Until you heard of the power of probiotics, you probably never considered eating fermented foods – I certainly didn’t. Eating foods like sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, miso and yoghurt, can actually be great for your health. This is because they are full of probiotics. Probiotics are live bacteria – good bacteria – which help to maintain a healthy gut. Most of the foods we buy are sterilised meaning the crucial good bacteria is killed off. Eating fermented foods will replace the bacteria you need for a healthy mind, body and soul!
Did you know that 80% of your immune system lives in the gut? By feeding it fermented food, you’ll work to eliminate the bad bacteria which leads to illness. Say you were to eat an unhealthy diet or one where probiotics were limited, the bad bacteria is more likely to take over. This means that your gut won’t be able to fight bacteria and you’ll be vulnerable to infection! Fermented foods are particularly good at fighting eczema, viral infections and even allergies such as hay fever (1).
Believe it or not, fermented food actually improves your mental state. This is because the good bacteria leads to a healthy gut. A healthy gut is able to produce serotonin which is the chemical that creates the happiness emotion. Lactobacillus is a probiotic which increases dopamine levels in your body and decreases depression. Therefore, healthy gut = happy mind. And how do you get a healthy gut? Eat fermented foods!
Another by-product of a healthy gut is that your body can absorb as much nutrients as possible from the food you eat. The good bacteria from fermented food also works to breakdown what’s in your gut, and get all the goodness it can! So, no matter how healthy you’re eating, without those probiotics from fermented food, your body won’t be able to absorb it properly!