The process of fermenting foods has been practiced for many years all around the world as a form of preservation, but did you know that fermented foods also offer a wide variety of health benefits for your whole body? Our digestive tracts can contain more than 1,000 different types of beneficial bacteria that are essential for many important functions in the body, and a balanced diet with proper nutrition is essential for maintaining gut health; however, diets that are high in processed foods and antibiotics use negatively affect the number and types of bacteria that can flourish and work for us. The probiotics present in many fermented foods can provide support for the immune system and keep the gut healthy. We also know now that healthy gut bacteria also affects mood and healthy brain function.
Fermented Foods & Drinks:
- Plain yogurt with “live active cultures”
- Korean kimchi
- Pickles & other fermented vegetables (in refrigerated section, not in vinegar)
- Miso (fermented soy paste)
- Soy sauce
- KaVita fizzy drinks
- Kombucha tea
Signs of Intestinal Bacteria Imbalance:
- Gas & bloating
- Sugar cravings & cravings for refined carbohydrate foods
Benefits of Fermented Foods:
- Boost immunity
- Improves neurologic function
- Weight management
- Decrease inflammation
- Improve digestion & absorption of nutrients
- Improve diarrhea, constipation & irregularity
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis)
Where To Start:
- The probiotics in fermented foods are living organisms and must be kept at cool temperatures to survive, so look for fermented food items in the refrigerated section of the store.
- Make sure the label says “fermented” and that it is not “pasteurized”, which kills the bad bacteria in food as well as the good bacteria.
- Buy organic, non-GMO or locally farmed fermented foods to be sure they are made from the best raw materials possible.
- Begin adding small servings of fermented foods to your diet 1-2 times daily. You can add these foods to salads or eat them on their own.