6 Healthful And Tasty Fermented Foods And Drinks That May Improve Digestion

Date December 7, 2017

People have been eating fermented foods for centuries. Such foods have long been part of many traditional cuisines around the world and have recently rekindled our interest because of their potential health benefits. While there’s little scientific research into fermented foods (as is often the case with any food), many people consume such products to aid digestion and boost the body’s natural defenses.

Foods processed through fermentation contain live bacteria, which help balance your intestinal microflora making good bacteria in your gut flourish. If good bacteria in your intestines thrive, it improves your digestion and strengthens your immune system.

Here are 6 good examples of fermented foods that you can include in your diet:

1. Yogurt

Yogurt is probably the most widely consumed fermented food. Most people with lactose intolerance are able to eat yogurt because the good bacteria found in it will break down lactose. The same applies to kefir, a lesser-known food made from milk. It’s best to eat or drink plain yogurt because it contains fewer calories than flavored ones.

2. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut, a sour side dish made from cabbage, originated in Germany. It contains fiber, vitamins A, C, and K, B-vitamins, and some other important nutrients. You can easily make sauerkraut at home, but if you want to buy it at a store, make sure it’s labeled as containing live bacteria. You can find it in the refrigerated section.

3. Kimchi

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish which is made from cabbage and other vegetables. It may help lower bad cholesterol and improve insulin sensitivity. This dish contains vitamins A, B1, B2, and C, and minerals, including iron, selenium, and calcium.

4. Kvass

Kvass is a traditional Eastern European drink made from rye bread. It’s not very well-known in the Western hemisphere, but it’s popular in Russia and other former Soviet countries. Because its alcohol content is very low (0.5% – 1.0%), it’s not considered an alcoholic drink.

5. Tempeh

Tempeh is a traditional Indonesian fermented soy product. It’s rich in protein, making it a nice addition to vegetarian diets. You can eat it on its own or add it to various dishes.

6. Kombucha

It may sound like something unimaginable to people who have never tasted it; kombucha is a slightly fizzy fermented green or black tea. Because commercially produced kombucha may be very high in sugar, it’s best to make it yourself at home.

As beneficial as they may be, fermented foods and drinks will not magically undo the damage caused by unhealthy foods. This is why the fermented product will work best if they are part of an overall healthy and nutritious diet.

You should consume such products in moderation, especially if you’ve never tried them before. When eaten in large amounts, they may produce some unpleasant digestive symptoms, such as bloating and gas.

Source: BBC Good Food, WebMD, Wellness Mama

READ ALSO: 6 Low-Calorie Foods For Weight Loss: From Apples To Yogurt

This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.

Food Health