probiotics that can be applied externally, but what you really need to do is to get down to the root cause of the problem. Eliminate the cause and you can eliminate the symptoms of rosacea once and for all.

A scientific study conducted in Korea tested the effect of probiotics on rosacea in 56 patients and found that their acne lesions were significantly reduced and their skin became less oily over a 12 week period.

In Italy, rosacea patients were given a topical treatment and probiotics and the result was compared to a group that used topical treatments only. There was a significantly greater improvement in those patients who took probiotics.

Of course, you could use probiotics you buy at the pharmacy, but you’ll get a much bigger dose of probiotics every time you eat fermented food. The natural way of doing things is very often the best possible way!

What the American Academy of Dermatology advises

Members of the AAD are excited by the new evidence that getting a good balance of healthy bacteria in your stomach can cure or reduce rosacea. No specific new medications are registered for this purpose yet. In the meantime, the organization recommends that we include plenty of foods with live active cultures in our diets and combine this strategy with rosacea creams.

The link between rosacea and your gut flora is being investigated more closely, and it is believed that probiotic foods may well have a role to play in the treatment of acne and eczema.


It seems as if every day, more and more studies and discoveries are showing how important healthy gut flora are to our health. Modern lifestyles adversely affect our inner ecosystem of bacteria, and the best way to restore the balance is by eating fermented foods. To help your body restore this balance, avoid processed foods and try to reduce your stress levels!

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Fermented Food for Beginners

Eating fermented food might sound really gross, but many foods that we enjoy on a daily basis are actually fermented. However, most of these are pasteurized, and as a result they have lost most of their goodness. For example, we eat yoghurt without flinching, but yoghurt is really just fermented milk! Many delicacies from around the world are based on the principle of fermentation. Nowadays we have refrigeration to keep food fresh, so why should we use fermentation?

Scientists are discovering that fermented foods are a nutritional power house, but the good bacteria that drive the fermentation process have to be kept alive or we lose the benefits. That means making your own fermented food at home is the only option!

Lactic Acid Fermentation

In lactic acid fermentation, starch and sugar are transformed into lactic acid by ‘good’ bacteria. What are the benefits in this? Let’s take a look.

1) Your nutrients become more digestible

Many complex molecules are too big to be absorbed, fermentation breaks them down into a more absorbable format. For example, many people are lactose intolerant, but the same people are able to enjoy foods rich in lactic acid – the broken down form of lactose. Many proteins are too complex for the human body to utilize, but when they are broken down into their component amino acids, they become both useful and healthful.

2) Fermentation produces new nutrients

This is particularly true of vitamin B nutrients such as folic acid, riboflavin and thiamine. Vitamin B is a major source of vitality and health. Have you ever had a vitamin B shot when your system is feeling low? It’s like getting a shot of instant energy!

3) The products of fermentation are antioxidants

You know the theory: our metabolic processes cause oxidation which produces toxins. These will accelerate aging and impair our metabolism – but antioxidants clear up the toxins helping our systems to function more efficiently.

4) Fermentation removes certain toxins from food

An example of this is the presence of phytic acid, particularly in grains. This compound impairs the absorption of important minerals from food. Fermentation destroys phytic acid making these nutrients available.

5) Probiotics promote intestinal health

Your intestines need to have a healthy population of lactobacillus bacteria in order to keep your digestive system in good health. Guess where you can get the full selection of flora for intestinal health? Fermented foods have all the good flora you need for digestive health.

6) Get more nutrition for your money

What if you could make ordinary foods more nutritious? Fermentation does exactly that! Everyone benefits, and you get to save on supplements!

7) It tastes great!

Make traditional delicacies at home. If you thought yoghurt tasted nice, you’ll find that fermentation opens up new culinary horizons. Taste real, unpasteurized sour pickles, real sauerkraut and exotic delicacies like Moroccan preserved lemons. It’s all about getting fermentation exactly right, and its easier than you might think!

So what are you waiting for?

Fermented foods add a new dimension to healthy eating – and they taste great! It’s time to get back to your roots. Fermented foods aren’t’ just healthy, they’re delicious!


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