5 Fabulous Fermented Foods
by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
Eating fermented foods is 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 microflorae are a good way to support your overall health. Good gut bacteria defend against infections caused by harmful bacteria. Scientists 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
Kimchi is a popular fermented food from Korea. It is 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, improving your immune system, and improving 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 lot of healthy 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 soybeans 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 – a 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 help the immune system fight infection, and aid 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 wonderful non-dairy alternatives 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.
In addition to adding gut-healthy foods to my diet, I also supplement with a high-quality supplement. Quality probiotics like PCOS Diva Probiotic Sphere can help with food and nutrient assimilation and in stimulating the immune system.
Amy Medling, best-selling author of Healing PCOS and certified health coach, specializes in working with women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), who are frustrated and have lost all hope when the only solution their doctors offer is to lose weight, take a pill, and live with their symptoms. In response, Amy founded PCOS Diva and developed a proven protocol of supplements, diet, and lifestyle programs that offer women tools to help gain control of their PCOS and regain their fertility, femininity, health, and happiness.