Integrative Nutrition Blog

The Five Fermented Foods You Need to Improve Your Gut

June 11, 2015

Image via Shutterstock

What if adding just a few fermented foods to your diet could totally improve the health of your gut? 

If you’ve been trying to figure out the cause of a chronic health issue like acne, dry skin, brittle hair, or even mental health issues like depression and ADHD, you might be missing a very important piece of the puzzle. What so many people don’t know is that a balanced gut is the foundation of health. Further, what you eat dictates your gut health completely.

Fermented foods are key to a healthy digestive system and gut, as they balance flora and the ratio between good and bad bacteria. Here are five fermented foods that could transform your gut health! 

Sauerkraut. The simplest kind of sauerkraut is naturally-fermented cabbage with salt as the only other ingredient. You end up with a slightly-sour, totally-delicious condiment that is great on avocado toast, alongside a quinoa and veggie bowl, or even to jazz up some inventive tacos.

There are many variations of sauerkraut now available, with delicious ingredients like leeks, caraway seeds, smoky jalapeño peppers and more. 

Watch this video of Joshua sharing his insights and tips on sauerkraut!

Pickles. You might only know pickles as those limp little spears that used to come with your hamburgers growing up.  If naturally fermented, pickles become probiotic powerhouses that can be used to add flavor to bibimbap, macro plates, Asian-style stir-fries and more.

Kombucha is a naturally-fermented, slightly-effervescent tea that’s gained popularity over the last five years.  It boasts tons of probiotics – aka good bacteria – and is fantastic for gut health, skin health, and energy.

It’s most often consumed chilled and is a popular option for those trying to reduce alcohol consumption. You can buy kombucha or make your own for a much lower cost than store-bought.

Beet kvass is an Eastern European drink made by fermenting beets in water with salt and whey. It’s known to protect against disease by significantly boosting gut health, and therefore immunity. Kvass is also said to cleanse the liver and boost blood quality.

Beets alone have a significant positive impact on digestive and kidney health, and when fermented they become a truly incredible tonic. Kvass can be drunk plain or added to salad dressings, soups, or sauces for flavor and punch.

Natto is a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans and known for its strong smell and flavor. Like all fermented foods, natto boasts incredible probiotic properties and significantly improves the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, therefore improving digestion, immunity, skin health and more.

Often eaten along with rice, natto is another fermented food that would be great in a quinoa bowl or macro plate. It’s high in protein, fiber, vitamin B, calcium, and iron, and gluten free to boot.   

Have you tried any of these fantastic fermented foods? If not, which one will you try this week and what benefits are you wanting? Tell us in the comments below. 

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