by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Eating fermented foods are a wonderful way to help support your gut health. To learn how gut health relates to PCOS, you’ll want to be sure to read this post on Leaky Gut and PCOS. Fermented foods are found in every traditional culture in the world. The primary benefit of fermentation comes from nutrients created by active bacteria. The process of fermentation unlocks lots of wonderful nutrients. Fermentation breaks down fats, protein and carbs in the food we eat and contain enzymes that boost nutrient absorption. Fermented foods are rich in probiotics and organic acids that balance intestinal pH and support the gut. These healthy microflora are a good way to support your overall health. Good gut bacteria defend against infections caused by harmful bacteria. Scientsts have discovered that 75 percent of your immune system is in your gut and probiotics found in foods and supplements can boost immunity.
Here are five wonderful sources of probiotics in food. Start adding these to your diet to support gut health.
Kimichi – is a popular fermented food from Korea. It is a spicy pickled sauerkraut. It is a wonderful probiotic food and is packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, some B vitamins, iron, calcium, and selenium. These all contribute to supporting muscle growth, improve your immune system, and improve blood flow. The good lactobacilli bacteria in kimchi can help control your appetite by lowering blood sugar levels. Usually, 1 g of well-fermented Kimchi produces more than 8 hundred million lactobacilli (4 times of lactobacilli from Yogurt.) Think of using kimchi as a condiment – add it to soups, to rice, or as a topping on sandwiches.
Kombucha– is a fermented tea it contains a lots of health bacteria. This drink has been used for centuries in China, Japan and Russia to increase energy and health and is making a comeback. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system. Kombucha helps fight candida (read more about this here ) overgrowth, mental clarity, and mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression and anxiety. I can tell you it just makes me feel good. It has a slightly bubbly and sweet taste and curbs my craving for a cold soda. You’ll be amazed at the variety of Kombucha brands and flavors the next time you go to Whole Foods. My favorite is Synergy Cosmic Cranberry Kombucha.
Miso – is a fermented paste from soy beans that offers vitamin B12, manganese, zinc and copper. It is a source of probiotics, fiber and is a complete protein. . . soy miso is a good source of fiber and protein. Miso stimulates the secretion of digestive fluids in the stomach and aids in the digestion and assimilation of other foods in the intestines. Miso has a salty and savory taste and a texture similar to nut butter. I like to add it to soups to flavor the stock. However it is really salty and you want to limit the amount – or the salty flavor will have you craving sweets!
Sauerkraut – is a fermented cabbage that provides vitamins and lactobacilli bacteria. Historically – disease caused by a vitamin C deficiency. It worked because Sauerkraut is a natural source of vitamin C, in fact historically sauerkraut was taken on long voyages to ensure that the crew didn’t get scurvy. The probiotics in sauerkraut helps the immune system fight infection, and aids digestion, hence sauerkraut’s venerable reputation as a remedy for upset stomach and constipation. Fermented foods like sauerkraut also help acne believe it or not. You can make your own lacto fermented sauerkraut or try a store bought version. My favorite is Bubbies brand.
Coconut Water or Milk Kefir and Coconut Milk Yogurt – While I do use a little Greek yogurt from time to time in my Meal Plans, I do limit my dairy intake. Coconut milk yogurt and coconut kefir are a wonderful non-dairy alternative to fermented dairy. Coconut kefir and yogurt both have active bacteria to aid digestion and encourage gut health. You can try your hand at making your own – there are many recipes to try online or try So Delicious brand of coconut milk yogurt and Inner-Eco kefir.