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10 Foods You’re Eating That Are Better Than You Thought

13th September 2015

With all the food news that surrounds us every day, it can be hard to know what’s good, solid advice and what’s nothing more than the latest fad.

While there are certainly foods that pack a stronger nutrient punch than others, are there really foods that we should stay away from altogether? And if so, which ones?

Focusing on eating whole, close-to-the-source fruits and vegetables is always a good idea. But another rising trend has believers reaching for the cabbage and cucumbers—in pickled form—as well as crème fraîche, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, miso, yogurt, and more.

fermented, turnip,

A fermented turnip dish. Img: opacity on flickr, used under cc by 2.0

The trend focuses on eating fermented food for its probiotic properties. According to one study on the benefits of eating fermented food,

“Recent scientific investigation has supported the important role of probiotics as a part of a healthy diet for human as well as for animals and may be an avenue to provide a safe, cost effective, and ‘natural’ approach that adds a barrier against microbial infection.”

Fermented foods start out as whole foods you’re used to—like milk and cabbage—but they undergo a lacto-fermentation process to become something new. This new form of food breaks food down into a more digestable form, which is good news for your intestines.

So, consuming probiotics in the form of fermented food can protect you and your family against disease. They help the beneficial organisms in your intestines digest food. And studies are now being done on the use of probiotics for a wide range of purposes including oral health, acne and rosacea, and in early childhood as prevention against asthma.

Probiotics are available in many different kinds of foods. Try adding some of these foods to your diet on a regular basis, keeping in mind that some are more nutritious than others. You probably recognize many of them:

  • Coffee

    sourdough bread

    Img: jemasmith on flickr. cc by 2.0

  • Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Sourdough bread
  • Cheese
  • Cultured butter
  • Crème fraiche
  • Yogurt

    coffee beans

    Img: puuikibeach on flickr, used under cc by 2.0

  • Kefir
  • Salami
  • Wine
  • Beer
  • Sauerkraut
  • Pickles
  • Kimchi
  • Kombucha
  • Fish sauce
  • Vinegar
  • Miso
  • Tempeh

A word of warning—most fermented foods come with a distinct smell and taste. Don’t let this turn you off of the many benefits. Try different types of food to find the things you like the best. Look for food prepared with true lacto-fermentation processes—some things like pickles and sauerkraut can be made with a vinegar process instead. And keep your mind open to new things. Your guts will thank you.

How many of these fermented foods do you already eat? Which ones will you try? Let us know in the comments.



by Kimberly Paine



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