10 Highly Beneficial Fermented Foods
There’s a growing amount of scientific data pointing to the major health benefits of eating foods that are rich in probiotic and prebiotic bacteria. In a previous post, we discuss the importance of gut health and look at cultures who embrace fermented foods - with astounding health benefits.
High levels of good bacteria are crucial for gut health as well as overall health and wellbeing - not only does it aid digestion and absorption of nutrients from our food, it also impacts the healthy immune functions within the body.
Is There a Link Between Microbiome and the Brain?
The gut is teeming with trillions of living organisms with many of them actively involved in keeping the immune system functioning and warding off bad bacteria. When the body's microbiome is in balance, the brain receives beneficial nerve impulses through the central nervous system. When things start to become imbalanced, however, an overgrowth of harmful bacteria can occur - leading to illness, discomfort, emotional imbalances and a compromised immune system.
Another issue that can occur (when it comes microbiome in the gut) is that certain types of bad bacteria overgrowth can create neurotransmitters and hormones in the same way that the body naturally does and they can ultimately have a negative effect on normal brain function.
Eating Fermented Foods Helps to Improve Your Healthy Microbiome
The condition of your microbiome is directly impacted- both positively and negatively, by the foods that you eat. Enjoying a diet rich in fibre, pre and probiotic bacteria and enzymes goes a long way to supporting, nurturing and bolstering your healthy gut bacteria levels, keeping the bad bacteria levels in check.
According to doctors and nutritionists, fermented foods are extremely helpful when it comes to keeping the gut in healthy bacterial balance and will ensure that your immune system is in optimal disease and illness fighting shape.
10 Highly Beneficial Fermented Food Sources
Kefir - A fermented milk that contains high levels of vitamins, magnesium, calcium, probiotics, and enzymes which helps to boost the immune system, bone health and overall wellbeing.
Kombucha - Pronounced "kahm-boo-chah" it's a nutrient dense fermented tea which has been enjoyed for its tremendous health benefits for over 2,000 years. Carrying many of the nutritious properties of green tea, Kombucha is created by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast" (also known as a SCOBY).
Kombucha is a powerful source of antioxidants, vitamins, probiotics and health boosting enzymes which make it beneficial for many reasons - from lowering cholesterol levels to promoting gut health and balance.
Sauerkraut - Traditionally made from fermented cabbage, it contains high levels of fibre, vitamins and minerals which helps to boost overall digestive and colon health as well as the immune health.
Pickles - Made from fermenting cucumbers, they are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and probiotic bacteria. They can be easily added to salads, sandwiches or simply enjoyed on their own, with some nutritious hummus dip.
Miso - This delicious nutrient rich food source can come in various forms- most popularly in a soup, commonly enjoyed in Japanese cuisine. It is made from fermented soybeans, brown rice or barley and it is known to have anti-aging properties. It also helps with the immune system and improves bone health.
Tempeh - Also a fermented soybean food that improves the body's immune health and lowers cholesterol.
Natto - This is a traditional Japanese fermented food that is made from soybeans and is teeming with probiotics and vitamins that help to improve the immune system.
Kimchi - Hailing from Korea originally, this dish is made from fermenting a variety of vegetables and spices, boasting cardiovascular and digestive health benefits.
Raw Cheese - This is made from unpasteurized milk from cows, goats, and sheep. It is high in probiotics and helps to improve immune health, vitamin absorption and gut health. This is not recommended for pregnant women.
Probiotic Yogurt - Is considered to be the most consumed of all fermented dairy products and is extremely high in probiotics. It is best to opt for plain, unsweetened varieties, to get the most benefit without the high levels of sugar that can come in some commercial brands.
There you have it. It is possible to eat your way to a healthy gut… and immune system!
Rawries is passionately committed to making raw wholegrain plant-based food convenient, achievable and absolutely delicious... for everyone! Visit our blog for articles and evidence based research discussions around the healthful benefits of incorporating "more raw" into your diet, as well as tips on how to boost your nutrition and overall wellbeing. For raw vegan inspirations, head to our vibrant recipe selection of breakfasts, mains, salads and soups, sauces and dips, desserts and fresh juices and smoothies. We can't wait to hear what you think of them!