Dairy, legumes, non-starchy vegetables, root vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish can all be fermented. Fermented foods are considered functional foods, which deliver many health benefits. Because microbial fermentation results in functional microorganisms, which are able to reach the gastrointestinal tract, the fermented foods become more nutritionally rich. This process increases vitamin content and antioxidant activity and enhances good bacteria in the gut! Fight disease by improving immune function, support digestion and absorption, and reduce toxins by adding fermented foods to your diet!
Choose a yogurt that contains live and active cultures to get the benefits of probiotics. The ingredient list will name live cultures, which must include lactic acid producing Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus.
- Regular intake influences the gut microbiome.
- May reduce incident of bacterial vaginosis.
- Regular intake is associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
- May reduce risk of coronary heart disease.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage made from kefir grains that is higher in protein and probiotics than yogurt.
- Provides anti-tumor activity against cancer cells.
- Relieves allergy symptoms.
- Anti-fungal and antibacterial activity.
- Reduces serum total cholesterol level and triglycerides.
Kimchi is a fermented cabbage with added functional seasonings and spices such as ginger, garlic and red pepper.
Research shows bacteria from kimchi:
- To be anti-inflammatory.
- To be anti-carcinogenic.
- May offer heart healthy benefits.
- May improve constipation.
Kombucha is a fermented tea high in polyphenols and flavonoids.
Animal studies on kombucha show:
- Improved blood glucose levels.
- Reduced oxidative stress.
- Improved cholesterol levels and triglycerides.
- Reduced chemical induced liver toxicity.
Tip: When introducing new fermented foods, be sure to add them slowly into your diet. Large amounts of new fermented foods may cause an upset stomach.
Including Fermented Foods in Your Day to Day
Add a serving of sauerkraut or kimchi to your lunch. Try some in a salad or a veggie and grain bowl.
Boost your dinner’s nutrients by scooping fermented salsa onto taco lettuce wraps or taco salad.
This month, we invite you to a new nutrition challenge!
February Feeding Wellness Challenge
Eat a fermented food at least once a week in the month of February. Accept the challenge to improve your diet, heal your body, and try new foods!
Cabbage Nori Roll
This vegetable roll is packed with nutrients from cabbage and cauliflower and provides healthy fats from avocados and cashews. The seaweed wrap also provides a wide range of vitamins and minerals plus omega-3s.
- 1 organic nori sheet
- 2 Tbs avocado, mashed with a fork
- ½ cup cauliflower rice, cooked
- ⅓ cup kimchi or sauerkraut
- 2 Tbs cashews
- Coconut aminos for dipping
Spread mashed avocado on the non-shiny side of the nori roll, leaving ½ inch at the end of the nori roll empty. Sprinkle the cauliflower rice evenly over the avocado mash. Layer the kimchi or sauerkraut and then the cashews.
Rub a few drops of water into the ½ inch empty end of the nori sheet. Start rolling with hands on opposite side of empty end of sheet- towards the empty end. Press to seal the wet end. Allow to sit to seal. Dip in coconut aminos and enjoy!
Root Vegetable Latkes & Tart Yogurt
Tart, savory, and sweet flavors are combined by topping these root vegetable latkes with plain yogurt! This dish can be eaten at breakfast or as a side dish at lunch or supper. These latkes are just another way to squeeze in some extra vegetables to your day and adding a few dollops of yogurt makes an easy way to add natural probiotics to your diet!
- Tub of plain probiotic-rich yogurt
- 1 small sweet potato, shredded
- 1 small turnip, peeled and shredded
- 2 small parsnips, shredded
- 2 Tbs flaxseed meal
- 1 Tbs arrowroot starch
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- Avocado oil for greasing pan
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray parchment paper with avocado oil. Spread shredded root vegetables in a thin layer on a paper towel. Place additional paper towel on top of vegetables and squeeze out any liquid. While vegetables dry, in a small bowl stir together flaxseed meal and 5 Tbs water. Let sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine root vegetables, arrowroot, baking powder, salt, and pepper. Stir in flaxseed mixture. Using a cookie scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup scoop mixture into balls and place on baking sheet. Flatten each ball into a disc with a fork. Makes about 8-10 discs. Bake for 12-15 minutes, flip over each disc, and bake for additional 12-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Top each latke with plain probiotic-rich yogurt.
Want to make your own fermented products at home?
Check out Cultures For Health’s many live active cultures, such as kefir grains and yogurt starter cultures, to get you started!
If you are someone that does not like fermented foods, or does not regularly consume probiotic-rich fermented foods, consider probiotic supplements.
Please speak with your doctor or medical provider before taking any supplement, such as a probiotic.