I hear a lot about fermented foods - what are they?

Fermentation is the chemical breakdown by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms. It's been used since ancient times to preserve food. It's the process that produces pickled gherkins, sauerkraut and yoghurt.

Why are they such a hot topic?

The fermentation process produces 'good bacteria'. The kind that contributes to a healthy digestive system, support your immune system regulate your weight and reduce inflammation. They also help to produce serotonin - a chemical that is involved in regulating your mood. Having just the right amount of serotonin produces a relaxed and positive feeling.

Can eating fermented or probiotic food make you feel happier?

Early research sounds promising, but there's a long way before probiotics (or fermented foods) are prescribed for conditions like depression. However, there are so many benefits to eating these foods and they're tasty that it seems to make sense to give them a try.

Everyday probiotic foods


Choose natural, unsweetened and ideally organic


Vegetables pickled in salt and water (not those in vinegar)


A traditional fermented food. The name means 'fermented cabbage'

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