Fermented Supplements: What Are They & Why Are They Good For You?

By now, we trust you are familiar with the benefits of fermented foods (we have been going on about gut health for the entire month of May, after all!). 

In case you need a refresher, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir work to increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut (our microbiome is made up of TRILLIONS of microorganisms which consist of both good and bacteria, so it’s important to keep this balance in check!). Not to mention that a healthy gut is linked to so many other aspects of health including stress, skin, immunity and mood… which can all be impacted by the food we eat. 

This brings us to our next point: fermented supplements. 

They don’t get nearly as much airtime as fermented foods, but they really deserve a spot on your radar! Why? Because they undergo a fermentation process similar to that of wholefoods, which means the health benefits extend far and wide!

What exactly is fermentation?

Fermentation is an anaerobic metabolic process which produces chemical changes in inorganic substrates through the action of lactic acid, bacteria, yeast or enzymes. It’s the process responsible for making things like beer, wine and bread and is one of the oldest preservation methods used to extend the shelf-life and boost the nutritional value of foods thanks to increased bioavailability. 

We were recently introduced to the Whole Earth & Sea Fermented Organic Protein & Greens and quite frankly, we were impressed! It’s a certified organic formula which contains 21 grams of vegan protein and a fermented herb, fruit and vegetable blend. It’s vegan-friendly, dairy-free, non-GMO and sweetened with low GI stevia. 

Here are just some of the health benefits associated with fermented supplements: 

  • Pre-digestion of complex foods

The process of fermentation essentially works to ‘pre-digest’ nutrients, which means all the nutrients are broken down making it easier for the body to absorb and utilise. This is especially beneficial for people who aren’t obtaining the right nutrients from their diet or suffer with digestive issues.

  • Increased bioavailability of phytonutrients while improving mineral absorption

Fermented supplements can increase bioavailability of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients (natural chemical compounds found in plants that provide exceptional health benefits). Again, making something more “bioavailable” means giving nutrients the best chance of being properly absorbed by the body. Absorption is super important as it enables your body to unlock the nutrient’s full potential. What’s the point of eating all that iron if your body isn’t using it right!? You might have heard that pairing iron with vitamin C can help your body absorb it better (such as squeezing lemon juice over your spinach leaf salads). Fermentation works in a very similar way!

  • Increased antioxidant capacity

Fermentation can also increase the antioxidant properties of your supplements. Antioxidants are compounds found in food such as colourful fruits and vegetables (think; berries, tomatoes, carrots and leafy greens), Oh and cacao (because… any excuse to talk about chocolate). Amongst other things, antioxidants help fight inflammation in the body by neutralizing free radicals and are super important for skin health and immunity.

Keen to give fermented supplements a go? Check out this recipe by @spoonfulofsarah created for @wholeearthandsea_aus!

RECIPE: Fermented Chocolate Oats With Quick Chia Jam 

Ingredients

1 scoop Whole Earth & Sea Fermented Protein & Greens

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 small zucchini, grated

1/2 tbsp cacao powder

1/4 cup plant milk (I used oat milk)

1/2 cup frozen berries

2 tsp chia seeds

Method

  1. Add the frozen berries to a small bowl and heat in the microwave until soft - about 20-40 seconds. Mash with a fork and add the chia seeds. Stir well and set aside while you prepare the oats.
  2. Add the oats, zucchini, cacao powder, plant milk and 1/2 cup of water to a pan. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until soft - about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir through the Whole Earth & Sea Fermented Protein & Greens.
  4. Place in a bowl and top with the chia jam. I also added some peanut butter! Enjoy!
Available in both chocolate and vanilla chai flavours, visit wholeearthsea.com for more info!
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