Introduce More Fermented Foods And Your Microbiome Will Thank You


Introduce More Fermented Foods And Your Microbiome Will Thank You   

One of the best things you can do for your gut health is including more fermented foods into your diet. Not only will they continue to supply you with a steady supply of good bacteria to support your microbiome, they often also include plenty of prebiotics that will feed your gut. This is particularly true for fermented vegetables like sauerkraut.   

Fermented Vegetables    I’m sure you’ve heard of sauerkraut as a fermented vegetable, but there’s so much more out there you can try. Have you had fermented carrot sticks? How about kimchi? It’s a perfect addition to any Asian-inspired meal and great with eggs or as a sandwich topping. Another simple switch is replacing regular pickles with fermented ones. The best part, you can make all of these yourself if you want. Or get them at the grocery store. Check for unpasteurized versions that still include life cultures.   

Fermented Milk Products   After vegetables, milk is the most commonly fermented product. From yogurt and cheese to kefir, there are a lot of different products you can include into your diet. Let’s start with yogurt. Look for active cultures and little to no sugar. Use your yogurt in smoothies or grab it as a quick snack. Throw in a few whole grains or berries and you’ll combine prebiotics and probiotics.    

Cheese is another great option. This goes for hard and soft cheeses. In most of them the probiotics have aged and you will likely still benefit from them. Enjoy your cheese on sandwiches, salads, or as a snack. And guess what, that cheese plate with fruits and nuts is a great combination of probiotics and prebiotics.   

Fermented Tea    Did you know that you can also include fermented tea in your diet? Wondering what the heck fermented tea is? It’s kombucha. That’s right; your favorite fizzy soda replacement is also good for your gut. Reach for it when plain water isn’t enough and you’re craving something with a little flavor punch.   

A similar drink is water kefir. It’s typically made with fruit and water kefir grains. These are different from the kefir drinks that turn milk into a thick yogurt-like drink. The end result is fizzy, fruity and delicious. Give it a try if you haven’t yet.       

Fermenting Grains   When it comes to fermented foods, you’re probably not thinking about grains, breads in particular. One of the best ways to ferment your grains and make them more digestible is by using sourdough. You can use it to make bread, pizza dough, waffles, and pancakes to name a few. Yes, the heat of baking the bread or cooking the pancakes kills the probiotics, but not until they have done their job while the dough bubbles and transforms regular flour into something nutritious and delicious.   

There are a lot of wonderful fermented products out there for you to enjoy. Grab a kefir or yogurt smoothie for breakfast, make a sourdough sandwich for lunch, and add some pickles and sauerkraut to your dinner plate. Mix and match them. And don’t feel like every meal has to include a ferment. Start small and keep adding more and more of them as you go. Once you start to feel the effects of fermented foods, you’ll find yourself gravitating to them more and more. 

I hope you've enjoyed my 7 part series on how to improve your gut microbiome. I'd love to hear what your favorite fermented foods are - feel free to leave me a comment below!

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