My little journey quickly introduced me to the world of fermented foods; and I quickly found out how much I love them! But, I have to admit, the first conversations about kombucha or kimchi did not leave my mouth watering. In fact, my thoughts were, “You want me to eat what?! Gross!!!”Why on earth would anyone eat or drink these things? Well, there are lots of reasons! First of all, your immune system will thank you. Fermented foods aid in promoting good bacteria for your gut, and a healthy gut is a huge contributor to maintaining healthy systems.
Another benefit is that fermented foods are much easier to digest because the bacteria has already done the work for you. The good bacteria “pre-digests” the food for you, so those who have difficulty digesting some vegetables may find this appealing. I happen to be one of those people.
Kombucha, a fermented tea, was for me, a no-brainer for replacing soda. I found a couple brands that I really like, and have low sugar content, and I drink them regularly when I get a soda craving. Kombucha has benefits believed to fight cancer, act as a detox, give more mental clarity, etc., and it is delicious!! Kimchi and sauerkraut are other favorites. These are not for everyone, but I happen to love them. Health.com named kimchi as one of the “world’s healthiest foods”. It is full of vitamins, and again – aids in digestion and promotes a healthy gut.
Not everyone agrees that you need to add fermented foods to your diet, and it is definitely an acquired taste. Some suggest adding these things slowly to see how your gut reacts, and also to allow time to adjust. I personally have not had any negative response to the fermented foods I have consumed, but that doesn’t mean they are right for everyone.
You can make your own fermented foods and kombucha if you are more ambitious than I. I did make some kombucha once, but quickly decided I much prefer to buy it. I am just not that patient. Maybe one day in the future, I will try again…
Until then – there are lots of great store brands. I love this new group of products I found recently at Natural Grocers. They give you the name of the local farm the product came from, and contact information so you can learn more about the farm. Big plus in my book.
Give a few things a try. Let me know what you like/don’t like!
Here’s to a happy gut!