A healing addition to your diet, fermented foods are involved in fighting infection, speeding the healing process, reducing inflammation and even improving conditions such as ADHD and depression. That’s because they improve the integrity of the gut which aids absorption of nutrients – and our cells need those nutrients in order to keep us healthy and happy J  If you’re local to Hawke’s Bay, pop along to the Sunday Market in Hastings to sample some of the best fermented foods on offer by the lovely Nadia Kersel at Old School Ferments *  Otherwise, take a visit to your local health shop and invest in some sauerkraut, kombucha, kefir or kimchi. Your cells will thank you!

But what if you are following a low FODMAP diet? FODMAP is an acronym that stands for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols and relates to foods that contain specific carbohydrates that are not always easily absorbed.

Examples of high FODMAP foods include fermentable:

·         Oligosaccharides: Jerusalem artichoke, cabbage, onion, and garlic.

·         Disaccharides: Cow or goat milk.

·         Monosaccharides: Apples, peaches, mangos, and pears.

·         Polyols: Avocados, apricots, prunes, snow peas, and xylitol.

These carbohydrates can end up fermenting in the intestines, leading to symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), causing gas, bloating, pain and nausea. A low FODMAP diet restricts foods that feed bacteria in the gut, so the painful symptoms are alleviated.

But over time, without adding in probiotic-rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir, the  inner ecosystem may not have an opportunity to rebuild.  Researchers who originally developed the FODMAP diet are stressing that restrictions on the diet should eventually be removed as gut health improves.  This means reintroducing high FODMAP foods to help restore the inner ecosystem of the gut. Of course, everyone is different, so there is no perfect or predictable timing for this, but it’s an important message you need to know if you are excluding high FODMAPs from your diet.

For personal advice email alison@healthyeating.net.nz

  • Nadia Kersel features on the March 2017 Health Matters radio show

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *