Show your gut some love with fermented foods. Fermented foods (and drinks) are foods that have naturally occurring probiotics. The naturally occurring sugars and carbohydrates in the foods are left to sit (and steep when it’s a beverage) while they interact with beneficial bacteria. This changes the chemical structure of the food and it becomes rich in gut-healing probiotics. In addition, this makes the nutrients more bio-available which means our body absorbs them better.
Fermented foods provide the body with good bacteria that helps to heal the gut, fight yeasts and fungus, support the immune system and improve digestion. Some fermented foods you can start incorporating into your meals include:
- Kefir is a drinkable yogurt made from dairy (usually cow or sheep)
- Kimchi is a fermented spicy cabbage traditional in Korean culture
- Sauerkraut is popular in Eastern European culture and is made from cabbage. Great as a topping or a side dish
- Pickles to be fermented, they cannot be vinegar based. Fermented pickles are found in a salt brine and are refrigerated. When looking for fermented pickles, it is very important to read the ingredient list. This is an excellent brand of fermented pickles which you can find in most grocery-carrying health food stores in Canada.
- Kombucha is a fermented drink made from black tea and sugar. It’s lightly carbonated from the fermentation process. This beverage comes in all kinds of flavours and can be purchased or made at home.
Fermentation is so beneficial that there are many companies out there creating all kinds of fermented foods, drinks and even supplements. Genuine Health was one of the first companies to create a line of fermented protein powders and bars because of how beneficial probiotics are to our health. Living Alchemy is another Canadian supplement brand that uses a unique kefir-kombucha fermentation process to create their products. I really appreciate companies who use fermentation in the creation process because of how much more available the nutrients become to our bodies.
You don’t need to be experiencing trouble with your digestion to incorporate fermented foods into your diet. Pick one you’ve never tried before and start there.