Nutrition

New Research On The Benefits Of Kombucha And Other Fermented Food And Drink

We love to sing the praises of fermented foods and drinks around here, but did you know that traditionally fermented food/drink is also a hot topic in the science world right about now? Yes, siree. Researchers have been studying the link between consuming fermented foods and drinks (including kombucha) and the potential positive effect it has on overall gut health.

The New York Times (aka the big dogs) recently covered findings from a study carried out by researchers from Stanford University which were published in the scientific journal The Cell, that shows us fermenting-nerds are onto something, revealing that “foods like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and kombucha increased the diversity of gut microbes and led to lower levels of inflammation”.

You can read the full article here but for those who need the TLDR version, we’ve put together our own little summary below:

WHAT DID THE SCIENTISTS WANNA KNOW?
They wanted to see what changes happen in our gut when we amp up our intake of fermented foods versus how our gut reacts to a diet fuller in fibre-rich foods.

HOW DID THEY GO ABOUT IT?
The researchers recruited 36 healthy adults who were randomly split into two groups. One went from having almost no fermented food or drink in their diet to eating about six servings a day (let’s call them our Fermented Friends). The other group had their usual fibre intake doubled (we’ve dubbed them the Fibre Fans).

SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?
At the end of the 10-week study, our Fermented Friends showed marked reductions in inflammatory markers along with increased diversity in their gut microbes. The Fibre Fans on the other hand, did not show either of these things.

WHAT’S SO GOOD ABOUT THIS ANYWAY? 
Basically, our Fermented Friends showed a reduction in certain inflammatory compounds that are often elevated in people living with diseases like Type 2 Diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis. The Fibre Fans however did not show a similar decrease in the same compounds. But why should you care?      

Because the reduction in our fermented friends’ inflammatory markers corresponded to a change in their gut; consuming more fermented food and drinks meant a greater number and a much wider variety of microbial species started blooming!

More diverse gut microbiome = lower rates of Type 2 Diabetes, Metabolic Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis and obesity (boo ya!). 

HANG ON, IS FIBRE NO GOOD?
Have no fear! High-fibre foods are still A-OK! Health professionals still agree that getting a good amount of fibre in your diet has a world of benefits including reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and helping to keep you regular (TMI we know).  

But wait, there’s more. The article revealed that it might be the case that Fibre Fans with “low microbiome diversity may have lacked the right microbes to digest all the fibre they consumed”. This is because those who started out with higher levels of gut diversity showed a reduction in inflammation whereas those who had low diversity experienced increased inflammation in line with their fibre increase. 

We’re no scientists but it looks like researchers are speculating that increasing your intake of fermented foods (which can increase gut diversity) may actually help you to better digest fibre. Our fermented friends and fibre fans can finally come together (New BFFS!?).

*PSSST WHAT EVEN ARE FERMENTED FOOD & DRINKS?
Asking for a friend. No judgement here. Fermented foods are those that have undergone a process where a bacteria or yeast break down certain components of a food to produce live microorganisms and other by-products such as healthy organic and lactic acids and vitamins… along with delicious flavours. Kombucha happens to be one of these.  

SO HOW MUCH FERMENTED GOODNESS SHOULD I BE EATING & DRINKING?
OK. We’ll admit. The scientists got a little fermentation-happy with this one. Participants went from consuming no fermented products to 6 servings a day (but it’s not as much as it sounds like, we swear).

Their sample diet of 6 servings:

Breakfast: One cup of yogurt for breakfast

Lunch: 475ml bottle of kombucha

Dinner: 1 cup of kimchi

Remedy’s Sample Diet:

Breakfast: Remedy Ginger Lemon Booch to start the day

Lunch: Remedy Raspberry Lemonade Kombucha to wash the food down

Afternoon tea: Remedy Cola kombucha for the 3pm pick me up

Dinner: a sprinkle of kimchi (and maybe another Remedy)

Just joking (sort of)! But seriously, everyone is different so the amount of kombucha and other fermented products you wish to consume is totally up to you and how it makes you feel, but the insight from this new research certainly suggests getting a good range of traditionally fermented foods and drinks into your diet can only be a good thing. At Remedy HQ some of us are guilty of drinking up to 5 Remedies a day and as it turns out, this study showed us that our addiction is totally acceptable (take that Mum), especially if we throw a little yoghurt on our fruit salad and some sauerkraut on our sanger.

How do you know Remedy is the real deal?
Aside from the fact that we’ve self-claimed the title of kombucha connoisseurs, we’re also committed to making it right. We pride ourselves on being the real deal – brewing our kombucha the same way it has been for thousands of years. We’re talking small-batch, 30-day long-aged brews starting with a descendent of the very first batch our founders Sarah and Emmet made on their kitchen counter. You can rest assured knowing you’re getting a kombucha that is chock-full of live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants (and you won’t have to carry a jar of kimchi everywhere). Click here to find out more about how we make our kombucha the old school way.

