Fermented foods are great for your digestive system, but how do you incorporate it into your lifestyle? These great superfoods happen to be filled with probiotics and vitamins. But before we start making them a part of your diet, it’s essential to understand why they are so crucial to your health.
Fermentation is an ancient technique to preserve foods. Some of the most popular fermented foods include sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. You might commonly see the following items in the grocery store:
- Cultured milk and yogurt
But what makes them unique is that they are fermented in a natural process where microorganisms (such as yeast and bacteria) convert carbohydrates like sugar and starch into alcohol or acids. This alcohol and acids act as a natural preservative and give the now fermented foods a zesty taste. This process not only makes the food taste great, but it promotes the growth of good bacteria, also known as probiotics.
Probiotics are active cultures and fight off the harmful bacteria, as well as improve the immune system. Other body functions they help with include your digestive system and heart functionality. The importance of a healthy microbiome is vital to the rest of your health.
Ever heard the phrase, “Your gut is the second brain?” A healthy gut wards off damaging inflammation in the body that can lead to severe diabetes, neurological diseases, and obesity.
So, it’s almost a no-brainer why these superfoods have been prevalent throughout history.
For sauerkraut, in particular, it may seem like a challenging task to regularly incorporate it into your diet. The good news is that Cleveland Kitchen has more than five different flavors to make into many other dishes that you won’t get tired of. Here are some of our best tips and recipes for you.
How to Fit Fermented Foods into Your Diet
Here’s how we suggest fitting fermented foods into your diet. Fermented foods are best incorporated into your meal after cooking - often as a garnish - in order to provide the maximum probiotic benefit. Here are some popular ways to eat fermented foods.
- Add a spoonful of sauerkraut to your breakfast sandwiches, burritos or egg scrambles
- Have a yogurt parfait
- Make a tempeh stir fry and top it with Cleveland Kitchen sauerkraut or marinades
- Add a portion of sauerkraut into wraps and burritos, lettuce wraps
- Add some sauerkraut or kimchi to grilled cheese sandwiches or quesadillas
- Add sauerkraut to macaroni salads and coleslaws
- Add a scoop to rice bowls and buddha bowls
- Add some kimchi to a salad or top with a marinade
- Add sauerkraut to a hot dog, burger, sausage
- Have a cheese board
- Use the sauerkraut as a cracker dip
- Savor a spoonful of sauerkraut on its own!
Fermented Foods for Gut Health
Fermented foods have probiotics that are essential for gut health. Consuming little amounts of fermented foods regularly is more beneficial than consuming large amounts once a week. To keep energizing the microbes in your gut, incorporating small amounts often is the best way to do this. Don’t feel that you need to stick to one food either. Having a diverse variety of foods such as yogurt, kefir, artisan cheese, olives, sauerkraut and CK dressing is an easy way to do this.
Your intestinal tract’s function is to digest and absorb food to provide nutrients that run the body. It is actually filled with millions of bacteria. The good bacteria you have can be affected by taking antibiotics, having a diet that is low in fiber and produces, or high-stress levels. fermented foods help to add to the gut digestive system and can help balance the bacteria. Along with digesting food, the role of our gut bacteria has been linked to preventative acne, allergies and depression.
Gut Healthy Summer Salad
Prep Time: five minutes
Cooking Time: five minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
- 1 ½ cups Green leaf lettuce
- 1 Hard-boiled egg
- 1/4 cup Cherry tomato
- 3 tbsp Red onion diced
- 1/4 Avocado sliced
- 2 1/2 tbsp Classic Caraway Sauerkraut
- 1 tbsp Red pepper flakes
- Ground pepper
- 1 handful Tortilla chips, optional
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Lemon squeezed
- 1 tbsp minced fresh dill
- Combine all ingredients in a large salad bowl and toss. Serve with a handful of tortilla chips if desired for some added crunch!