10 October 2013 Fermented Foods for Health

As the seasons change and farm-fresh veggies diminish, it’s time to think of new, healthful ways to enjoy vegetables and retain some of their key health benefits. One of the best ways to do this is through fermentation. That’s right, fermenting vegetables (sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles, etc.) are not only tasty, but the probiotics contained in these foods help populate and rebalance our gut flora (where 80 percent of our immune system resides).

Studies have shown that probiotics can help with everything from allergies to preventing cavities, and even help with weight loss. The Journal of Nutrition has suggested that probiotics could even protect against colon cancer.

Our intestinal flora is vitally important, not only to our gut health, but our immune and nervous systems. We have 10 times more gut bacteria than we have cells in our whole bodies. The gut is where our second nervous system lives, and it has the same amount of neurotransmitters as our brain. For optimal immune and nervous system health, we need good flora. Bad diets, stress, antibiotics and other things factor into bad gut health, which also contributes to bloating, fatigue, headaches, inflammation, and even junk food cravings.

One study in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that obese people reduced their abdominal fat nearly five percent by drinking probiotics-rich fermented milk for three months.

So how can we get more fermented foods in our bodies? Here’s a list of seven fermented foods to start with:

  • Kombucha – a fermented tea that contains four to seven microorganisms all in one bottle. It’s even easy to make at home.
  • Sauerkraut – better to make this one too. You don’t want to eat the kinds stuffed with chemical preservatives and added sugar. Read the labels!
  • Pickles – one of the most popular all-natural pickle brands is Bubbies. Try them.
  • Yogurts – yes, Greek yogurt is all the rage, but you can also try coconut milk yogurts to eliminate the acid-forming nature of dairy.
  • Miso – made from fermented soybeans, Miso is chocked full of minerals, like potassium, and has millions of microorganisms.
  • Tempeh – also fermented soybeans, tempeh is great with tamari (also fermented) and for adding to sandwiches or with steamed veggies.
  • Kimchi – a spicy Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and veggies, it can give you a boost of energy and improve digestion.

Ready to give it a try? Share with us your favorite fermented foods. For more great info on fermented foods, check out this article at Wellness Mama.

Ryan Newhouse

Ryan Newhouse is the Marketing Director for MyNetDiary and writes for a variety of publications. He wants you to check out MyNetDiary on Instagram!

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Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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