How many live cultures exactly you ask?
Our drinks sit at a mighty minimum of 100 million live cultures per 100ml of Remedy (for real!), we’re raw, unpasteurised and contain no nasties – all naturale baby! How do we know our live cultures are swimming? Because we test every batch to make sure of it!


Eat and drink yourself happy

Nutritionist-approved mood boosting foods and drinks to help you feel your best. 


Wondering how to boost your mood? Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill shares the first place to start is your gut. 

The link between food and mental health is real. Your gut, which consists of no less than 100 trillion bacteria, has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system (ENS). While its main purpose is to regulate digestion, it also has a strong connection to the brain and can have a major impact on your mental well-being. 

In celebration of World Happiness Day on March 20th, Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill shares what to eat and drink to boost your mood.

Eat the rainbow. Colourful fruits and vegetables are your friends. Try to make your plate as colourful as possible at every mealtime and load up on foods high in high in tryptophan, magnesium, omega-3, and vitamin-E & D. Here’s how.

Tryptophan is needed to make serotonin, which regulates your mood and cannot be produced in the human body alone. Incorporate tryptophan-containing foods into your diet may ease anxiety. Foods such as oats, cottage cheese, turkey, eggs, bananas and tofu are high in tryptophan.

Magnesium is a mineral that assists muscles and nerves in relaxing. Foods rich in magnesium are leafy greens such as spinach, swiss chard. Also, legumes, avocado and brown rice are high too.

Omega-3 is another great one to boost. Make salmon, mackerel, sardines and eggs your go-to to up your omega-3 intake – all loaded with vitamin D. Lastly, load up on nuts such as pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and almonds. A handful a day is a great start.

Ferments are fun. It’s not a fad, fermented foods and drinks are really good for you and have been around for thousands of years. Think kimchi, Remedy Kombucha, sauerkraut, tempeh, miso and natural unsweetened yoghurt. All these types of foods feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut which produce short-chain fatty acids to support the communication loop between our brain and gut. This can improve mental clarity and a positive state of mind. I recommend swishing back a Remedy Kombucha at mealtimes to incorporate ferments into your every day easily.

Ditch the sweet stuff to smile more. The most recent stats show Aussies, on average, consume 14 teaspoons of white sugar a day. Yup, we’re all hooked, and it’s causing havoc on your mental health. Be mindful of your emotions when going cold turkey can be tricky but well worth it. People often see the results far sooner than they think - increased energy levels, clear skin, weight loss and mental clarity are a few benefits worth mentioning to help you muster up the motivation to reduce your sugar intake. If you’re looking for something for dessert – I recommend you reach for dark chocolate and some fresh berries. These winners may help improve your stress, mood and memory too. 



4 speedy smile-worthy snacks.

·      Remedy Kombucha with a handful of nuts

·      Banana topped with ABC nut butter

·      Fresh guac with veggie sticks

·      Dark chocolate and some fresh berries

 

Watch Remedy nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill below on Studio10. 


Improve Your Gut Health For Good with Sam Wood

Let’s talk gut health. Our gut microbiome consists of no less than 100 TRILLION bacteria, affecting everything from our immune health, skin, energy levels, digestion and hormone balance, which is why we need to take good care of it.

My food philosophy has always been, to JERF. Just eat real food.

Why? Because when we eat real food, we feed our bodies whole foods and nutritious ingredients and reduce the dangers that come with added sugars and processed junk.

Striking the right balance of both good and bad bacteria is vital. It doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive.

Here are some simple tips you can follow to improve your gut health:

1. Go banana’s on fruit: Add Berries and citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruit to your diet, they contain less fructose, making them easier to tolerate. Bananas are another low-fructose fruit that is fibre-rich and contain inulin, a substance that stimulates the growth of good bacteria in the gut.

2. Say YES to whole grains and nuts: Eating more whole grains has been shown to increase the types and numbers of bacteria in our gut. The same is true of nuts, so pick up a variety of walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds, remembering that a serving is what fits into the palm of your hand.

3. Embrace ferments: Fermented foods such as yogurts, sauerkraut and kombucha all contain live microorganisms. As a product of fermentation, a number of probiotic bacteria are produced which can help to balance the gut microbiome and improve digestion. Our family fave is Remedy Kombucha because it’s the real deal, jam-packed with live cultures, organic acids, antioxidants and contains no sugar naturally.

4. Eat your brussels sprouts: They contain fibre that good bacteria like and sulphur compounds that help combat unhealthy bacteria. Stir-fry with garlic and bacon for a delicious side dish (yum).

5. Reduce processed foods and sugar intake: When we eat too much sugar, we get an imbalance of bad bacteria in our gut. Cut down on your intake of processed food loaded with the sweet stuff, and this will not only improve your gut health but massively benefit your diet as a whole.

6. Grab more greens: Leafy greens, such as spinach or kale, are excellent sources of fibre, as well as nutrients like folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin A. Research shows that leafy greens contain a specific type of sugar that helps fuel growth of healthy gut bacteria.

7. Say CYA to artificial sweeteners: Steer clear of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose and saccharine. These disrupt the metabolism of microbes and reduce gut diversity –in animal studies, this has led to obesity and diabetes.

