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Opinion: Fermented foods are the answer to your stress

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Reported By Ana Rose Walkey

Come exam time, stress can be extremely high and sleep is at a premium, neither of which are favourable come exam day when alertness is key. Can fermented foods be the answer?

Kombucha is a fermented tea that is gaining popularity in the ever-hip and healthy Vancouver scene. DIY fermented foods are trending, with workshops popping up at the University of British Columbia and stores like Rooted Nutrition and Homestead Junction in Vancouver.

Now, you may see this as a stereotype: a hip and “healthy” millennial who enjoys sipping kombucha after a long night out of heavy drinking? But, it works. I love kombucha. As an avid coffee drinker, I am often hesitant about alternatives. But, never have I felt better and more alert than on a day started with kombucha.

There’s good reason for this increasing popularity. Fermented foods are ideal for students during exam time because they help promote a healthy gut and reduce anxiety.

According to a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology, a team led by Dr. Eva M. Selhub discovered that consuming fermented foods such as yogurt can indeed increase your mental health. They suggested that fermented foods almost always contain probiotics that are essential in soothing and regulating a healthy gut. They also explained that inflammation in the gut may be directly related to symptoms of anxiety.

However, fermented foods are expensive. I only find myself buying them when the 1 litre bottles of Rise Kombucha are on sale at Whole Foods.

An alternative is fermenting food at home, a skill that can be learned by attending some of the many fermentation workshops in Vancouver.

There are risks, such as introducing harmful bacteria into the mix, and there are benefits such as a healthier body and a healthier pocketbook.

In the end, the pros outweigh the cons and I know I will continue consuming fermented food and drinks. I might even learn to start making them.

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