Good gut bacteria are essential to a healthy digestive system. When the bacteria get out of whack, we can experience a slew of health problems. Surprisingly, fermented foods are ideal in combating the bad bacteria and restoring our good gut bacteria. Lactobacillus is to thank when it comes to making fermented food gut-friendly. This particular bacterium plays a vital role in preventing the harmful bacteria from taking over. Restore your gut flora with one of these fermented foods.
Kefir is like drinking a yogurt smoothie. It is made from combining “grains” made up of yeast cultures and lactic acid bacteria, with milk. A souring flavor similar to yogurt is produced, hence, a yogurt smoothie. Packed with probiotics, the yeast cultures and lactic acid- producing bacteria do wonders in combating nasty bacteria.
This fermented delight is comprised of sugar, tea, and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). Good health, longevity, and general well-being have all been associated with kombucha. This includes -- you guessed it -- restoring your gut bacteria back to its proper state. Probiotics and enzymes found in kombucha act as means for the good bacteria to repopulate, while pushing out the bad stuff.
The result of fermented soybeans, miso is most commonly recognized in soup form. Miso is a paste containing microorganisms that benefit your intestinal tract. Full of probiotics, it can return your digestive system back to a normal state. Besides soup, miso can be used as a condiment or to add a salty flavor to your dish. It is recommended, though, to add it to already cooked meals as it will help keep the good bacteria alive.
A popular staple in Korean cuisine, kimchi has been around for ages. It is so popular that it is eaten with practically every meal. Fermented cabbage with garlic, spices, and hot pepper gives kimchi its unique flavor. The cabbage acts as a bonus in the benefits of this fermented food. Cabbage detoxifies the body and aids in digestion by cleaning out the intestinal tract, allowing nutrients to be absorbed. While the smell can be overwhelming to some, it is one food you have to try.
Like kimchi, sauerkraut also calls for the use of cabbage. The word sauerkraut itself is German for “sour cabbage.” As the sugar and starches in the cabbage break down, they produce a sour flavor. The sour flavor you taste is none other than the lactic acid. Careful: not all sauerkraut is made the same. Canned or pasteurized sauerkraut has been exposed to high heat, eliminating the microorganisms that restore gut flora. It is best to make the sauerkraut at home from fresh cabbage. As the cabbage ferments, the probiotics begin to grow.