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In a pickle? Why fermented foods are fab

In a pickle? Why fermented foods are fab

Do you know your kimchi from your sauerkraut, or is the idea of eating fermented cabbage enough to turn your stomach?

Where many countries around the globe have been enjoying naturally fermented foods for millennia, we are lagging behind on the practice of letting our foods go through a process known as lactofermentation.

This basically means foods that have been fed on by natural bacteria, creating lactic acid – not quite as disgusting as it sounds. It not only preserves the food, but also releases beneficial enzymes such as Omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics and b-vitamins.

We don’t advise fermenting any old food – be selective and copy others. Sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, is a real hit with many Europeans. It is said to help beat depression and anxiety and the homemade version has no chemical preservatives or added sugar.

Pickles are great, yep, like the ones you get on your double whopper burger. Full of probiotics and less scary than a lot of fermented food, us Brits feel at home when we see a pickle as they’re not completely unfamiliar territory!

Kimchi is a firm favourite in Korea and is said to be a beauty food. It’s a spicy dish made from fermented cabbage and as it aids digestion it’s also supposed to boost the appearance of your skin.

There are fermented foods and drinks out there with odd names that you might want to investigate once you’ve touched on the more well-known varieties. These include kombucha, a fizzy fermented black tea which is no stranger to New Yorkers; miso, a paste made from fermented soya beans, and tempah, a more solid version of the fermented soya bean.

Natural fermentation of foods is believed to preserve nutrients and break the food down to a more digestible form. This, along with the host of probiotics created during the fermentation process, may explain why the consumption of fermented foods seems to improve digestion.

Eating well alongside your gym visits is the best way to get results. So go on, dare you – eat some pickled cabbage!