Why you should be adding fermented foods to your diet

What do yogurt, sourdough bread, kombucha, and sauerkraut have in common? They’ve all got a slightly mouth-puckering, sour quality, due to being fermented foods. You may be someone who naturally craves and gravitates toward fermented foods – or you might think they’re a little strong for your taste. Either or, read on to learn about the health benefits fermented foods deliver to your body.

At Nourish Cafe, we love fermented foods so much that we’ve included them throughout our menu. Visit us in Downtown Northampton to try your favorite, or something new.

Fermentation creates healthy bacteria

Tufts University sums up the benefits of the fermentation process in an article on fermented foods:

“In fermentation, whether for yogurt or beer, bacteria or yeast feed on the natural sugars in foods. These microorganisms create compounds such as lactic acid or alcohol, which help preserve the foods. The fermented foods also wind up filled with ‘friendly’ bacteria… as well as helpful enzymes. The bacteria ‘predigest’ certain food components, making them easier for your gut to handle and for nutrients to be absorbed when you eat them.”

Improved digestibility isn’t the only benefit of fermented foods. Fermented veggies contain glucosinolate compounds believed to fight cancer. And, evidence suggests that a healthy gut can positively impact the whole body – reducing inflammation, allergies, and symptoms of autoimmune disorders.

Fermented foods on the menu at Nourish Wellness Café

You can get your daily dose of gut-boosting bacteria at Nourish in a variety of forms and flavors. If you’re new to fermented foods, you might choose a more subtle variety, like miso or sourdough. For a slightly stronger fermented taste try one of our Wellness Bowls, which feature locally-sourced kraut, ginger carrots, and beets from Real Pickles in Greenfield, MA.

House-Fermented, Vegan Cashew “Cheese”

Try this creamy, tangy, dairy-free “cheese” with veggie sticks and seed crackers for dipping. We love it spread on Tart Baking Co. sourdough or gluten-free toast. You can also order it as a topping on one of our Wellness Bowls.

South River Miso

This family-owned, artisanal miso company has been making handcrafted, certified organic miso in Conway, MA since 1979. Why opt for miso when choosing fermented foods? According to South River, “Miso offers a nutritious balance of natural carbohydrates, essential oils, minerals, vitamins and protein of the highest quality, containing all of the essential amino acids.” Enjoy it in our Miso Tahini dressing – over a Wellness Bowl or as a dipping sauce for your Nori Roll; as well as, in our Wellness Miso Broth for sipping, or in our Winter Warmer Bowl.

Sourdough Rye from Tart Baking Co.

The sourdough fermentation process makes it the best bread you can choose for digestibility and nutrient absorption. In most breads, phytates bind to minerals, hindering the body’s ability to absorb them. In sourdough, the fermentation process results in high levels of lactic acid bacteria. This bacteria helps degrade phytates – thereby increasing mineral absorption. Sourdough bread also has a lower gluten content than regular bread, making it easier to digest for those sensitive to gluten. Prebiotics present in sourdough and other fermented foods feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut, making for a resilient digestive system.

At Nourish, we top slices of Tart Baking Co. sourdough with avocado, cashew “cheese,” Full Moon Ghee, beet hummus, cucumber – even almond butter and banana – for a satisfying, healthy snack.


We offer fermented beverages and “shots” for a beneficial refresher or pick-me-up. Try Katalyst Kombucha, Sweet Birch Herbals Fire Cider, and Beet Kvass.

For your fermented foods fix, visit us at Nourish Wellness Cafe in Downtown Northampton!

Sources for This Article:

About Miso – South River Miso
Discover the Digestive Benefits of Fermented Foods – Tufts University
Why Sourdough Bread is One of the Healthiest Breads – Healthline

Brianna Santellan

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