13 Fermented Foods To Add To Your Diet Today For Better Gut Health

Fermented foods have been a staple in culinary traditions around the world for centuries, celebrated not only for their unique flavors and preservation benefits but also for their health-promoting properties. The art of fermentation, a process that involves the breakdown of food components by bacteria, yeasts, or other microorganisms, enriches foods with probiotics, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Want to reap the benefits of fermented food? Here are 13 healthy fermented foods you can add to your diet today.


Bowl with yogurt and strawberries on wooden table
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Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with a yogurt culture. It provides protein and calcium, and is rich in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can aid digestion and gut health. It’s versatile and can be enjoyed on its own, with fruit and granola, or as a part of savory dishes.


Happy young woman drinking milk
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Kefir is a fermented milk drink that has a tart, slightly effervescent quality. It’s similar to yogurt but contains a wider variety of probiotics, which can contribute to a healthy gut microbiota. Kefir is also typically tolerated well by people who are lactose intolerant due to the fermentation process breaking down much of the lactose. It can be consumed on its own, added to smoothies, or used as a base for salad dressings or marinades.


The preparation process fermentation preservation Sauerkraut
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Sauerkraut is made from fermented cabbage and is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron. It’s also a good source of antioxidants and probiotics. The fermentation process produces compounds that may reduce inflammation and promote digestive health. Sauerkraut can be served as a side dish, added to sandwiches, or used as a topping for various foods.


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Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish made from fermented vegetables, including cabbage and radishes, with a mix of seasonings such as chili pepper, garlic, ginger, and scallions. It’s known for its spicy, tangy flavor and is a staple in Korean cuisine. Kimchi is packed with vitamins A and C, and like other fermented foods, it contains probiotics that may benefit digestive health. It can be eaten alone, with rice, or used as an ingredient in recipes like stews and pancakes.


Soybean paste MISO and soybeans
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Miso is a traditional Japanese seasoning made by fermenting soybeans. This fermentation process allows miso to develop a rich, complex flavor and a host of beneficial enzymes and bacteria. It’s a versatile ingredient often used in soups, marinades, and dressings. Miso is rich in several important nutrients and may contribute to a healthy digestive system.


Raw tempeh or tempe mentah. Tempeh slices in wooden plate
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Tempeh is a soy product that is made by fermenting cooked soybeans and then forming them into a firm, dense cake. It’s a staple protein source in many vegetarian and vegan diets due to its high protein content, and it’s also rich in fiber and vitamins. Its fermentation process not only makes the soybeans more digestible but also produces natural antibiotic agents that can increase the body’s resistance to infections.


Kombucha superfood probiotic beverage in glass
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Kombucha is a fermented tea that is lightly effervescent and typically made by fermenting sweetened black or green tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). Kombucha has been associated with a range of health benefits, including digestive support and detoxification. 


Soybeans in pods
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Natto is a traditional Japanese food made by fermenting soybeans. It has a distinctive strong flavor, pungent smell, and sticky texture that can be off-putting to some, but it’s highly nutritious. Natto is an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin K2, which is important for bone and cardiovascular health.

Sourdough Bread 

Traditional leavened sourdough bread with rought skin on a rustic wood
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Sourdough bread is unique in that it is made from a naturally fermented dough, which includes a culture of lactobacilli and yeast. The fermentation process not only imparts a characteristic tangy flavor but also breaks down gluten, which can make it easier to digest than breads made with commercial yeast. Additionally, sourdough fermentation increases the content of beneficial bacteria in the bread.

Apple Cider Vinegar 

Bottle of apple cider with hand written lettering
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Apple cider vinegar (ACV) with the “mother” is a type of vinegar that includes strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria that are beneficial for health. It is often used in dressings and marinades and has been associated with several health benefits, including improved blood sugar levels, weight management, and digestive function. 


Cheese on wooden board
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Many types of cheese are fermented, which can contribute to their complex flavors and textures. Fermented cheeses contain live bacteria cultures that may provide probiotic benefits. Cheeses that are raw and unpasteurized are more likely to contain a higher level of probiotics. Cheese is also a good source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients.

Beet Kvass    

Fermented red beets, in a glass jar
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Beet kvass is a traditional Eastern European fermented beverage made from beets, water, and salt. This tonic is revered for its supposed medicinal properties, including liver cleansing and blood purification. The fermentation process produces beneficial lactobacilli and can make the natural nutrients in beets more bioavailable. 


Wooden bowl full of olives and olive twigs besides it
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Olives undergo a fermentation process that enhances their flavor and makes them a delightful addition to many dishes. The fermentation helps develop the signature taste of olives and also contributes to the presence of probiotic cultures. Olives are a great source of monounsaturated fats, which are considered heart-healthy fats, and they also contain vitamin E, iron, copper, and calcium.

Ditch the Junk: 17 Super Easy Real Food Swaps To Replace Ultra-Processed Foods

Oatmeal with apples, raisins, cinnamon and ingredients
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In today’s fast-paced world, ultra-processed foods have become a staple in many diets, offering convenience at the expense of nutritional quality. These foods are often high in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients while lacking essential nutrients. However, with a bit of creativity and some simple swaps, it’s possible to enjoy delicious and nutritious alternatives that are closer to their natural state. Here are 17 simple and satisfying real food substitutes for some of the most common ultra-processed foods.

Ditch the Junk: 17 Super Easy Real Food Swaps To Replace Ultra-Processed Foods

Eat Without Guilt: 19 Benefits Of Eating Fermented Foods

Woman putting jar of pickles on shelf indoors
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Fermented foods have been part of human culture and diet for millennia, extending shelf life for perishable ingredients but also a host of health benefits. From the tangy zest of sauerkraut to the creamy texture of yogurt, these foods are as diverse in flavor as they are in their health advantages. Here are 19 benefits of eating fermented foods that will make you want to go out and buy fermented foods today.

Eat Without Guilt: 19 Benefits Of Eating Fermented Foods

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