Prebiotic Foods For Gut Health – Fermented Foods To Boost Your Gut Health

Prebiotic Foods For Gut Health – Fermented Foods To Boost Your Gut Health

Prebiotic Foods For Gut Health

 

Before we get into prebiotic foods for gut health let us agreed upon a definition.

We hear the word probiotic and prebiotic tossed around on the internet quite often now days. What are probiotics and prebiotics? According to Wikipedia

“Prebiotics are compounds in food that induce the growth or activity of beneficial microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. The most common example is in the gastrointestinal tract, where prebiotics can alter the composition of organisms in the gut microbiome.” “Probiotics are live microorganisms promoted with claims that they provide health benefits when consumed, generally by improving or restoring the gut flora. Probiotics are considered generally safe to consume, but may cause bacteria-host interactions and unwanted side effects in rare cases.”  So in essence probiotic and prebiotics are essential for gut health. Prebiotics are normally obtained from the foods we eat and especially fermented foods and probiotics are usually supplementation which we consume..

Fermented Foods to Boost Your Gut Health

Food fermentation has been around for thousands of years, from back when technologies like refrigerators were not yet a thing. Fermentation is a process of preserving foods to extend their shelf life and avoid wastage.

It is done by adding live bacteria or yeast, which transforms carbs into alcohol or acids that act as natural preservatives.

In recent years, fermented foods have gained increased popularity as gut health has been brought into greater public awareness.

Many diseases have been found to have a link to gut health, which opens the topic of how to keep the gut healthy to fight off such illnesses. Fermented foods contain probiotics, which are good microbes that help restore the balance of bacteria in the gut.

Due to different factors, the diversity of gut bacteria can be compromised. These factors include a poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, lack of exercise, and environmental factors.

When the bacteria exist in incorrect ratios, the gut cannot function as it should. Functions such as proper digestion and optimal immune response will be adversely affected.

So, what do you do? There are different ways to keep your gut healthy and to restore the balance of the gut microbes, one of which is through the help of fermented foods.

Below are some examples of fermented foods that you may want to include in your diet to help keep your gut healthy:

Kimchi

Kimchi is a staple side dish in Korea. It is rich in probiotics and fiber. Kimchi is fermented cabbage made spicy by gochujang or Korean chili paste. You can find a jar of kimchi in the Asian ingredients section in the groceries. Of course, you can also make it yourself.

Sauerkraut

If you’re not fond of spicy foods, then sauerkraut is a better option than kimchi. Sauerkraut is also cabbage and salt, and you probably know this German superfood as a topping on a hotdog.

Kombucha

If you’re a tea lover, your gut is already enjoying its benefits. Well, you can take your tea up a notch with kombucha, which is a fermented green or black tea, with herbs or fruits for added flavor. You can find kombucha tea at your local grocery stores.

Yogurt

Yogurt is fermented milk containing millions of probiotic microbes. Some yogurts, however, have gone through pasteurization that might have killed most of the good bacteria. So, make sure that you look at the label and choose the ones that say “cultured” or “live bacteria.”

Miso

Miso is fermented barley, rice, or soybean paste, which you may most likely recognize in Japanese soups. It is a staple ingredient in many Japanese and Chinese foods, given the zest that it brings to almost any dish. It contains millions of bacteria that have digestive health benefits.

Pickled vegetables

Pickled vegetables are a good way to get started with fermented foods if you haven’t been eating them already. They are often made from carrots, cauliflowers, celery, cucumber, and cabbage, with small hot chilies and bay leaf to taste. They are fermented with salt, water, and vinegar.

Tempeh

Tempeh is fermented soybeans and is rich in protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It is a popular Indonesian soy product made into a cake-like form that is similar to tofu. It can be marinated, fried, baked, grilled.

Conclusion: Not All Fermented Foods Are Created Equal

To aid our gut health we need to be sure to include some of the Prebiotic Foods For Gut Health.

The above-listed fermented foods are just some of the many that you can easily find and include in your diet for a healthier gut. However, not all fermented foods are created equal.

For one, you can expect them to taste differently—sour, spicy, tangy—which may not be suitable for your preferences. You don’t have to force yourself if you are not enjoying their taste.

Another thing to remember is that some fermented foods are pasteurized, which means the good bacteria would have probably died in high heat. Look for the ones labeled with live bacteria or cultured, or better yet, ferment them on your own.

Also, if you are sick, an elderly person, or pregnant, you need to be extra cautious. Some unpasteurized and fermented foods may have adverse effects.

Detoxing will also help you to get and maintain a  healthy gut 

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