The recent wellness food trend has left shopping lists with all kinds of desirable additions, from gluten-free flours, to unpasteurized diary products, to organic vegetables and super food powders. One of the most popular additions has been Kombucha – a fermented tea that brings with it all kinds of health benefits.
Along with Kombucha, wellness markets have seen a rise in other fermented goods, such as sauerkraut and sourdough breads. Health enthusiasts swear by the nourishing properties of these foods – but do you know why?
Let’s begin at the beginning, shall we?
Much of the body’s health stands and falls with the health of the gut – being a central system for immunity, mood regulation, nutrient absorption, and smooth digestion. This area of the body also influences heart health, blood pressure, inflammation, and obesity. In women, the gut also has a significant impact on chronic candida – with the state of the gut flora either denying or providing the perfect environment for yeast infection.
In effect, a thriving body then relies on a balanced and nourishing gut environment.
Because much of our modern diets rely on high levels of sugar, gluten, and dairy, our guts are more often-than-not out of balance, with harmful bacteria and over-stimulation of the immune system’s inflammatory response leaving the gut vulnerable to negatively impact on the rest of the body.
Enter left-stage, the star of the show, fermented foods!
Fermented foods are a powerful alley in nurturing the gut back to its full vitality and balance.
To start, fermented foods are rich in probiotics and prebiotics – meaning that they help the gut flora encourage the growth of healthy bacteria (or probiotics), keeping any unhealthy bacteria in check. Coupled with prebiotics – otherwise known as the food components which feed the good bacteria living in the gut – this duo significantly assists in promoting probiotic development.
Another reason fermented foods assist in the flourishing of the body is that, because these foods are already partially broken down, the body can absorb more of their nutritional and mineral content. This essentially means that your body can absorb the maximum health benefits from fermented foods, giving it all that it needs to remain fully fit and functioning.
So how are fermented goods made?
Fermented foods are foods which have undergone controlled microbial growth, meaning that microorganisms such as bacteria and yeast were added to the fresh foods and left to interact within a contained environment. Over time, these microorganisms (or starter cultures) break down the larger food components into other products, such as alcohol, and encourage additional nutritional development, such as probiotic growth.
Knosh’ famous sauerkraut
While we know most of you have probably heard of Kombucha and may even be well acquainted with this fermented good, we bet there are many of you who aren’t too sure about sauerkraut.
Made from the humble cabbage (sauerkraut literally means ‘sour cabbage’), sauerkraut is packed with nutrients and probiotics, offering a delicious way to add that extra healthy punch to your daily diet!
Alongside being filled with beneficial bacteria, sauerkraut also has high levels of vitamin C, B6 and K, potassium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and other essential minerals.
Tasty served as a side, salsa, sandwich topping, or salad/stir-fry ingredient, sauerkraut can be used in many different dishes, making it a particularly good item to add to your fridge. Because it is a no-fuss item, you can even pop it onto a cracker on your way out the door – which makes eating-on-the-go so much healthier for you!
Knosh’s sauerkraut range offers you a whole selection of flavour choices, including turmeric and ginger, kimchi, and tzatziki! We have even expanded to include all kinds of other fermented veggie jars, including a mixed veg range.
Have a look at our online shop, or keep an eye out for our labels when popping into All Things Earthly at the Noordhoek Farm Village, the Neighbourhood Farm, and Blended Café in Glencairn.