As I travel down this gluten-free path, I discover all the things I don’t know about food, nutrition and how the body works. Sometimes it is one step backwards, but mostly it is two steps forward.
When I was diagnosed as Celiac, just 12 months ago, my doctor advised that I should eat “fermented foods” to help the innards heal quicker. I knew absolutely nothing about fermented foods, but I soon discovered some interesting facts.
- They are hard to find in shops-most supermarkets don’t keep them
- They are expensive (As most gluten free food is more expensive than the “normal” variety, this was not surprising.)
- this was the sort of food that we all used to eat, before the processed food industry took over.
- Nearly all areas in the world had their own version of fermented food
- It was credited with keeping you healthy and making you live longer in many parts of the world.
Having done my research, Wikipedia says:
Some of the common foods that are available and are classed as fermented are:
- Chinese Pickles
- Crème fraîche
- Fermented Bean Curd
- Soy Sauce
- Tabasco Sauce
- Yoghurt Wikipedia: Creme Fraiche & raspberries
There are lots of others, but these are the most commonly available.
I now start my day with a 1/2 glass of kefir. There is no doubt this is an acquired taste-some say sour, but it does resemble curds and whey and tastes a little like very sour runny Greek yoghurt.
To make it easier to drink, I throw in a large handful of frozen berries, a large spoonful of lactose fee ice cream and vitamise it all together. Makes a wonderful, delicious smoothie and you are doing wonders for your internal workings. You can also buy kefir blended with fruit pulp already, so this makes it more palatable. Kefir is a fermented milk drink, that originated in the Russian Caucasus Mountains around 3,000 BC. Due to the presence of live “good” bacteria, it aides digestion in your intestines and even people with lactose intolerance can drink it. It also heals the intestines and promotes your healthy bacteria which in turn protects you against dangerous strains such as e coli. In Russia they say it is kefir that is responsible for the long lives of many of the Caucasus people.
Sauerkraut is also great in summertime as a salad, and miso chicken or vegetables from your local Chinese restaurant or take-away is also a good source of fermented food.
The suggested dose of fermented food is say 1 glass of kefir to start the week and then 1/2 a glass each day as a maintenance or top-up. It certainly makes me feel better, I suffer from less bloating and indigestion and the innards seem to function better.
For more information on fermented foods and other gluten free ideas have a look at my website:
Other places to find information on fermented foods: