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Every time I hit the grill I find myself topping my burger with the same old boring toppings. Well, that’s going to change! Here are a few not-so-conservative toppings to try on your next burger! Better yet – they’re all fermented food sources. Now that’s a good reason to eat a burger!
Before we get started with these fermented food toppings, it’s important to address the fact that not all fermented foods are probiotics.
As gut health becomes more and more of a buzz, many articles and organizations (including ourselves) are promoting the health benefits of fermented foods. While this is true, like anything else, there’s quite a bit more to it than just adding some kimchi to your diet.
Dr. Gregor Reid recently wrote an article for AEProbio, exclaiming that the only time a fermented food can or should be considered a probiotic is when they “have been tested in randomized controlled studies and shown to confer a health benefit.”
The two most common probiotic strains that have been studied are lactobacilli or bifidobacteria. Now, both of these have different strains that have been proven to help with different things.
He mentions that for example – if you wanted a probiotic to help with IBS, you would not want to take Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1, which has been proven to have properties that help with vaginal health. You would want Bifidobacterium longum 35624 which is a strain that has been proven to help with IBS symptoms.
Fermented foods may have strains of both lactobacilli or bifidobacteria, however, this does not mean that they have a strain in them that is truly a probiotic.
There ARE fermented options that contain probiotics, but it is important to make sure that the brand you are buying has been tested and proven to have a probiotic strain living within their product. Read more on this topic in the full article here.
So in short, much like when buying a probiotic supplement, it is important to read labels and do your research to make sure that the fermented food has a recognized strain of probiotic in it if your reason for eating the food in question is to introduce probiotics to your diet.
Now, with all of that in mind, check out these wild and exciting fermented burger toppings that you can use to really spice up your BBQ’s this summer! Just remember to read the labels!
Plain or peanut butter flavoured, this topping is surprisingly refreshing on a patty.
Go pickled – this shredded cabbage pairs nicely on a charred burger.
Give your burger some crunch with tangy Korean-inspired cabbage slaw.
Breakfast for dinner? Turn tempeh into ‘mock bacon’ and add to your burger as a garnish in place of bacon.
Otherwise known as fermented soybeans. This dish is typically eaten at breakfast with mustard but just as tasty on a burger.
Did you know fermented products like miso and kefir can also be sources of probiotics? Mix these into your patty mixture for additional nutrition. You can even look for probiotic cheeses and pickles for more gut-friendly garnish. Load up!
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.
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