By now we have all heard about “good bacteria” and “bad bacteria.” We have almost all been recommended to take probiotics one-off after a round of antibiotics or regularly to maintain a good gut flora, especially now that gut health is being connected to more and more systemic health issues. Probiotics come in many, many forms, but ferments are my very favorite! Beyond having probiotics, ferments have also been shown to improve immune function, have antioxidant properties, benefit lipid metabolism, prevent depression, and support healthy digestion.
You can make your own ferments at home or you can buy them at the store. If you shop for them, you will find them in the refrigerated section. Look for products that say “fermented” or “live cultures” or “source of probiotics” to make sure you are getting a high quality ferment. These products could include sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi, miso, sourdough bread, dosa, kvass, injera, kefir, and cultured cheeses.
If you want to learn more about fermenting, I highly recommend Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz.