To Your Health
August, 2021 (Vol. 15, Issue 08)
The Power of Fermented Foods
By Editorial Staff
We're learning more every day about the importance of gut health, specifically the profound influence the GI microbiome may exert over our health. Conditions ranging from to irritable bowel syndrome to inflammatory bowel disease and even some forms of cancer may get their start courtesy of imbalances in gut microbiota. Which brings us to the importance of including fermented foods in your diet.
Research suggests a diet high in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, fermented cottage cheese, kimchi and other fermented vegetables, vegetable brine drinks, and kombucha tea not only increases microbial diversity in the gut (which is a good thing); it also appears to be more beneficial than a high-fiber diet (high in legumes, seeds, whole grains, nuts, vegetables and fruits) in doing so. The fermented-foods diet also lowered levels of inflammatory proteins, unlike the high-fiber diet.
Published in the research journal Cell, the study found that the increase in microbial diversity and reduction in inflammatory proteins occurred during a relatively short time frame, as the diet intervention lasted only 10 weeks. Another reason the findings are important: microbiome diversity appears to benefit weight maintenance, and may decrease the risk of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Your doctor can tell you more about the gut microbiome and what you can do to keep it functioning optimally.