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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Nutrition Knowledge – Fermented food for the win!

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Let’s continue to learn how to have a healthy gut. Remember, our gut is where most of our immune system originates. It is also where we digest our food to extract all the necessary macro and micronutrients. If our gut isn’t working its best, we won’t absorb what we need and our immune system won’t work as it should.

To keep our microbiome healthy and working properly, we need to feed our body with the right foods. We learned last month that high fiber foods can improve our microbiome. The fiber, as it is digested, causes some fermentation, which creates a good environment for beneficial bacteria.

So … what about fermented foods themselves? YES! In a big way! Again, we know about yogurt and kefir, but these can have a large amount of added sugar. Pickled and fermented veggies are fabulous for our gut microbiome and study after study is proving that fact. Stanford researchers found that eating a diet high in fermented foods increases the diversity of gut microbes, which in turn, is associated with better health. One study showed a vast improvement in immune cells and a decrease of inflammatory proteins. This was even in contrast to a high fiber diet, which showed that the microbiome remained stable, but the inflammatory proteins did not decrease.

So what does this tell us? Eating some high-fiber foods is good for bowel motility and nutrient variety, and also keeps the microbiome stable. The fermented foods show actual anti-inflammatory benefits, while changing and improving the microbiome. So we should consume both.

Other fermented foods to try include Farmer’s Cheese, tempeh, miso, Kimchi, sauerkraut, Kombucha and apple cider.

Fermenting our own vegetables is actually a simple process and there is a myriad of information and recipes out there. If we choose to purchase already fermented products, look for those with live cultures and no vinegar.

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Patty Minta, RD, LDN
Patty Minta, RD, LDNhttps://nourishednestedandblessed.com/
Patty Minta is a Registered & Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist. Visit her website for links, nutrition info and tips at www.nourishednestedandblessed.com.

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