The Benefits of Eating Fermented Foods

Fermented foods contain numerous, powerful health benefits. Learn how to incorporate them into your clean-eating lifestyle. (It's easy, and yummy!)
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Fermented foods contain numerous, powerful health benefits. Learn how to incorporate them into your clean-eating lifestyle. (It's easy, and yummy!)

Eat clean and get lean with our dietitians, Erin Macdonald and Tiffani Bachus. Find out when their new course, A Whole-Life Guide to Lasting Weight Loss, launches. Register now! 

Fermentation is the process of converting starches and sugars into acids, thereby preserving them for longer. Certain foods and drinks can be fermented naturally over time with the help of sea salt, beneficial microbes (such as bacteria, mold and yeast) and food enzymes that ward off decay. The microbes involved in fermentation thrive in low-temperature, high-moisture and high-acid environments, and work to keep “bad” organisms from spoiling your food. Not only are these “good” organisms beneficial for freshness, but they also possess a host of health benefits, including improved digestion, nutrient absorption and immune-boosting properties.

See alsoGut Feeling: The Latest News Behind Probiotics & Prebiotics.

Some of our favorite fermented foods include kefir (a fermented milk similar to yogurt), kombucha (a fizzy fermented drink made from tea), miso (fermented soybean paste) and naturally fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut or kimchi (a spiced fermented cabbage). While there is no recommended daily serving of fermented foods, we recommend working them into your daily routine (or at least a couple times a week). Keep in mind that a little goes a long way, so a mere 1/2-cup of kefir in your morning smoothie or a small bowl of miso soup before dinner is enough for you to reap the benefits.

See alsoWhy Kombucha is All the Rage.

Registered dietitians Tiffani Bachus and Erin Macdonald are the co-founders and creators of URockGirl.com, a website dedicated to promoting wellness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle.