We are constantly bombarded with the info that only fresh foods are healthy or, at least, fresh foods are healthier. But in recent times, one food group has been getting attention and street cred among health specialists: fermented foods.
Ingredients such as cucumbers or cabbage that have been left to steep their sugars and carbs can be good bacteria boosting agents – or probiotic powerhouses. They can help with gas, diarrhea, indigestion, IBS or constipation and can even help you lose weight, boost immunity, shield from allergies and promote skin health.
Sauerkraut can positively affect brain health by helping with anxiety and depression. That’s why you should start adding it to your diet and include in more than just tofu dogs. You can also make your own sauerkraut and, since it’s homemade, skip the chemical preservatives and added sugar. Ramsey says: “There’s a tremendous connection between gut and brain health.”
Pickles offer a copious amount of healthy and beneficial gut bacteria. Being packed with probiotics, they’re extremely popular and a handy pick even for those who aren’t totally ok with the idea of consuming fermented foods.
Miso is made from fermented soybeans and grains and people love if for its nutritional profile, being rich in probiotics, essential minerals (potassium) and helping with strength and stamina. Miso can be made easily by adding a dollop to boiling water with vegetables such as bok choy, onions or mushrooms.
Kombucha is a fermented black tea that’s packed with a variety of microorganisms. “When you drink a bottle of kombucha, you’re drinking four to seven microorganisms all at once, building a really strong gut,” says Michael Schwartz, the founder of BAO Food and Drink. Just mind the sugar you add.
Kimichi is a spicy Korean dish, usually made from fermented cabbage, used mainly for its energy-boosting and beauty-enhancing properties. Along with improvements in the digestion department, you can also enjoy improvements in the appearance of your skin. Kimichi can help you get more nutrients from the foods you consume too.