Fermented foods said to have significant health benefits

Fermented food is popping up on menus across the country and on supermarket shelves too. This is one food trend that’s worth checking out. Researchers around the world are finding significant health benefits from making fermented food and drinks part of your everyday diet.

Chef William Pauley serves up plenty of fermented food at his restaurant Confluence Kombucha.

Pauley told Ivanhoe, “We do sauerkraut. We do kimchi. We do pickles.”
He also brews more than 100 flavors of kombucha, a fermented tea trending in the U.S.

“I would say every day, you need to have something cultured, pickled and fermented,” said Pauley.

Pauley’s love for fermented food was born during a two-year stint in South Korea. He had painful stomach ulcers growing up. They disappeared in Korea, where fermented food is king.

Pauley explained, “There, I got a little bit more balanced. The cuisine, fermented foods, it really balanced me out.”

Dan Brewer is a licensed dietitian who agrees fermented foods are great for your gut.

“The healthier your gut is, the healthier overall well-being will be,” detailed Brewer.
Fermented foods are also thought to reduce heart disease, type two diabetes and even social anxiety.

“I think there are a lot of health benefits to consuming and making fermented foods,” Brewer told Ivanhoe.

Another popular fermented food is the South Korean dish kimchi, which Brewer said also has anti-cancer, anti-obesity and anti-aging properties.

“It should just be part of your diet like everything else,” said Brewer.

Tasty as well as healthy. Brewer’s honey-fermented peaches and apples, fermented butter, and acorn squash kimchi all pack intense flavor. Pauley’s ulcers are now gone for good, which he credits to drinking kombucha every day.

“When I started feeling better, it really changed the way that I interacted with the world,” said Pauley.

Most supermarkets now carry kombucha tea as well as a handful of ready-made fermented foods. But Brewer said you don’t have to rely on grocery stores. He said it’s easy to ferment food yourself at home. You just need fruits and vegetables, salt, the right temperature and time.

Reporter:Lois Thome
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