You don’t have to take probiotic supplements to keep your gut healthy. Fermented foods can give you all the probiotics you need.
However, not all fermented foods are created equal. According to Harvard health, only foods that are fermented using natural processes give your body beneficial probiotics. So the next time you are buying fermented food make sure it has “naturally fermented” on the label.
If you’re not sure why it’s important to eat fermented foods, research shows they contain good bacteria that may boost immunity, aid weight loss, improve digestion, and much more.
10 FERMENTED FOODS FOR GUT HEALTH
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage and it is one of the most nutritious foods. It is a good source of vitamin A, C, and K, fiber, copper, calcium, and magnesium.
2. Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a great alternative to green tea and coffee. It is basically, a fermented drink of black tea and sugar. You are better off curbing your sugar cravings with kombucha instead of sodas and fruit juice.
Kefir is simply fermented milk that has a sour taste. If you are vegan, lactose intolerant or just plain don’t do dairy, look for vegan kefir. Vegan kefir can be harder to find than the dairy version, but many health food stores have begun stocking them.
Research shows that kefir boosts immunity, strengthens the bones, improves digestion, and helps heal irritable bowel movement.
Not only is tempeh a good source of probiotics, but it also contains protein. Adding it to your diet will improve your gut health and keep you full for longer.
Pickles are a good source of vitamin K and lots of other vitamins and minerals. Be keen when choosing pickles, sometimes manufacturers use vinegar to make pickles instead of the natural fermentation process.
Just like sauerkraut, kimchi is made from cabbage, but it has more flavor, since you can add spices and herbs to it. It is an excellent source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and healthy gut bacteria.
This is a paste made by fermenting rice, soybeans or barley. The most common way of eating it is by making miso soup, but don’t limit yourself to soups alone! Add miso paste to main dishes, salad dressings and sauces to enhance the flavor.
This traditional Japanese dish is made by fermenting soybeans. You don’t have to worry about vitamin K deficiency if you add natto to your diet. One cup contains 50 percent of the vitamin K you need in a day.
This list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the most popular probiotic-rich food: yogurt.
When choosing yogurt, make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar. If you don’t like yogurt made from milk, choose the one that’s made from soy, almond or coconut milk.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has gained a lot of popularity in weight loss industry, but there is very little evidence that it enhances weight loss. However, ACV can contain probiotics that can heal your gut and improve digestion. When buying ACV, make sure it is raw and unpasteurized.