8. Peas please: I’m all about fibre-rich foods, and peas are a real winner. Peas are full of soluble and insoluble fibre to help keep your system in balance. Add peas to stir-fries, soups or salads. Easy peasy.

Words by Remedy Ambassador Sam Wood.

 

 


Feb Fast Survival Guide

We know January is never the time to say CYA to alcohol or break up with sugar. We all damn deserved a bit of fun in Jan, but you’re likely feelin’ "bleurgh" right about now. Which is why you might be wanting to avoid alcohol altogether or may just need a month off the booze. 

To make the booze-break official, many people are undertaking Feb Fast this month, to give up alcohol (or sugar) in an effort to raise funds for young people experiencing serious disadvantage to access the resources and support they require to lead healthy and fulfilling lives.

If you are one of the 'Feb Fasters' this month, we've got our Remedy Nutritionist Jacqueline Alwill to share her advice for what to avoid and what to increase to support your sober stretch.

Booze isn't the only thing you should avoid...

Whilst avoiding alcohol may be your main focus, look out for other dietary and lifestyle culprits that give you highs and lows too, as people often find themselves relying on one to reduce the effect of the other or eliminating one and replacing it for another.

 
Aim to reduce your intake of:

Alcohol and beware of liquor-infused chocolates, boozy custard or what might seem a harmless punch on the drinks table at a party. It's okay to be straight-up with friends, family and colleagues about having a breather from booze. When you do, more people look out for you and can give you a heads up when there's a food or drink that might have a little nip of it. You never know who may come on board with you either!

Caffeine - During this period it's helpful to try to reduce your intake of caffeine and set up some positive habits. You may find reducing caffeine actually isn't as difficult as it first seems when you're off the booze, too. A respite from alcohol will leave you feeling far more energised each day and less likely to want/need that coffee hit first thing after a night out. Reducing caffeine supports our health by reducing the load on our adrenals (responsible for releasing adrenaline and regulating our stress response) and the digestive system too — it's all a win!

Alcohol, caffeine and refined sugars all have a similar effect on the brain's reward centre, stimulating the release of dopamine, also known as the feel-good hormone. Whilst it might seem okay to have an extra cheeky sweet treat while abstaining from alcohol, this action can create a new habit or addictive behaviour that too can be hard to break in the long term. Aim to reduce refined sugars by temporarily avoiding items like cakes, pastries, chocolates, lollies, ice blocks, and sugar-sweetened beverages. The list goes on, but these are a great start!

 
Aim to increase the intake of: 

So you've paired things back with booze, maybe with caffeine and sugars too. Now to support and replenish the body so you're fighting fit for the year ahead.

Water and herbal teas - Most of us can do with an increase in water intake. Water is one of the simplest ways to create change in our bodies because it energises our cells and supports the body's natural detoxification pathways. 

Immune and gut supportive beverages in place of inflammatory ones - Caffeine and alcohol can be considered disruptive not only to our adrenals, energy and hormonal balance but also to our gut. Stock up on fermented goodness to improve your gut health with live cultured beverages such as Remedy Kombucha, which don't contain any sugar thanks to their long-aged fermentation process, but also aid digestion by balancing out bad bacteria with lots of all-natural good stuff, thanks to its live cultures, organic acids and antioxidants.

Vegetables and some fruit - Focus on increasing your vegetable intake including some starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, beetroot and pumpkin to sustain you. 

Healthy fats - Fats work in many wondrous ways, healthy fats (nuts seeds, avocado, olive oil, fatty fish such as salmon, trout and mackerel) offer essential nutrients to reduce inflammation in the cardiovascular system, improve cognition, to support the slow release of energy into our bodies by reducing the glycaemic load of our meals AND they improve satiety. If you've been eating heavy carbohydrate meals and wonder why you still feel hungry an hour later, it may be because the fat content necessary to keep you full just wasn't there.


How to ferment at home like a pro

Whatttta year!#@?! While it's been a toughy, one positive to come out of the big 'C' is that we've all been gathering around our kitchen counters more than ever fermenting up a storm (HELLO sourdough).

To celebrate all this culinary bravado, we've collaborated with our mates at I Quit Suar to share our all-time Ferment Faves! 

From kombucha makin' to pickling a Remedy rainbow of veg, each recipe is an ABSOLUTE party-in-your-mouth cracker. 

The best bit is that whether you're a fully-fledged ferment genius or an absolute NEWBIE, it doesn't matter! You'll enjoy these utterly calming to make recipes all the same in this 2020 craze. PLUS ferments are theeee BEST homemade gift ever, so be sure to drop off a jar full of goodness to all your nearest and dearest to try (Chrissy gift-giving sorted).

Ferment Fave Recipes:

Kombucha sourdough

Sweet & spicy fermented hot sauce

Kombucha pickled veg

How to brew your own kombucha

Fun Fact: The first batch of the Remedy Kombucha you know and love was created on our Founders kitchen bench in a small jar in Melbourne almost 15 years ago! From little jars, big things can grow!