7 fermented foods and drinks that have been shown to improve health and digestion.


One of the top roadblocks to wellness I hear from clients is their digestion! You certainly don't need to incorporate all 7 of these foods into your diet, but choose one or 2 that you might like to try! Incorporating some of these foods twice a week may help your digestive system and add beneficial probiotics to your gut microbiome. You will notice I didn't add the most popular fermented drink, Kombucha, because I find the ones on the market just contain too much sugar! But adding a kombucha here and there won't hurt ya!


Kefir


Studies have shown that kefir may come with many benefits, affecting everything from digestion to inflammation to bone health. Enjoy kefir on its own or use it to give your smoothies and blended drinks a boost.


Tempeh


Tempeh is perfect for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Use it for anything from sandwiches to stir-fries to take advantage of its many health benefits. Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a compact cake.

This high protein meat substitute is firm but chewy and can be baked, steamed, or sautéed before being added to dishes.


Natto


Like tempeh, it’s made from fermented soybeans. It has a very strong flavor and slippery texture.

It contains a good amount of fiber, providing 5.4 grams per 3.5-ounce.

Fiber may help support digestive health. It moves through the body undigested, adding bulk to stool to help promote regularity and alleviate constipation.

Natto is also high in vitamin K, an important nutrient that’s involved in the metabolism of calcium and plays a major role in bone health.


Miso


Miso is a common seasoning in Japanese cuisine. It’s made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus.

It’s most often found in miso soup, a flavorful dish made up of miso paste and stock. Miso soup is traditionally served for breakfast. Check out my miso glazed salmon recipe! I love the miso paste from thrivemarket.com.

Besides stirring miso into soup, you can try using it to: glaze cooked vegetables, spice up salad dressings & marinate meat



Kimchi


Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish that’s usually made from fermented cabbage. It can also be made from other fermented vegetables such as radishes and beets.

It boasts an extensive array of health benefits and may be especially effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance.


The lacto-fermentation process that kimchi undergoes makes it particularly unique. Fermented foods not only have an extended shelf life but also an enhanced taste and aroma.

Fermentation occurs when a starch or sugar is converted into an alcohol or acid by organisms like yeast, mold, or bacteria.


Fermentation also creates an environment that allows other friendly bacteria to thrive and multiply. These include probiotics, which are live microorganisms that offer health benefits when consumed in large amounts


Sauerkraut


Sauerkraut is a popular condiment consisting of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It’s low in calories but contains plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Like other foods made with leafy green vegetables, it also contains a good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants help promote eye health and reduce the risk of eye disease.



Probiotic Yogurt


Yogurt is produced from milk that’s been fermented, most commonly with lactic acid bacteria.

It’s high in many important nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.

Yogurt has also been associated with a wide variety of health benefits. Watch out for high sugar yogurts and go for the plan, organic, grass-fed version when possible. You can your own fresh berries to sweeten it up naturally! When you eat those highly sweetened yogurt you will actually cancel out a lot of the good probiotics.


What ways will you incorporate fermented foods into your diet this week?


In Health,


Amanda