In the world of bread, few varieties can rival the earthy, tangy charm of sourdough. But beyond its delightful flavour and rustic appeal, its home to a host of impressive health benefits.
Crafted through a natural fermentation process, sourdough boasts a unique set of advantages that set it apart from the crowd. Let’s dive into why it’s a nutritious and wholesome addition to any diet.
Easier to Digest
One of the standout features of sourdough bread lies in its exceptional digestibility. Unlike commercially processed bread that relies on added yeast and quick fermentation, sourdough undergoes a slow and natural fermentation process, lasting several hours to several days. During this time, wild yeast and beneficial bacteria break down complex carbohydrates and gluten proteins in the flour. As a result, the gluten proteins are partially broken down, making sourdough easier on the digestive system for some individuals with mild gluten sensitivity. Additionally, the long fermentation process enhances the bioavailability of nutrients, promoting better nutrient absorption.
Sourdough's fermentation process results in the production of lactic acid and other organic acids, giving the bread its distinctive tanginess. These organic acids have prebiotic properties, which means they serve as nourishment for beneficial gut bacteria. A thriving gut microbiome plays a vital role in maintaining overall gut health and supporting a robust immune system. By promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, sourdough bread contributes to a healthy gut environment, which can lead to improved digestion and a strengthened immune response.
For individuals seeking to manage blood sugar levels, sourdough bread presents an appealing option. The fermentation process in sourdough lowers its glycaemic index compared to conventional bread. As a result, it causes a slower and steadier rise in blood sugar levels after consumption, providing a more sustained and stable source of energy. This can be especially beneficial for people with diabetes or those aiming to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.
Homemade vs Store-Bought
Now it’s no secret that sourdough tends to be among the pricier range of bread varieties, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the benefits! Making it at home is so easy and, yes, affordable. Only a few ingredients are required, not to mention how cost-effective making extra and freezing it in the fridge can be. Homemade sourdough yields more significant portions than that tiny pack you’ll find at the store, perfect for sharing with family and friends or as ready-to-go lunches for the week ahead. As a result, you not only save money but also reduce food waste, contributing to a more sustainable lifestyle. Another compelling reason to choose homemade over store-bought is the significant reduction in preservatives. Commercially produced foods often require preservatives to extend shelf life and maintain freshness during transportation and storage. However, these additives may contain artificial chemicals and additives – even added sugar! – that can have adverse effects on health, from increasing your risk of heart disease to affecting your skin and nail health. By preparing meals and snacks at home, you have complete control over the ingredients, allowing you to eliminate or minimise the use of preservatives. Plus, you can add any fun ingredients you desire when you make it yourself! From thyme or mint to olives, get creative.
Want to know how to make it yourself? That’s what we’re here for! Our 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program provides guides to home-fermenting a range of gut-boosting foods, from sourdough and kimchi to yoghurt and kombucha. We’ve got delicious, nourishing recipes and exclusive expert content to support you on your way to better health. Whether it's constipation, bloating or even stress that's got you down, it could be your gut warning you that you're missing out on the gut-nourishing foods that help us thrive. We'll show you the ins and outs of healing, from the benefits of probiotics and prebiotics to the inflammation-busting foods you should be eating.