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Fermented food and the importance of probiotics

01 Aug, 2022
Image of a person's torso with a focus on the abdomen, indicating probiotics for gut health

Much has been written about the role that probiotics play in improving your overall health and wellbeing.

These friendly natural microorganisms help to maintain the delicate balance of good bacteria in your gut and prevent various health conditions.

So, getting enough probiotics in your diet is essential, but where do they come from? Some foods are richer in probiotics than others, and the best way of ensuring you get enough is by eating more fermented foods, like yoghurt, kefir and sauerkraut. 
Fermented foods are a type of food that has been fermented using bacteria and yeasts. These microorganisms transform the properties of certain active ingredients, to boost the number of beneficial bacteria they contain. Some benefits of eating fermented foods include improved gut health, better digestion, and reduced inflammation. Additionally, fermentation can produce various vitamins and enzymes, which help break down food in your stomach and intestines. This helps you absorb nutrients more effectively and avoid problems like bloating and gas, making these foods an important source of nutrients.

Image of a person's torso with a focus on the abdomen, indicating probiotics for gut health


Probiotics are beneficial organisms that live in the gut and help to improve gut health. They work by helping to maintain the balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract, which can help to prevent various health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhoea, constipation and stomach ulcers.
Probiotics can also help to improve your overall mood and energy levels. Many people take probiotics as a supplement to help improve their gut health, but they can also be found in many different types of food products, such as yogurt and kefir.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics. The benefits of eating them are vast. They can improve gut health and help to fight against inflammation. They can also help to improve your immune system function.

Fermented foods also have antioxidant properties, which can protect cells from damage. They are a great way to add flavour and nutrients to your diet and are easy to make at home.

Image of assorted fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha, promoting gut health


Fermentation is a process of transforming carbohydrates, sugar, starch and other organic substances in food, to help preserve it. Alcohol and carbon dioxide are natural by-products of fermentation – the process has been used for thousands of years to make beer and wine. However, while many fermented foods contain alcohol, it’s only in trace amounts, so they are usually safe to consume. Fermentation also produces probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that improve gut health and digestion.
There are many different types of fermented foods, and we have listed some of our favourites below.

Sauerkraut is a fermented food that has many health benefits. It is rich in probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that help to improve gut health and digestion. Sauerkraut also contains antioxidants and other nutrients that can protect the body from disease, including Vitamin C, Calcium, Vitamin B, Vitamin K and Magnesium.
Kimchi, or Korean chilli paste, is a probiotic gut health food that can improve digestion. It can be eaten on its own or as part of a dish. This popular Korean dish is made of fermented cabbage, garlic, and herbs. It is a good source of Vitamin C, Folic Acid and Fibre.
Kombucha is a fermented drink that has been around for centuries. It’s made from tea and sweetened with sugar or fruit juice, then combined with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast to create the probiotic colonies that provide its main health benefits.
Kombucha helps promote gut health, improve digestion, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost the immune system. It’s low in calories and high in antioxidants, making it an ideal beverage for those looking to maintain their weight or improve their overall health.
Yoghurt is a fermented food that has many health benefits. It’s a good source of probiotics and Calcium, which are important for overall health. It’s also low in sugar and high in protein, which makes it an ideal food for people who are looking to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Yoghurt is a cultured dairy product. It’s made by heating milk and combining it with two live bacterial cultures, which sour the milk and thicken it to create the yoghurt.
Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a type of fermented dairy food that originated in the UK. It is a soft cheese made with curdled whole milk and live cultures, lactic acid and natural yeasts. The fermentation process turns the milk into a thick, creamy product with a sour taste and distinctive smell. Like yoghurt, cottage cheese is rich in probiotics and high in protein and calcium which are essential for overall health.
Kefir is a fermented drink made from milk and sugar. It is popular in Eastern Europe and Asia, where it is used as a sour cream substitute or to promote digestive health. As well as being a good source of probiotics, kefir also contains Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D and antioxidants. It contains natural sugars that can help you to feel full after consuming less, which can help with weight management.
Tempeh is a fermented food, made from soya beans that has been around for centuries. The probiotics it contains help protect the gut from harmful bacteria and yeast overgrowth. Tempeh can also improve mood and cognitive function due to the high levels of B vitamins and antioxidants present in the recipe.

A healthy gut can improve your digestive health, immune system, mood and mental wellbeing, and help your body to fight off a host of illnesses and infections. The key to maintaining a healthy gut is to create the conditions that help its healthy bacteria to thrive, so they can kill off any unhealthy bacteria or toxins which can cause long-term health problems. Probiotics help to do just that.

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Information and other content provided in Lily & Loaf blogs should not be construed as medical advice and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical expertise. If you have any medical concerns, you should consult with your health care provider.