Fermented Foods

Feb 27, 2017

There can’t be many people left in the country who haven’t by now heard something about fermented foods on TV, on social media or in the press.

Fermented foods are the very epitome of Hippocrates’ famous advice “let food be they medicine and medicine be thy food”, and every member of the Irish Association of Health Stores will offer you a variety of these foods. Apart from the old familiar probiotic yogurts, check in our chillers and freezers as well as ambient shelves for the products available, many of which are produced in Ireland.


Why is fermentation such a buzz word? In a nutshell, fermented foods are packed with healthy bacteria. UCC is a world-leader in studying the microbiome, the trillions of bacteria in our guts, and studies are currently underway to prove the powerful connections between maintenance of healthy gut bacteria and our immune systems, our mood, and our levels of anxiety and stress, as well as digestion.

Have a look on our shelves for the following fermented foods, and more:
Kefir, zooming in popularity, whether made on dairy or coconut milk, and lots of people now make their own.

Fermented soya in the form of tempeh, kept in freezers. It can be used in stir fries and is high in protein.

Miso paste, also made of fermented soy, can be added to casseroles and other baked dishes, or made into a clear broth with seaweed and tofu. Tempeh and miso are the only fermented foods which can be heated without destroying their vital bacteria.

Most people are familiar with traditional German sauerkraut, often with added juniper berries. Kimchi is another traditional fermented cabbage dish originating in Korea, spicier than sauerkraut.

Kombucha, fermented green or black tea with a history of many hundreds of years use in the East, is often made at home as well as being available from our chillers.

Many IAHS member shops will know how to obtain kefir grains and kombucha scobies for DIY enthusiasts, and “The Cultured Club” by Dearbhla Reynolds is packed with information on fermentation and loaded with recipes on how to ferment in our own kitchens.

So enjoy what is natural, bought or homemade, and safeguard your health. Hippocrates would approve!

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