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?
The best way to describe Kefir is as a slightly effervescent drinking yoghurt. It’s made with small grains carrying good bacteria which are added to milk and give the drink a slight fizz as a result of the fermentation process. It comes from the Caucuses, where traditionally it is made with cow or goat milk, but trendy new versions have popped up with coconut milk too.
Where to try it: It’s easy to make at home once you’ve got the starter kit, but for the lazier among you the best places to get hold of is probably Wholefoods, which stocks our favourite: Nourish Kefir.