Get Well

Wellness One-oh-Ones: Fermented Foods

by Hannah Smith

Welcome to the Wellness One-oh-Ones, a digital encyclopedia for all your wellness needs. This series is geared to tackle those everyday questions you secretly ask yourself in wonderment when you hear about a new trend. Instead of pretending to know what people are talking about, come hang with us as we uncover the latest and greatest in the wellness industry. Check back every other Wednesday to pick up your refill — no doctor’s signature required.

Here on Wellness One-oh-Ones, we cover an endless amount of supplements and powders that are meant to add nutrients and benefits to your existing diet. While there’s nothing wrong with having a select supplement selection to choose from for yourself, have you ever stopped to think that it just might be better to eat foods that are genuinely good for your body? Fermented foods are at the top of this list, and to help explain the powerhouses they are, we tapped holistic nutritionist Bianca Valle for some help. So keep reading and get a grocery list going for your next trip – your gut will thank you. 

What are Fermented Foods? 

In Bianca’s words, “a fermented food is a living food, full of good bacteria growth.” What bacteria might you ask? Fermented foods offer heavy doses of both pre and probiotics, which are known to create a healthy environment in your gut. 

What are the Benefits of Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods come with a slew of benefits, both internally and externally. Whether you’re looking to decrease inflammation or digest just a little easier, fermented foods might be your answer. As Bianca puts it, “When your gut is happy, your systems are working in flow, and when your systems are in flow, balance is promoted. When we are balanced, we feel good! So simple!”Keep reading for some of the most common benefits.

Fermented Foods and Skin

Fermented foods are largely anti-inflammatory, so they can be helpful in fighting disease and to calm the look of irritation on the skin. Should you suffer from arthritis, psoriasis, eczema, or general redness of the skin, fermented foods can help with that!

Fermented Foods and Digestion 

Digestive issues are incredibly common, but who knew a little dose of fermented foods would have that in check? According to Bianca, “Eating fermented [foods] help promote a healthy ecosystem in your gut. A healthy system in your gut promotes good digestion and good absorption of nutrients.” In fact, probiotics can actually begin to digest food before your system does, making the entire process just a little easier.

Fermented Foods and Immunity 

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: We love anything that’s going to increase our immunity, especially when the weather starts to get nippy out. All of the positive flora produced in the gut with the help of fermented foods also helps to fight illness within the body, keeping us healthy for longer! 

Fermented Foods and Mental Health

We’re not telling you to drop any anti-depressants you might be on, but consuming fermented foods can be beneficial to your mental health. By now, you know that they help to produce healthy gut flora. But did you know the vast majority of your serotonin is produced in the gut? A happy, healthy, gut allows for more production of healthy serotonin to occur!

What Fermented Foods Should I Be Eating?

Fermented foods are all around us, so you have a plethora to choose from. Bianca “personally love[s] sauerkraut and kimchi, but any fermented foods work. There is usually a wide selection at your local health food store or farmers market.” Take a peek at the list of fermented foods below, pick a few of your favorites, and start implementing in your daily life! 

  • Kimchi
  • Sauerkraut
  • Yogurt
  • Kombucha
  • Tempeh
  • Kefir
  • Miso

Feature Image via Jessica Golightly

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