There are more bacteria in your gut than there are cells in your body.
In other words, the microbiome of bacteria in your intestines is extremely crucial to your health. In fact, you wouldn’t be alive without these bacteria.
As of now, research has associated imbalances in the gut microbiome with many diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, and asthma 12. The bacteria in your gut affect nearly every part of your body: your skin, brain, immune system, etc.
One way to improve the health of your microbiome is to consume probiotic-rich fermented foods.
Researchers believe that probiotics in fermented foods are able to avoid being destroyed by our stomach acid, make it into the intestines, and then colonize there 6. So when you eat fermented foods, you are feeding the good bacteria in your gut that has innumerable health benefits on your entire body.
Fermented cabbage is one of the oldest traditional foods around. In Germany, fermented cabbage takes the form of sauerkraut. This fermented food has many healthy attributes including flavonoid antioxidant content and probiotic content 1.
The healthy bacteria in sauerkraut will add to the health of your microbiota. By eating sauerkraut, you will be aiding the colonies of good bacteria in your gut that will help you digest food and absorb nutrients.
2. Yogurt or Vegan Yogurt
Traditional yogurt is made through the process of bacterial fermentation of cow or sheep’s milk. Researchers generally agree that yogurt has beneficial effects on the digestive system 3. These benefits are a result of the production of good gut bacteria by the yogurt cultures, improving bowel movements, and enhancing the gut’s immune system 3.
If you’re not a fan of cow or sheep milk, you can enjoy vegan yogurts made from cashews, flax seeds, and starches. Some people don’t love dairy and some are concerned about the potential health issues associated with cow’s milk (click here to read about those concerns).
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This Korean form of fermented cabbage is delicious, tangy, and spicy, and is traditionally served with rice. It has lots of garlic and cayenne pepper that make it flavorful. Its health benefits and taste benefits are plentiful.
Researchers describe kimchi as having “anti-obesity, anti-constipation, colorectal health promotion, probiotic properties, cholesterol reduction...antioxidative and anti-aging properties, brain health promotion, immune promotion, and skin health promotion.” 4 Wowzer!
Tempeh is a thick plant-based protein source that is made from fermented soybeans. In a model of the gut ecosystem, tempeh is evidenced to cause a rise in the beneficial Lactobacillus type of bacteria 5.
The soybeans in tempeh have been fermented to get of the phytic acid, which is an irritant and inhibits the absorption of nutrients. Because of the fermentation, you get a more nutritious and probiotic-rich food.
Tempeh is also rich in B vitamins and is packed with as much protein as meat.
5. Miso Soup
Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning in which soybeans are fermented with salt and a fungus. The seasoning is usually mixed into a soup.
Miso provides a number of health benefits, including improved digestion 6. Miso soup might have healthy effects on blood pressure, heart rate, and even balancing the nervous system 7.
This is yet another Japanese form of fermented soybean. It is full of the bacillus subtilis probiotic strain that promotes immune system and cardiovascular health. The health benefits of natto are not yet fully known. Recently, it has been shown to improve bone health 8.
In one study, natto reduced bone loss in postmenopausal women 8. Natto appears to improve circulatory health because of its anti-clotting effects 9.
Importantly, natto contains TONS of vitamin K2, which helps keep bones strong and promotes the retention of calcium in the bones 10. Vitamin K2 also keeps calcium out of blood vessels. Calcium is not needed in your arteries, and it makes them stiff!
Kombucha is widely available in grocery stores. It is a pleasant, lightly sweetened carbonated beverage that is made from tea that has been fermented with bacteria and yeast. The probiotics and antioxidant acids formed in kombucha are responsible for its health benefits.
A review of research on the health benefits of kombucha concludes that it promotes health in four ways: “detoxification, antioxidation, energizing potencies, and promotion of depressed immunity” 11. Those are startling benefits. Researchers also note that, along with the evidence, countless anecdotal stories claim substantial health improvements from the consumption of kombucha 11.
Feed the Good Guys
So enjoy all of the foods listed above, and feed the good bugs in your gut. You will have better health and get to enjoy tasty treats in the meantime!
Wondering if you need more probiotics in your gut? Click here to read the signs that you need more bacteria.
Suffering from constipation, diarrhea, gas or bloating?
You may have an overabundance of bad bacteria or fungi in your gut.
Fortunately, you can fight back with good, healthy bacteria!
Click here to get the FREE report by Nutritionist Evan Burns, which reveals 32 digestion boosting foods including bacteria rich, liver detoxing and colon cleansing foods that are safe, natural and highly-effective.