Foods like kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut have been getting a lot of attention because of their potential benefits for gut (and overall) health. But what is the evidence? Are these trendy foods worth the hype?
Fermented foods have soared in popularity over the last few years. A decade ago, if you’d mentioned kimchi, kombucha or kefir, not many Westerners would have known what you were talking about. Today, they are almost considered staples of a healthy diet.
For those who haven’t tried them: kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables; kombucha is a fizzy fermented tea from China; and kefir is a cultured milk drink from the North Caucasus region.
Other fermented foods include sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, yoghurt, pickled vegetables, and soy products like miso and tempeh. You may even have jumped on the fermentation bandwagon during lockdown and made your own sourdough bread.
As well as tasting great (if a little tangy), these foods have been gaining a lot of attention because of their purported health benefits. Proponents say they are good for your gut health – and therefore your general health – and have wasted no time in dubbing them ‘superfoods’. So are these ancient treats worth the recent hype?
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