Top 7 Unique Fermented Indian Superfoods, that you must add to Your Diet

Fermentation, Uncovered

Fermented foods and beverages are becoming increasingly popular. You can now find kombucha on tap in bars, sourdough bread in cafes and more varieties of yoghurt, sauerkraut and kimchi in your local supermarket. Today, more people are turning to these foods for their potential health benefits.

Fermented foods have been part of the human diet for centuries, and Essentially a metabolic process of preserving food, fermentation involves controlling bacteria and yeast to transform food into fuel by releasing into our stomach, microorganisms that are essential for facilitating digestion.

Also Read: Advanced Guide to Keep Your Second Brain Healthy And Happy

Fermented foods are filled with beneficial bacteria that helps in boosting good bacteria in the digestive system. The amazing thing about Fermented food is that they are budget-friendly and will help you to secure food for a longer period.

Consumption of fermented foods is good in many ways like it enhances the bioavailability, reduces symptoms of lactose intolerance, and holding anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.

What are fermented foods?

Fermented foods are foods and beverages that have undergone controlled microbial growth and fermentation.

Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria break down food components (e.g. sugars such as glucose) into other products (e.g. organic acids, gases or alcohol).

While Natural Fermentation can be done by leaving food overnight or for many days to initiate natural fermentation.

This gives fermented foods their unique and desirable taste, aroma, texture and appearance.  There are thousands of different types of fermented foods.

Also read: 7 Natural Drinks To Improve Gut Health

Fermented Foods and their Types

Fermented foods have been a significant part of traditional Indian cuisine, irrespective of the state you are in. They are made from a variety of ingredients as well as colourful fruits and vegetables. Largely there are 7 types of fermented foods:

Fermented foods

1. Made from cereals and/or pulses – Idli, dosa, Ambala, nan, pazhaya, etc. 

2. Buttermilk based including cereal/pulses – Kadi, Kulu, Mor Kuzhambu, etc. 

3. cereal-based fermented sweets and snacks – Tiskari, jalebi, Bhatura, Torani, Changpa, Thuktal, etc. 

4. Made from milk – Curd, Philuk, Somar, Chhu, Chirping, etc. 

5. Made from unripe fruits, bamboo shoots, vegetables – sauerkraut, Iromba, Meshu, Goyang, Gundruk, Sinki, Khorisa-Tenga, etc. 

6. Made from meat products – Yak Satchu, Hentak, Lona Ilish, Uttonggari, etc. 

7. Made from pulses – Bedwin roti, dhokla, khaman, Madrah, wadi, Bekanthu, Hawaijar, etc. 

Top 7 Indian Fermented Superfoods

Fermented foods are a staple in the Indian diet, with most meals incomplete without a bevy of Lacto-fermented achaar (pickles) that add a healthy kick of flavours, from sweet-and-sour to spicy and tangy.

Curd (Dahi)

Found in every Indian household, Dahi is prepared by naturally fermenting cow or buffalo’s milk. It is a rich source of folic acid, riboflavin, vitamin B-complex, and lactic acid bacteria. Used in the daily diet, it is rich in probiotics or good bacteria thereby improving gut health. It further impedes the growth of E. coli and other bad bacteria in the gut.

Cure

Also read: Healthy Yogurt Recipes

Dhokla

A traditional fermented food, Dhokla is a staple food item of Gujarat. It is prepared using Bengal gram and/or rice. Rice and pulse flour is fermented with curd and then steamed. The resulting item is airy and spongy. The process of fermentation increases the antioxidant property of making it easily digestible and suitable for diabetics as well. It helps in combating age-related diseases and diabetes

Here is dhokla recipe: https://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/recipe/Khaman-Dhokla-KhaanaKhazana.html

Buttermilk (Chach)

Buttermilk is made by adding a bacteria culture to nonfat or low-fat milk. The result is a tart, fermented liquid that’s thicker than milk. Buttermilk can be used to lighten pancake batter and is the secret ingredient in coleslaw responsible for its creaminess and tangy flavour. To be sure that you’re getting buttermilk that is rich in probiotics, be sure to pick a container with an “active cultures” label.

Spiced buttermilk recipe: https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/chaas-recipe-buttermilk-recipe/

Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented drink made of black tea and sugar (from various sources like cane sugar, fruit or honey). It contains a colony of bacteria and yeast that is responsible for initiating the fermentation process once combined with sugar.

Do fermented foods like kombucha contain alcohol? Kombucha has trace amounts of alcohol but too little to cause intoxication or even to be noticeable.

