There is a lot of information about the benefits of eating fermented foods on a regular basis. Your microbiome (gut) needs these foods to help you stay healthy. Fortunately, the choices are expanding from yogurt, pickles and sauerkraut to the more internationally-inspired flavours of kimchee, kefir, kombucha, natto and tempeh.
If you are accustomed to eating foods that are salted, sweetened and/or highly processed, your taste buds may recoil. It takes time to adjust your taste buds to a new flavour; up to 3 months, in some cases. In this study, “reduced dietary intake of simple sugars alters perceived sweet taste intensity, but not perceived pleasantness”.
Bear in mind that flavours can change when paired with certain foods. Anyone who has had orange juice after brushing their teeth will remember that icky taste. (How to hack your taste buds.)
- To help you add these important foods into your diet, start small. Mix a forkful of fermented beet and cabbage into your mashed potatoes. Add zing to your roasted cauliflower with a bit of kimchee. If you’re having a smoothie for breakfast, try a teaspoon of kefir.
- Try and try again. Give your taste buds time to adjust.
- Change what you pair your new food with if you don’t like the taste.
A “non-sour” memory
Each autumn, my sister and I would help my grand-mother (Baba) prepare a big batch of kysla kapusta, what you may know as sauerkraut. She used a simple and effective method that was likely used by her mother, and probably her Baba. If you’re curious about how Baba did it, you can read Capture the Ordinary….
Make your gut happy
This episode of The Nature of Things can serve as a gut primer.