Almost any vegetable can be fermented. Think cabbage, parsnip, beets, potatoes, pumpkins, carrots, cucumbers and everything in between. Even black tea can be fermented. You've most probably already heard of kombucha. That's fermented black tea. Then there are goitrogens, substances of veggies that negatively impact the thyroid. By fermenting kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts and so on, one can drastically reduce the number of present goitrogens. By fermenting, even phytic acid can be broken down. That makes it much easier for our body to absorb precious nutrients like zinc and iron. Bacteria used in fermentation can increase levels of some micronutrients as well, such as omega 3s and the spectrum of vitamin B.

Some research confirm that the Western population has poorer bacteria diversity than people in India, for example. In India, especially less industrialized parts of it, Ayurvedic eating remains a norm. Ayurvedic lifestyle naturally consists of many fermented foods. That's why many of us end up taking probiotic supplements and enzymes to deal with poor digestion, leaky gut, and other digestive issues. When it comes to that point, supplementing, of course, can be a great help. It is sad, however, that so many people prefer supplementing to eating wholesome, local and seasonal food with homemade fermented foods. Convenience seems to be above all.

Then there is the mental health aspect. Recent research have shown there is an undeniable connection between our microbiome and brain activity. Healthy gut, therefore, means better mental health in general, reduced anxiety, milder psychotic episodes, and less depression.  We've written about the connection between mental and gut health recently. 

I, personally, am still beyond baffled by the positive impact fermented foods have had on my urinary systems. Since incorporating sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, tempeh, kombucha, and water kefir into my daily diet, (otherwise recurring) UTIs have not come back.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab some of those natural probiotics and give yourself a health boost you might not know you need. Those of you from Slovenia: did you know there are local unpasteurized kombucha and water kefir products on market?

Here are some of our recipes which include fermented products, and articles about probiotics:

Written by Masha.