Fermented foods have been all the buzz lately and for good reason. These foods are known to help support gut health which is central to the overall health of our bodies.
Fermented foods work to support the healthy bacteria in the gut to help keep the pathogenic bacteria at bay. Keep in mind that the gut is home to trillions of different bacteria so we need to do what we can to keep this bacteria healthy so that they work in our favor and provide us with a foundation of great health.
There are many different types of fermented foods you can try today, but I am going to list out the top three that everyone should have in their kitchen. These are dairy-free which is great for anyone who may have a dairy allergy or sensitivity.
#1 Sauerkraut: A commonly known fermented food that is made from fermented cabbage and pairs wonderfully with a number of dishes. The trick here is to buy real sauerkraut no the ones that you find in a bag or can at the grocery store. You can either make your own at home, or you can purchase one from a health food store such as Whole Foods that still contains lots of healthy bacteria to support gut health.
#2 Water Kefir: Water kefir is a great substitute for regular kefir that contains milk. Water kefir is packed full of healthy bacteria that can be added to smoothies or made into a homemade fruit based fizzy drink. The great news is that you can easily make water kefir at home using a water kefir kit and you can even boost the flavor by making it with coconut water or even coconut milk. Don’t let the term water kefir grains steer you away from adding this to your diet either. Despite the name, the kefir grains do not actually contain “grains” like the grains you would think of with wheat products.
#3 Kombucha: Here’s another excellent dairy-free probiotic rich beverage that is very easy to find and even easy to make yourself at home. Kombucha is a fermented tea and has a cider like flavor and may remind you of apple cider vinegar but with lots of fizz. Not only is this a refreshing beverage, but kombucha can help support gut health and is even a rich source of B-vitamins. This fizzy drink contains live probiotic cultures to boost the healthy bacteria in the gut which you now know is essential to our overall health.
Hippocrates once said that disease begins in the gut and the same saying rings true today. If we don’t support our gut, we are more prone to illness, and it’s not possible for us to achieve an overall balanced state of health.
As a way to kick start your gut health, try including one or all of these fermented foods in your diet and see what they can do to support a healthy GI tract.