Many of us are aware of gut-nourishing foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and kombucha because they are supposed to be very good for our health. What exactly do all of these foods have in common? All of them are fermented.
Fermented foods are known for their ability to support digestion, the absorption of nutrients, cognitive function, a healthy tissue response, a healthy inflammation response, and help to balance the microbiome. Essentially, fermented foods give the body a much needed dose of beneficial bacteria and enzymes. These crucial microorganisms can function as adaptogens and ward off any harmful bacteria that may negatively affect the gut or immune system. Almost eighty percent of the immune system is located in the gut which means that an overloaded gut can promote a weakened defense system in the body. It has also been found that gut-related issues can cause an increased risk of many other diseases like neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, allergies, and digestive issues.
Fermented foods can be a little pricey but things like kombucha and kefir can be made at home with the help of a starter kit. The health benefits of fermentation can also be obtained through fermented supplements from New Chapter. They have fermented turmeric, maca, or aloe booster powders that can be added to smoothies, juices, or milk in order to disguise the taste but still receive the benefits of fermentation. An affordable option would also be to make some kind of fermented vegetables at home. A recipe for making fermented carrots with dill can be found at The Real Food Dieticians.
All in all, incorporating fermented foods is only one of the first steps that should be taken towards obtaining optimal gut-health. Checking for allergies, drinking water, getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating healthier, and adding a prebiotic source are all equally as crucial.