Food fermentation is a process developed several years ago to prevent food from spoilage. It is a process in which food is exposed to bacteria and yeasts, either via inoculation or naturally through the air. This process preserves the food, and creates various strains of probiotics that are responsible for producing beneficial enzymes that destroy harmful bacteria and help maintain a healthy growth of good bacteria. Since 80% of body’s immune system is located in the gut; it is essential to the vitality of the entire body that the digestive system functions optimally.
Fermented foods are rich in probiotics to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and boost immune system and mental health. As per draxe.com, “the consumption of fermented probiotic foods has many benefits. The microflora that lives in fermented foods creates a protective lining in the intestines and shields it against pathogenic factors, such as salmonella and E.coli. Indeed, to get that healthy dose of bacteria, it’s essential to consume top probiotic foods”.
Dr. Axe recommends the following 10 healthiest fermented foods and vegetables:
It’s a fermented milk product similar to yogurt with a thin texture, like a drinkable yogurt. Kefir has high levels of vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes and probiotics. Benefit includes improved immunity, heals irritable bowel syndrome, builds bone density, fights allergies, kills candida and improves digestion.
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from bacteria and yeast mixed with black or green tea and sugar. Drinking Kombucha improves digestion, weight loss, increases energy, detoxes the body, supports the immune system, reduces joint pain and prevents cancer.
Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage fermented in its own juice with or without a culture starter or salt water brine. It boosts digestive health, aids circulation, fights inflammation, strengthens bones and reduces cholesterol levels.
Pickles contain a ton and vitamins and minerals, plus antioxidants and gut-friendly bacteria. When choosing a jar of pickles, go with organic.
Miso is made from fermented soybeans, has a great umami flavor. Miso boosts the immune system, lowers the risk cancer, improves bone health and promotes a healthy nervous system.
Tempeh is a fermented soybean product that is created by adding a tempeh starter (which is a mix of live mold). Tempeh reduces cholesterol, increases bone density, reduces menopausal symptoms, promotes muscle recovery and has the same protein quality as meat. It contains high levels of vitamins B5, B6, B3 and B2.
Natto is fermented soybeans that contain powerful probiotic bacillus subtilis, proven to support the immune system and cardiovascular health; it also enhances the digestion of vitamin K2.
Kimchi is a traditional fermented Korean dish that is made from vegetables including cabbage, plus spices and seasoning. It’s known to improve cardiovascular and digestive health.
9. Raw Cheese
Raw milk cheeses are made with milk that hasn’t been pasteurized. Benefits include healing digestive issues, neurological disorders and mental health problems; plus, probiotics boost the immune system and destroy harmful bacteria.
Yogurt is the most consumed fermented dairy product in North America. Yogurt is one of the top probiotic foods. It’s recommended you buy organic yogurt from grass-fed cow.