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Should You Add Fermented Foods Into Your Diet?

By Stepy Kamei

If you've heard of fermented foods, you may know that you should be adding them into your diet. The word "fermented" may not necessarily sound very appetizing, yet nutritionists are praising the health benefits of fermented foods left and right. What is it exactly about fermented foods that's got the health world so excited about them? If you're ready to add more delicious and nutritious foods into your diet, keep on reading to learn more about which fermented foods you should add to your grocery list -- and why this can benefit your health in a variety of ways.

Benefits of Fermented Foods

You are probably already familiar with the basic concept of fermentation. It's something that's been around for thousands of years, across many cultures. Originally, it was used to preserve food. Generally, adding an active culture such as yeast, whey, or live bacteria allows for natural fermentation. While this is still the case nowadays, it's also a process that's been utilized to augment the flavor of foods in more recent times.

As an added bonus, the fermentation process not only preserves food, but it can benefit your gut health as well. Throughout the fermentation process, probiotics are created. Probiotics are natural bacteria that are very beneficial for digestive and gut health. Probiotics can aide in the digestive process, soothe an inflamed stomach, and possibly even boost the immune system.

The Best Fermented Foods to Start Eating

So, what should you be adding into your meals in terms of fermented food products? Here are just a few basic yet excellent options:

  • Yogurt
  • Miso
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha drinks
  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut

Yogurt is probably the option that you're most familiar with, and it's a great one! Just be sure you're selecting whole-fat options. A common misconception is that all fat is bad for you, but the fat in yogurt is actually beneficial (just like the bacteria in the probiotics)! Low- or no-fat options for yogurt tend to add tons of sugar, which is definitely not beneficial to your gut health.

Miso and kimchi are becoming slightly more popular options for Westerners as well. They are staples in Asian meals, which are often considered by nutritionists to be some of the healthiest cuisines in the world. You can find miso paste and jars of kimchi in many grocery stores or Asian specialty markets.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bloomingdale, Ill. 

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