You Should Eat Fermented Foods on a Daily Basis. Here’s Why.
You probably already know that probiotics are beneficial for vibrant health, but do you know why? It may surprise you to know that even the science community as a whole still has a lot to learn about why probiotics seem to have such a great impact on human health.
But there’s no doubt that they do: In fact, according to the experts behind Farmhouse Culture, an organic fermented foods company that makes food-based probiotics, gut bacteria have been shown to help with regulating the immune system, boosting energy production, assisting with nutrient absorption, improving digestion and aiding in brain and mood function.
Given that so many aspects of your health stand to benefit from probiotics, what’s the best way possible to get them into your diet? The answer is to consume fermented foods—and here’s why.
Fermented Foods vs. Dietary Supplements
While taking a probiotic in powder or pill form can definitely work, there are added benefits to consuming these microscopic bacteria in the form of food. Probiotics are a crucial component of fermentation, a process by which microscopic organisms consume the sugars in a food item and metabolize it.
“Fermentation creates many of the same strains of good bacteria naturally found in your gut, making live culture fermented foods one of the best sources of probiotics,” explain the folks at Farmhouse Culture.
Furthermore, when you take your probiotics in supplement form, you miss out on all the beneficial nutrients that whole foods contain.
“For example, cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as dietary fiber and various B vitamins, to name a few,” they advise.
The Importance of Wholesome Foods
If you’re interested in getting started with a whole foods-based probiotics regimen, you may be wondering what foods to eat. Foods such as yogurt, kefir, kraut, kimchi and kombucha all contain live probiotics for a while after they’re made. Here’s a quick and dirty guide to these probiotic-packed superfoods.
- Yogurt: We don’t think too much background is needed here—you probably already know all about yogurt. But it is important to know that not all yogurts contain active strains of bacteria. Be sure to look for a brand that advertises probiotics on its packaging.
- Kefir: Originating in the Caucasus mountains, kefir is a fermented milk beverage. It’s hearty and filling and full of tons of healthy bacteria.
- Kraut: Sometimes called sauerkraut, this delightful dish is made from fermented cabbage. You can make your own at home, but the process can take up to three weeks, so picking up some already-prepared kraut can be a real lifesaver.
- Kimchi: Kimchi is a Korean dish that’s quite similar to kraut in that it’s made of fermented cabbage, but it also contains other veggies and a variety of spices.
- Kombucha: Kombucha is fermented tea. It comes in many different flavors and varieties, so you can maximize its nutritive value by adding healthy items such as fresh lemon juice, greens and pressed blueberries.
Farmhouse Culture’s Gut Shot and Kraut products contain billions of healthy bacteria to line your digestive tract. Farmhouse Culture strives to produce clean, pure products, and as part of that commitment, they work to source organic, non-GMO ingredients as locally as possible.
Don’t Forget to Refrigerate!
When choosing a food-based probiotic, it’s important to keep it in the fridge to extend its shelf life. This is true of supplements, too: Think about it … these are living creatures! They need refrigeration in order to stay alive until they get into your digestive tract.
“The live cultures found in our products need food in order to stay alive,” Farmhouse Culture says. “Refrigeration reduces the rate at which the live cultures metabolize residual sugars from the vegetables thereby extending the vibrancy and shelf-life considerably.”