Fermented foods are good for gut health. (Image via Unsplash/ Sara Cervera)

What are fermented foods? Is it healthy to add them to your diet?

The popularity of fermented foods and beverages is rising. Now, you can find sourdough bread in cafes, kombucha on tap in bars, and more varieties of yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi in your neighborhood grocery store.

Historically, people have preserved food by fermentation. Foods and drinks that have undergone regulated microbial growth and enzymatic conversion of their food components are referred to as fermented foods.

Fermentation increases shelf life. (Image via Unsplash/ Markus Spiske)

Fermentation proponents contend that it is a simple technique to introduce advantageous bacteria and other organisms to the gut to support healthy gut microbiota. A healthy stomach has been connected in some studies to better overall health.

Benefits of fermented foods for gut health

While the health advantages of fermented meals are only recently being studied, the technique of fermentation has long been employed to extend shelf life and prevent food spoilage.


Check out how fermented meals are good for your gut:

1) Positive health effects

Fermented foods have been linked to a number of positive health effects, such as a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and inflammation. They have also been connected to improved bone health, better mood and brain function, better weight control, and improved exercise recovery.

2) Contains healthy gut bacteria


Healthy bacteria that help with digestion are found in our gut microbiome, which is supported by organisms and bacteria found in fermented foods. Bloating, constipation, gas, and diarrhea are conditions that can be treated by eating the bacteria found in fermented vegetables.

Fermentation adds good bacteria to the foods. (Image via Pexels/ Polina Tankilevitch)

3) Easier to digest

It is simpler to digest vegetables that have undergone fermentation. This is due to the fact that throughout the fermenting process, the food’s inherent sugars and starches drastically degrade. As yogurt and cheese are fermented, the lactose in milk is transformed into simpler sugars, making them easier to digest for those who cannot tolerate them.


List of fermented foods to include in your diet

Not only can fermentation improve food preservation, but consuming fermented foods can also increase the number of probiotics in your digestive system.

Check out this list of fermented foods to include in your diet:

1) Kefir

Cultured dairy products include kefir. It is produced by mixing milk with kefir grains, which are a blend of yeast and bacteria. As a result, a thick, sour liquid with a yogurt-like flavor is produced.

Kefir is thought to have many health advantages, according to studies. It is thought to benefit digestive health and reduce inflammation.

2) Tempeh

Tempeh is created by pressing fermented soybeans into a dense cake.

This firm, chewy meat substitute has a high protein content and can be added to recipes after being baked, steamed, or sauteed.

Tempeh is a nutrient-dense food. (Image via Unsplash/ Ella Olsson)

In addition to having a high probiotic content, tempeh is a nutrient-dense food that may benefit your health. It works particularly well with foods like sandwiches and stir-fries.

3) Kombucha

For good reason, this is the most popular way for many people to consume fermented foods. Kombucha, which is simply partially fermented sugar and tea, is delectable, simple to locate in most stores, and available in a number of interesting flavors.


Even as a mixer for cocktails, it works well! In addition to bacteria, the polyphenols in green or black tea used to make kombucha provide it with additional health advantages.

4) Kimchi

A fermented vegetable dish called kimchi is made from a variety of vegetables, including cabbage, radishes, leeks, cucumbers, and sweet potatoes. This traditional Korean cuisine, which has a nearly 1,000-year history in Korea, is now well-known throughout East Asia and the rest of the world.

Kimchi contains different veggies. (Image via Pexels/ Makafood)

Depending on the spices, herbs, and vegetables used, kimchi can have a range of flavors in addition to its traditional salty and sour taste.

5) Yogurt

Milk is fermented to make yogurt, most frequently with lactic acid bacteria. Yogurt has also been linked to a plethora of health advantages.

Keep in mind that probiotics are not always present in yogurt because they are frequently destroyed during manufacturing. To ensure you're getting your recommended daily intake of probiotics, look for yogurts that include living cultures.

Good bacteria known as probiotics are found in fermented foods. Our gut is a popular hangout for bacteria, which can have an impact on our health. In addition to these health-promoting ingredients, fermented meals frequently include protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try including some fermented foods on your plate every day to improve your diet's overall health.


Quick Links

Edited by
See more
More from Sportskeeda