The Culture Whisper guide to friendly bacteria
You might have noticed something a little lively raising its head in the food industry recently. Fermented foods, and so-called 'good bacteria' are all the rage. Recent studies have linked a healthy gut with anything and everything, from perfect skin and leaner figure, to a good night’s sleep.
A particular concern is that the modern Western diet has led to much less diversity in our gut bacteria, which could be negatively affecting our wellbeing, as well as our waistlines. So people are looking to fermented foods and other ‘probiotics’, full of friendly bacteria, to top up the good guys in their gut. Marylebone restaurant High Mood Food has even made them its USP.
Most interestingly, there’s a school of thought that a happy tummy also leads to a happy mind.
But what are these wonder foods, and where can you find them in the capital?
Good old-fashioned yoghurt, whether it’s Greek or otherwise, is the great-grandfather of the fermented food movement. People have been banging on about its good gut credentials for decades now, though now we’re a little wiser about the danger of added sugars or processed nasties. Go for plain varieties, and full fat too. Though most commercial varieties are made using only a very narrow range of bacteria, it’s still thought to be a very healthily addition to a balanced diet.
Where to try it: Any supermarket, but now there’s even a cafe dedicated to yoghurt in the middle of Covent Garden. Try Mandira’s savoury concoctions for something a little different to the usual sugar-laden yoghurt and granola deserts.