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Why Eat Fermented Food? Barry

There are some fermented foods which people still eat a plenty. Yogurt is in that category - but most factory-produced flavoured and filled yogurts don't really cut it as "live" foods. There are some good ones of course, including probiotic yogurts, that can be worth buying from the supermarket. But for the very best fermented cultures you may need to a bit look further.

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Why Eat Fermented Food?

Why Eat Fermented Food?

Why should you eat fermented food?

Is there anything to be gained now we have fresh food available 24/7 and our fridges keep food fresh for when we want it?

Sure, there are some fermented foods which people still eat a plenty. Yogurt is in that category - but most factory-produced flavoured and filled yogurts don't really cut it as "live" foods. There are some good ones of course, including probiotic yogurts, that can be worth buying from the supermarket. But for the very best fermented cultures you may need to a bit look further.

The foods I am talking about are still available but you have to seek them out. Some of the very best ones are made by small artisans and people in their own home kitchens. These are highly valuable foods with unique nutritional benefits.

Fermented food may just be the missing ingredient in your otherwise-healthy diet.

Here's a brief look at some of the commoner fermented foods and at what fermented food can do for you. This page concerns sauerkraut, yogurt cultures including acidophilus yogurt and probiotic yogurt. There is some outline information on how the living enzymes present in many fermented foods lessen the burden on the digestive enzymes which we use to process such foods.

There are also some .

making yogurt is easy

Picture above: yogurt is easy to make at home: see for details.

for good books on yogurt making and yogurt recipes.

Some real fermented food - starting with sauerkraut

Most people are familiar with sauerkraut. You can probably buy some in your nearest grocery. It is a bit more than just an old-fashioned way to preserve the cabbage crop for the long cold winter in Eastern Europe. It is produced by a lactic-acid fermentation of the natural sugars in the cabbage and this process of preservation ensures that much of the vitamin C present in the fresh cabbage is preserved. The lactobacilli involved are also beneficial for your health. A few people may be intolerant of it, however.

Sauerkraut (meaning "sour cabbage" in German) is a common fermented food for many people of central and Eastern Europe. Plenty of other nations have similar fermented foods - such as Korean Kimchi. Russians have similar foods, often with added beetroot. The Dutch are fond of sauerkraut with smoked sausages and in parts of the US "kraut juice" - the liquid reserved after the fermentation - is highly valued in some areas. Sauerkraut is often eaten as a relish or side dish for meats such as bratwurst or other continental sausages.

Sauerkraut is now used worldwide but some of the mass-produced varieties may not be so great for your health. The usual problem is that companies add too much salt and/or nitrates to aid preservation, or they pasteurise the finished product - which wipes out the friendly bacteria which created the product in the first place.

If the fermentation and preservation procedure is carefully and well done, sauerkraut is a safe and healthy food. There a...

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