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NOURISH

Four reasons to eat fermented foods

While all the enthusiasm around fermented foods may be new, the tradition of eating these foods has been happening all over the world for years. Fermented foods like kimchi from Korea and sauerkraut from Germany are ingrained in these cultures. Here are four reasons you should give fermented foods a try.

1. The typical American diet has made our guts pretty unhappy. Processed foods are just that—processed—and make our bodies work hard to digest that food. Fermented foods help with digestion because of their good-for-you bacteria and can support your tummy in performing its best.

2. When a vegetable is fermented, the nutritional value increases because the nutrients are more easily absorbed by the body. The fermentation process has already broken down the structure of the veggie allowing your body VIP access to the good stuff.

3. Fermented foods are everywhere and you might not even realize it.

  • cheeses like blue and feta
  • pickles (made without vinegar)
  • sourdough bread
  • yogurt with live and active cultures (just check the label).
  • A few that might be new to you are kefir and kombucha. Kefir is a dairy product that can be found in the refrigerated section at the grocery store. If dairy doesn’t sit well with you, try coconut kefir. Fermented foods often have a strong flavor, so ease into kefir by adding some to your morning smoothie. Kombucha is fizzy like soda and made from black tea. A great fermented option, kombucha is good for gut health, but check the label and aim for one with no or low added sugars.

4. Making your own fermented foods is simple and inexpensive. All you need is your favorite vegetable, water and sea salt. Recipes are easily found online and classes about fermentation are popping up across the metro. Check your local co-op to see their offerings.

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