Taking your next steps on the probiotic road

Maybe you’ve fallen off the home workout wagon, or lockdown wreaked havoc on your sleep patterns, but staying hydrated and keeping your probiotic levels topped up with a daily dash of KTea means you’re feeling ready to face the day ahead. Congratulations - you’ve hit basecamp one on the probiotic journey (naturally, we think it’s the best one) and are ready to continue your journey. There are plenty of other probiotic ways to help your body this summer. Here’s a few of our favourites.
Many people start their probiotic journey without even realising, with a side of sauerkraut at Oktoberfest, or maybe on a school trip to Germany. It starts life as a simple white cabbage, which is shredded and submerged in brine for a few days in a process known as lacto-fermentation. As the bacteria breaks down sugar, lactic acid and carbon dioxide are created, which removes oxygen and produces more of the safe, healthy bacteria and prevents pathogenic ones growing. The process also helps make the vitamin C more easily accessed by the body - with one cup of sauerkraut offering around 35% of your recommended daily allowance. Captain Cook even took nearly 8000lbs of the stuff on his voyages, and reported no deaths from scurvy after two whole years at sea. Top tip: Make sure your ‘kraut is freshly fermented - pasteurisation kills healthy bacteria.
It’s a case of same-same-but-different with kimchi. Whilst it goes through the same process as sauerkraut, a more leafy cabbage is used (sometimes known as napa) and Korean spices such as red chilli pepper, fish sauce and ginger give it a fiery kick. South Koreans eat about 1.85 million metric tons of kimchi a year which works out at about 36kg per person (but sensibly not all at once).
Hailing from the mountainous region between Russia and Asia, kefir is often described as like a thin, sour yoghurt. It packs one of the strongest punches when it comes to probiotics, in terms of both the range of bacteria and quantity present. Although it’s one of the more acquired tastes in the probiotic line up, its creamy texture means it’s a great addition to smoothies, or if you’re still getting used to the flavour, mixed in with Greek honey and yoghurt. Top tip: For the vegan and dairy free among you, water kefir uses h2O in place of milk - take note though - it’s only alike in name and process - the bacterial makeup is completely different.
Asian food lovers will be familiar with miso, but did you know it’s also full of fermented goodness? Made by fermenting soybeans with salt and a particular fungus, its mild flavour means it’s delicious on its own as a soup, or to add flavour to stir fries, or to glaze vegetables, fish or meat.
The A-Z of probiotics
There really is an A-Z of probiotics, with each country having its own tradition of fermentation. Although the UK’s may not be as associated with benefits to health as other countries (beer and cheese, anyone?) we’re able to access an amazing array of foods from around the world, meaning your probiotic journey may have started with KTea Kombucha, but it might just have opened the doors to a fantastic fermented world.

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