Fermented Foods: Eat Your Way to a Healthy Gut

Fermented foods are more than just a trendy addition to your local farm-to-table restaurant menu. Fermented foods are all about probiotics.

Many experts on diet and nutrition are saying the same thing these days: a healthy body begins with a healthy gut. Fermented foods can improve your digestive health. Studies are being done to determine if and how fermented foods may help reduce inflammation, treat autoimmune disorders and even cancer, and boost your metabolism.

Fermented Foods 101

1. What Are Probiotics? Our digestive tracts are full of microorganisms. When they get out of whack (too few of the good ones, too many of the bad ones), we don’t feel our best. Fermented foods are full of probiotics – the live bacteria and yeasts that can help balance our gut.

2. Why “Live and Active Cultures”? Some fermented foods have all the good stuff pasteurized out, so be sure it says “live and active cultures” on the label before you buy.

3. What Are My Choices? Yogurt, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, crème fraiche, vinegar, salami, and pickles are some common fermented foods. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try kombucha (fermented tea), kefir (fermented milk), miso/tempeh/natto, (fermented soybean), and kimchi (fermented cabbage).

The good news? Some experts include wine, beer, chocolate, tea, and coffee on their list … so you may be getting more fermented foods than you think!

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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