You’ve probably heard that probiotics promote digestive health by providing healthy bacteria that aid digestion and boost the immune system. But you don’t have to take a supplement to add probiotics to your diet. Eat fermented foods instead! Here are a few of my favorites.
Kefir is a fermented milk beverage that tastes similar to yogurt. It’s made with kefir grains and has a creamy, tart flavor. You can make your own or buy ready-made fruit-flavored kefir drinks at the grocery store. Cultured milk is high in protein, calcium, and Vitamin D.
If you enjoy Japanese food, you’re probably familiar with miso. Miso is a Japanese paste made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji. It is a complete protein and has also been shown to strengthen the immune system. Try making miso soup at home, there are many recipes online.
This fermented soy product is often used in burgers and nuggets. For those not used to eating tempeh, try it made into meatballs with marinara sauce to give it added flavor. On its own, it’s rather bland.
One of my favorite splurges is a big piece of warm sourdough bread with butter. Yum! Sourdough is a type of fermentation in which wild yeast and good bacteria begin to break down the gluten and sugar in the bread dough. Some people who have problems with gluten find that sourdough bread is easier to digest than regular bread, and to add probiotics to your diet, sourdough is a better choice. You can also make sourdough rolls, biscuits, and pancakes.
You’ve likely had fermented vegetables like dill pickles, pickled beets, and sauerkraut, but have you tried kimchi? Kimchi is a type of fermented vegetable that is popular in Asian cuisine. Kimchi typically includes cabbage, radishes, and scallions. Try mixing your kimchi with roasted asparagus for a delicious treat.
Do you have a favorite fermented food I forgot to include?