Kombucha

Check out the Kombucha recipe here.

Pickles (Achaar)

Homemade naturally fermented pickles are amazing for the health of your gut. They contain tons of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, which a store-bought jar of fermented pickles might not contain.

Pickles

Idli

Idli is a round, fluffy bread, made from ground rice or rice flour mixed with ground black gram, salt, methi (fenugreek seeds) and water. The mixture is allowed to ferment before being steamed in an idli steamer. It makes an important contribution to the diet as a source of protein, calories and vitamins, especially B‐complex vitamins, compared to the raw unfermented ingredients.

Here is an easy idli recipe: https://m.tarladalal.com/idli-1652r

Kanji

Kanji is a fermented drink made from antioxidant-rich black carrots, beetroot, mustard seeds, water and black salt, with the potent concoction preserved in ceramic jars and left to ferment in the sun for as long as two to three days before being strained and served. It has a pungent, zingy flavour which might take a while to grow on you.

Here is the probiotic kanji recipe

These food items are packed with nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals. It helps in boosting your body’s immune system and fighting common diseases such as cold, indigestion, obesity, and many other ailments.

So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and include these unique fermented food items in your diet and reap the many benefits. 

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar

7 Best Natural Drinks To Improve Gut Health You Need to Try

It’s always difficult for people to consume gut-healthy foods in their daily diet to fight with body inflammation.

Though Taking probiotics or supplements is obviously one way to boost your gut health, but I prefer natural foods as the best source to help improve immunity and your overall gut health.

Did you feel this, too?

How do you improve your gut health naturally?

”By consuming gut-healthy foods and drinks, you can reduce inflammation in your gut, say goodbye to digestive symptoms like gas and bloating, and boost your immunity.” 

Caring for your gut is a very important component of a good health routine. Every day, it seems that yet another study links its bacteria to some component of well-being, whether it’s mental health or acne-free skin. Taking probiotics is obviously one way to boost your microbiome, but we prefer these easy recipes to help improve digestion and your overall gut health.

Never to underestimate the importance of gut health when it comes to your body and wellbeing.

1. Celery Juice

Celery juice is filled with vitamins A, C, and K, and is an antioxidant. But it also is amazing for reducing gut inflammation.

“It contains a flavonoid named luteolin, which has been proven to inhibit gut inflammation.” 

2. Aloe juice

Aloe juice is a natural laxative that can help reduce inflammation and decrease discomfort for people suffering from IBS.

“Due to its laxative properties, it can cause some digestive discomfort in those who are not accustomed to it.”

3. Water

Water keeps things moving along, balances the good bacteria in the gut, and protects the intestines. Consider sipping ”alkaline water”, which supports a healthy colon and encourages the growth of probiotics.

Touted as nature’s digestive aid, water is a major component of every single cell that lines your digestive tract, meaning you need plenty of it for those cells to function.

4. Bone broth

It is one of the “gut healing” drinks. It contains glutamine, an amino acid that has been shown to soothe and repair the gut.

“Bone broth can help to reduce inflammation in your gut and heal the membrane,” 

5. Prune juice

Soluble fiber—the main type of fiber found in prune juice, can help to slow the absorption of sugars and improve blood sugar levels.

Prune juice is chock-full of dietary fiber. ”It can alleviate and prevent constipation, and that they may even prevent colon cancer. ”

6. Ginger tea

Drinking warm ginger tea just before or during a big meal may improve digestive health and prevent heartburn, stomachache and indigestion. Ginger has been used for centuries to soothe the GI tract, this is because the root stimulates saliva flow, bile and gastric juice production, which jump-starts the breakdown of the food you eat.

”It also stimulates the production of certain gut-healthy bacterial species, acting as a prebiotic. Plus, you’ll reap all of the other benefits of this powerful root!”

7. Water kefir

For those of us who are lactose intolerant, water kefir makes a great alternative to milk kefir. It can be made by combining water, sugar, and fruit. 

“ It is full of probiotic bacteria to boost your immunity and improve your digestion.”

8. Yoghurt

Especially the types that contain live active cultures, is incredibly healthy for your gut. Just remember to avoid the varieties that are sugar-laden, as these will only feed the bad bugs living in your gut.

Everyone’s microbiome is unique,” like a fingerprint, so we can’t yet promise that certain ingredient will boost yours. The best advice is to mix up the drinks you have, for maximum diversity. Having a healthier gut doesn’t need to be difficult; there are plenty of drinks that contribute to gut health, and it can be as simple as switching up what you drink.

By Priyanshi Bhatnagar