Have you ever tried fermented foods?

They are an amazing and nourishing addition to your new healthykick lifestyle.

I know it may sound distasteful but fermented foods are a powerhouse of nutrition. You only need 2 tablespoons a day to enjoy the health benefits. I have incorporated them into my diet to help alleviate the dysbiosis in my gut lining and tests reveal an improvement in the good bacteria vs.the bad bacteria. OH, SUCH A RELIEF!

So fermented foods go through a process called lactofermentation where the natural bacteria feed on sugar- glucose, fructose and sucrose and convert them into cellular energy in the form of  lactic acid. Through this process it preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, b-vitamins (especially B-12 which is primarily derived from animals), omega-3 fatty acids, digestive enzymes and other probiotic strains, as well as cutting the sugar content of the food. It is the same process that bacteria go through when wine is made but we are not talking wine now.

Eating fermented foods will add natural live probiotic strains that promote the growth of friendly bacteria in your gut. These probiotic strains have been shown to improve bowel health, aid digestion, eliminate toxins and undigested waste and improve immunity.

The bacteria Lactobacillus is naturally prevalent in the small intestine (Bifidobacterium is prevalent in the colon) and they produce lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide which promote a healthy pH in your gut. They also inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria so they are essential to a healthy gut lining. However, when we take antibiotics or during exposure to environmental toxins on a daily basis we can minimize or deplete the good bacteria. Eating these fermented foods, kefir and certain yogurts can help restore and balance the natural microbiome-AKA the bacteria that call you home.

Eating sugar and processed food feeds the bad bacteria that causes digestive distress, bloating, cramping so by implementing all your new healthykick suggestions by crowding in more whole and fermented foods, you will not be feeding the bad bacteria but replenishing the good bacteria.

Here are some suggestions for fermented, probiotic rich foods:

NOTE: it is important to ensure that the fermented food is not pasteurized as this kills off all the beneficial bacteria and essential vitamins! Also it is important to buy from a reputable company.

1. Kefir– a fermented milk drink. I prefer Sigg’s plain kefir and then add spinach, banana and avocado to make a delicious smoothie.

fermented foods

2. Greek plain yogurt– add sliced fruit and you will have perfection!

3. Sauerkraut– is shredded cabbage fermented in its own juices with spices and other vegetables. I buy Wildbrine as it is GMO free and not pasteurized. If you have candida overgrowth this is a wonderful food to add to your diet.

4.Kombucha– a fermented tea  made by adding healthy probiotic bacteria and yeast to a solution tea, sugar and sometimes fruit juice. After fermentation, the tea is fizzy and has a sweet-tart flavor.

5. Cheese made from raw milk

6. Tempeh- slightly cooked and fermented “bean cake.”  It is best to eat cooked beans as fermented because this makes them easier to digest and then you will absorb more of the protein content.

7. Unpasteurized miso- made from fermented soybeans, grains and koji spores. I use it to make asian style salad dressings, miso soup and marinades.

Probiotics and prebiotics, the non-digestible carbohydrates that help good bacteria grow and flourish, when taken together form a symbiotic relationship. Here are a few suggestions of soluble fibers that contain prebiotics that will help feed the good probiotics:

1. Dandelion greens

2. Garlic

3. Leeks

4. Onions

5. Asparagus