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Alive and kicking

Fermentation is the healthy food and drink craze that makes the most of your leftovers

Chances are, you’ve probably tasted some form of fermented food or drink at some stage in your life. Quite possibly, you’ve not always known that something you’ve had has been fermented. Take wine, kimchi, bread, and tea, for example – all are made using fermentation.

Fermentation is a naturally occurring process that promotes the growth and life cycle of ‘good’ bacteria or yeasts, to transform the taste and shelf life of ingredients. The process converts carbohydrates to alcohol and carbon dioxide or organic acids, and can only be conducted in the absence of oxygen. This all serves to create the much-loved tangy flavour, and sour environment that keeps the growth of any ‘bad’ bacteria at bay.

Fermentation isn’t just a trend – for thousands of years across countries around the world, it has been used to preserve food and enhance its nutritional value. Amazing things happen to certain foods that are left to sit in their own juices – their natural sugars and carbohydrates become agents that boost helpful probiotics that enable our digestive tracts to run smoothly. When our gut (which is part of our immune system) contains this good bacteria, it thrives. Digestive difficulties such as IBS are lessened when we have a healthy gut, and immunity, weight loss, and brain health can also be improved.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Be Kind - JanFeb 2019
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