Two portions of fresh natural homemade organic yogurt in a glass jar

6 fermented foods for a healthy gut

Do you feel like you can’t eat anything without feeling bloated, constipated or an upset stomach? These days, it seems almost everyone I know has irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, or another digestive problem. Doctors and nutritionists say one solution is to add fermented foods to your diet. why? Because they feed and grow Beneficial bacteria in your gut microbiome.

Keep reading for answers to all your questions about fermented foods, plus six of the best ways to add prebiotics and probiotics to your meal prep.

What are fermented foods?

If you’ve ever thought about taking a probiotic, you probably know a little about fermented foods (even if you didn’t realize it). Fermented foods These are foods that have been broken down by bacteria and yeast. This process preserves the food and amplifies its health benefits by developing active cultures (also known as probiotics) that support you. gut germs. It may sound a little nasty, but it’s actually very healthy. (There’s a reason so many people take probiotic supplements!) These friendly bacteria can Boost immunity, beat bloating, and even help lose weight.

Common fermented foods include:

  • Yogurt
  • sauerkraut
  • sourdough bread
  • Japanese kimchi
  • miso soup
  • Some types of soy sauce
  • kombucha
  • Dairy products fermented with milk such as kefir
  • Pickled vegetables such as cucumber, radish and other vegetables
  • Some types of cheese

However, not all fermented foods contain beneficial microbes. for example, Processed dairy products Like some cheeses and yogurts, they do not contain these good bacteria, and there are no live probiotics in pickles made with vinegar. If you’re standing in the grocery aisle and trying to determine if something contains probiotics, check the label: If it contains “active” or “live” cultures, you’re good to go.

What are the health benefits of fermented foods?

The science of the gut microbiome is one of the most exciting areas of research at the moment 100 trillion bacteria Living in the gastrointestinal tract. Scientists are still working to fully understand how the gut microbiome affects the rest of the body, but researchers at Harvard Medical School are beginning to link the health of these tiny creatures to everything from Cognitive disorders of obesity. One of the best ways to support the health of your gut Eat fermented foodssuch as kefir or kombucha.

While the science is new, it is very promising. One study found that eating fermented foods continuously for ten weeks reduced the amount of inflammatory proteins It was observed in the participants in the experiment. This included proteins associated with things like chronic stress and endocrine disease. By supporting a healthy gut microbiome, you’re also supporting Strong immune systemAdequate Vitamin productionAnd the Pain free digestion. In fact, microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg Tell Stanford Medicine News Center Incorporating fermented foods into your diet is one of the most effective dietary changes you can make to support your overall health. Forget cliched diets – just add some fermented foods to your weekly meals.

What are the best fermented foods for gut health?

So, what fermented foods should you eat to reap these health benefits? Here is the list.

Yogurt

Among fermented foods, yogurt is the most popular option. (Because anyone already knows what “natto” is without searching Google?) In addition to the above health benefits from a strong gut microbiome, yogurt—as long as it contains active or live cultures—can Improve bone density And the Reduction of Blood pressure. Keep in mind the sugar content, as yogurt is often high in added sugars, which can cause this healthy fermented food more harm than good. Look for unsweetened yogurt that has less than five grams of added sugar.

kombucha

A few years ago, kombucha was probably completely off your radar. Today, this soft drink is ubiquitous. Kombucha is made from fermented black or green tea and has been shown to help Reduce liver damageSupport your body in prevention Spread of cancer cellsand of course, Promote gut health. While more studies are needed on the health benefits of kombucha, preliminary research is promising.

Kombucha can be made at home or purchased at the grocery store. I recommend the latter, because making fermented beverages from starter cultures at home is a delicate art, and can lead to nasty bacterial infections if you’re not careful.

kimchi

Any fan of Korean food will recognize kimchi as one of the most delicious side dishes in Asian cuisine. But, did you know that it also has all the benefits of a good probiotic? Kimchi is usually made by fermenting cabbage, but it can also be made from other vegetables, along with garlic, ginger, chili, and onions. Kimchi is high in important vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin K and riboflavin, as well as bacteria known as Lactobacillus kimchi, which have been linked to benefit. Digestive health. If you haven’t tried kimchi before and are looking to incorporate it into your diet, there are several options: cook it with dumplings, add it to ramen or other noodles, or add it to fried rice for a perfect taste. Delicious Amino Acids And A Rich Probiotic Meal. (If you are lucky enough to live near a Korean market, you can also buy it there.)

tempeh

If you’re a vegetarian or have ever thought about making the switch, you’ve likely heard about this high-protein meat alternative that’s full of microorganisms. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans, and is usually formed into a hard sponge patty that can be used as a substitute for burgers. Soybeans are high in phytic acid, which may affect mineral absorption. However, the fermentation process It actually reduces phytic acid in tempeh. He. She Also helps in the production of Vitamin B12This makes it a highly nutritious option for both vegetarians and those looking to improve their gut health. Tempeh is originally from Indonesia, and is now sold in most health food sections of grocery stores.

sauerkraut

The second option for fermented cabbage on this list is a favorite fermented food in Europe and the United States. Sauerkraut is made by finely chopping the cabbage and then fermenting it with lactic acid bacteria. The result is a salty and sour delicacy that pairs perfectly with sausage and winter delicacies such as Polish soup and casserole. Sauerkraut is not only rich in probiotics, but it is also rich in key antioxidants and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, sodium, iron, and potassium. Just make sure the sauerkraut you buy is unpasteurized. The pasteurization process, while increasing the shelf life of sauerkraut, kills the friendly bacteria that the gut microbiome craves.

kefir

Think of kefir as a yogurt that contains more healthy probiotics. This fermented milk drink is made by adding kefir grains (which are actually bacteria or cultures of yeast) to milk, creating a microbiologically diverse beverage. Even by those with lactose intolerance can enjoy. Kefir is great for improving your gut microbiome and has also been linked to Improving immunity and improving bone health. To incorporate kefir into your diet, layer it on top of granola and fresh fruit, add it to your morning salad smoothie, or use it as a low-sugar topping for pancakes and pancakes. (However, if you are dairy-free due to allergies or preferences, kefir is one fermented food to skip.)

A healthy gut microbiome at your fingertips

Gut health support is one of the best choices you can make Promote a strong immune system, prevent infections and diseasesAnd the Helps relieve the digestive system. Fortunately, there has never been a better time to search for foods rich in probiotics. Grocery store aisles are now lined with a plethora of healthy fermented foods, including kimchi, kefir, and kombucha. Incorporating just one of these foods into your diet can greatly improve your overall health. So what are you waiting for? There is no better time than the present for a taste test of a new fermented food.

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