Should You Eat Fermented Foods?

By Sheri Berger, RDN

I am sure most of you have noticed the latest food rage these days is fermented foods! You may be wondering what are these foods and why are they getting so much attention. Some examples of fermented foods are yogurt, buttermilk, cottage cheese, sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, sour dough bread, and kombucha. These foods are literally alive! That’s right, fermented foods are full of alive and active bacteria, also known as probiotics. Probiotics are good bacteria that have well known benefits as well as some possible advantages that are still under research. Here are two benefits we know for sure:

  • Digestion regulation
  • Strengthens immunity

Other possible benefits of probiotics that are still under review:

  • Weight loss
  • Improve mood and anxiety

Fermented foods are tasty and contribute beneficial nutrients such as fiber, calcium, and vitamin D, although some can be high in sodium and sugar. For people with high blood pressure, be conscious of the sodium content of sauerkraut and kimchi. For those who are limiting sugar intake, be cautious of the added sugars in yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. It is best to read your labels carefully and choose a probiotic variety with less added sugar or sodium or balance out these nutrients with all your other daily choices.

Read here for more information on the benefits of probiotics and some diy recipes for kefir, yogurt, kombucha, and kimchi: http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/1011412-benefits-fermented-foods-5-diy-recipes/#slide=1