Fermented Foods And Your Health


What we eat influences how we feel, and nutrition plays a critical role in not just physical health, but also our mental wellbeing. The intricate link between what we eat and how we feel is more profound than many realise, underscoring the importance of diet in the potential management of conditions like anxiety and depression.

Central to this connection is our gut, often referred to as the “second brain.” This isn’t just a metaphor; the gastrointestinal tract has billions of bacteria that form the gut microbiome, influencing everything from digestion to immune function—and, yes, even our mood and mental health.

Maintaining a healthy and strong gut microbiome is essential to wellbeing and there are several important factors to maintaining a health gut microbiome. One fascinating area of recent research explores the potential benefits of fermented foods. Fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha are rich in probiotics, the beneficial bacteria that can help balance the gut flora. Incorporating foods these into your diet may contribute to improved mental health through enhancing the gut-brain axis. The gut-brain axis is a complex system where the brain communicates with the gut and vice versa, using neural, hormonal, and immunological signalling pathways. This network influences not only digestive processes but also emotions and cognitive functions.

Including some fermented foods into your diet regularly is quite simple. Try some of the following:

  • Start Your Day with Yogurt: Begin your mornings with a serving of natural unsweetened yoghurt. Mix in some fresh fruit or add a small handful of raw nuts and seeds for some crunch.
  • Incorporate Sauerkraut or Kimchi into Meals: Add a scoop of sauerkraut or kimchi to your sandwiches, salads, or as a side dish to your main course. Their tangy flavour and spice (if kimchi) can pair well with a variety of foods.
  • Sip on Kombucha: Swap out your afternoon soft drink for a glass of low-sugar kombucha. This fizzy, fermented tea is not only refreshing but also supports your gut health.

Recognising this increasing emerging research on the importance of fermented foods in nutrition and good health, the Nutrition and Foodservices team at Mater have recently launched their latest Luke Mangan Specials Menu featuring fermented foods.

We invite you to try one of our latest, restaurant-quality recipes from our menu and experience the benefits firsthand.

Mater Dietitians can also assist with their expertise in the complex interplay between diet and the gut microbiome and also advise you on your everyday diet choices and how these can impact your overall health and wellbeing. Book an appointment with one of our Mater Health and Wellness Dietitians by:

Phone – (07) 3163 6000 Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 4.00pm

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