Kimchi, kefir or kombucha — what’s your fave ferment? We’ve told you a million times that fermented foods are good for the gut, but we know how useful a little reminder can be. If you’re looking for high-impact, feel good health tips, look no further than fermented foods. Eat fermented foods daily for a week or two and see if you notice any of the benefits laid our below by functional medicine pro, Dr. Josh Axe…
Nestled right inside your digestive system is an intricate community comprised of over 100 trillion bacterial cells. Tiny but powerful, these cells are thought to play a central role in health and disease and are considered vital to maintaining overall wellbeing.
Probiotics, in particular, are a type of beneficial bacteria found in your gut microbiome that have been linked to a long list of health benefits. Although commonly consumed in supplement form, probiotics are naturally present in fermented foods as well. And from promoting immunity to burning belly fat, there are plenty of reasons to start adding a few extra servings of fermented foods to your plate.
Here are a few of the top reasons you may want to consider eating fermented foods on a daily basis.
Why You Should Eat Fermented Foods Daily…
If you find yourself feeling a bit under the weather, it may be time to reach for the fermented foods. Probiotics can block the growth of harmful bacteria in your gut while also increasing the synthesis of antibodies and immune cells to help fight infection.
Studies also show that probiotics may relieve inflammation, which can be integral to disease prevention. In fact, chronic inflammation is thought to contribute to the development of conditions like heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Support Weight Control
Fermented foods fit seamlessly into a weight-loss diet. Not only can they influence levels of specific hormones that reduce appetite and keep you feeling fuller, but certain strains can also block the absorption of fat and amp up fat burning.
Some studies have even found that taking low doses of probiotics can help reduce belly fat and increase weight loss. Keep in mind, however, that fermented foods should be paired with a healthy diet and regular exercise to help maximize effectiveness.
Keep Cholesterol in Check
It’s no secret that following a healthy diet is critical when it comes to heart health. What most people don’t realize, however, is just how crucial the beneficial bacteria in your gut may be when it comes to managing cholesterol levels.
Eating probiotic-rich foods has been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol — the “bad” form of cholesterol that builds up in your arteries, causing blockages and bumping up your risk of heart disease and stroke. Plus, probiotics may also increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, which moves through the bloodstream helping to clear out fatty plaque from the arteries.
Regulate The Bowels
If you’ve ever gone on antibiotics only to experience digestive distress and loose, watery stools, you’re not alone. In fact, diarrhea is one of the most commonly reported side effects of taking antibiotics. This is because antibiotics disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiome and can often even end up killing off the beneficial bacteria found in your gut.
Fortunately, increasing your intake of probiotics has been shown to combat the negative side effects of antibiotics, including diarrhea. And not only can probiotics decrease the duration of diarrhea, but they have even been shown to reduce the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea altogether.
Improve Mental Health
Interestingly enough, a growing body of recent research has found that the health of your gut may have a direct link to brain health. This is because your gut microbiome is responsible for producing a wide array of neurotransmitters that play a role in mental health, including serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.
Promising studies have found that upping your intake of fermented foods and probiotics can actually reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Other research suggests that enhancing your gut microbiome may also be useful in the treatment of several mental health conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
How to Get Started…
Adding more fermented foods to your diet can be simple and delicious. Tempeh, natto, kefir, miso, probiotic yogurt, kombucha, kimchi and sauerkraut are just a few healthy and nutritious foods that can both boost the beneficial bacteria in your gut and help maximize your health.
Learn about our favorite fermented foods of all time here.
The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified healthcare provider for any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise or other health-related programs.