You May Also Like

Are foodborne illness outbreaks on the rise?

Are foodborne illnesses on the rise, or what?

The vegan poke bowl recipe secret ingredient

Make vegan poké taste like the real thing, thanks to one dietitian-approved simple trick

Well+Good - Make these recipes once, eat gourmet meals all week long

Make these recipes once, eat gourmet meals all week long

Is chocolate milk better than sports drinks?

Science says chocolate milk has major exercise recovery cred—but is it *actually* the best option?

What is carb backloading and does it work?

Carb backloading is a buzzy ketogenic diet alternative—but is it too good to be true?

farmers' market

A dietitian shares her secrets to getting the best produce at the farmers’ market

7 fermented foods you should be eating


Thumbnail for 7 fermented foods you should be eating
Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook
1/8

Every food expert on the planet will tell you that the healthiest foods are usually the freshest. But the latest beneficial food group isn’t a bit farm to table—it’s fermented—meaning ingredients like cabbage and cucumbers have been left to sit and steep until their sugars and carbs become bacteria-boosting agents.

Wellness experts are currently enthralled by how these pungent, probiotic powerhouses, which boost the good bacteria in your digestive tract, can help heal a multitude of health issues, like leaky gut and IBS, and can even lead to weight loss, better skin, and boosted immunity.

One of the reasons? “The gut is the largest part of our immune system,” explains Drew Ramsey, MD, author of The Happiness Diet and 50 Shades of Kale. So it matters what you put in it. “Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause damage, while fermented foods heal.”

Ready to see what these (somewhat skunky) superfoods can do for you? Here are seven to try now.

Originally published on August 9, 2013, updated on August 7, 2017.

Get Started
2/8
Photo: Flickr/Irisphotos

1. Kombucha

A fizzy, fermented black tea, kombucha gives you a bang for your bacterial buck because of the variety of microorganisms it contains. “When you drink a bottle of kombucha, you’re drinking four to seven microorganisms all at once, building a really strong gut,” explains Michael Schwartz, the fermented-foodie founder of BAO Food And Drink. Just watch the sugar.

3/8
fermented foods 4
Photo: Flickr/Jules

2. Sauerkraut

Turns out you should put sauerkraut, AKA fermented cabbage, on way more than your tofu dogs. It has a powerful impact on brain health, including depression and anxiety. “There’s a tremendous connection between gut and brain health,” explains Dr. Ramsey. If you’re the DIY type, try making your own. (Here’s an easy recipe!) Unlike non-refrigerated, store-bought varieties, homemade ‘kraut has no chemical preservatives or added sugar.

4/8
fermented foods 6
Photo: Flickr/Andrewmalone

3. Pickles

Pickles are the gateway ferment. Not only do they provide a healthy dose of probiotics, they’re a familiar food item and have a taste that many people already love—including those who may hold their nose at the idea of eating fermented foods.

5/8
coconut-yogurt-fermented
Photo: Pixabay/Stocksnap

4. Coconut Yogurt

Kimberley Snyder, celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Foods, loves coconut yogurt, because it’s a delicious, dairy-free way to work plenty of enzymes and probiotics into your diet. Though Greek and regular yogurt are also fermented foods, Snyder is less enthusiastic about them. “Dairy is extremely acid-forming in the body and difficult to digest,” she explains.

6/8
miso-soup-fermented
Photo: Pixabay/Tapis Rouge

5. Miso

Jeff Cox, author of The Essential Book of Fermentation, loves miso for its nutritional profile. The paste made from fermented soybeans and grains is “full of essential minerals, like potassium, and consists of millions of microorganisms giving us strength and stamina,” he says. To make miso soup, just add a dollop to boiling water, along with some favorite vegetables, like onions, bok choy, or mushrooms.

7/8
tempeh-fermented
Photo: Flickr/Stacy Spensley

6. Tempeh

Tempeh (fermented soybeans) is a complete protein with all of the amino acids, says Cox. He suggests using it as a yummy substitute for bacon in BLTs. Try flavoring organic tempeh with some tamari (also fermented), then add it to a sandwich with tomato, lettuce, and toast. Or eat it tossed in a bowl of steamed veggies.

8/8
Photo: Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook

7. Kimchi

Think of this spicy Korean dish—typically made from fermented cabbage—as a beauty food, as well as an energy-booster, says Snyder. It can help “enhance digestion and nutrient assimilation,” she explains. “You may also notice, with improved digestion, an improvement in the look of your skin.”

 Now that you have your fermented foods, here are 3 unexpected ways to add them to every meal. Plus, 8 other foods that are food for your gut.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Are foodborne illness outbreaks on the rise?

Are foodborne illnesses on the rise, or what?

The 6-ingredient, gut-friendly salad celeb trainer Tracy Anderson swears by

The 6-ingredient, gut-friendly salad celeb trainer Tracy Anderson swears by

dinner

These are the 4 foods a gut doctor would never eat

pantry

How to meal prep for the week in just 90 minutes (mic drop)

farmers' market

A dietitian shares her secrets to getting the best produce at the farmers’ market

What is carb backloading and does it work?

Carb backloading is a buzzy ketogenic diet alternative—but is it too good to be true?