seven days of nutrition hacks to shift your wellness: day 3

Today’s goal is to understand the power of adding fermented probiotic foods to your daily diet. 

What are Fermented Probiotic Foods?

Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that improve your digestive function. When our digestive tracts are healthy, they are full of live bacterial flora that help break down foods and protect our bodies from invasive microorganisms. The bacteria in our guts play a key role in our immune system. 

When the natural flora in our guts becomes compromised from illness, poor diets and overuse of antibiotics, we automatically become more susceptible to developing common ailments like colds, flu, and food poisoning.

The key to maximizing gut health and immune system function is to supplement our natural bacteria with additional probiotics found in fermented foods and drinks such as:

  • Kefir (non-dairy or dairy),
  • Labneh, ‘live’ organic yogurt (coconut or dairy)
  • Kombucha
  • Vegetable Pickles (fermented in water and salt, not in vinegar)
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi
  • Miso Soup
  • Tempeh
  • Raw Apple Cider Vinegar (with “mother”)
A diet with a variety of these probiotic foods will keep your gut healthy while improving overall immunity. I recommend incorporating at least two of these probiotic foods/drinks daily.

Why Should You Eat Probiotic Fermented Foods?

Fermented foods are full of different strains of “friendly” bacteria that boost our digestive health and are absolutely crucial for a strong immune system. Most people have insufficient friendly gut bacteria these days due to poor diets and the over-use of antibiotics. Though antibiotics have saved many lives, oral antibiotics kill bacteria in the gut whether they are good or bad. The typical result is a reduced level of beneficial gut bacteria after taking an antibiotic course. 

Beneficial gut bacteria help us digest our food better and absorb more nutrients from our meals. They help our stomach produce more gastric acid, enabling us to break-down high protein foods properly.

Fermentation may also reduce anti-nutrients, which are naturally occurring compounds found in foods that can inhibit the digestive process. The overall result is that they help us digest food much better and they can reduce, or even eliminate, gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, gas, abdominal discomfort and constipation (typical “IBS” symptoms). They also support weight loss, can help reduce allergy symptoms and tackle acne.

How to Eat More Probiotic Foods

There are various ways to include probiotics to your daily diet. Try some of these delicious ideas:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of kimchi with your eggs or omelet.
  • Add kefir or kombucha to your muesli or smoothie bowl
  • Add 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut to your lunch salad
  • Have fermented veggies as a snack with tahini and hummus
  • Drink a shot of raw apple cider vinegar or make a tea with lemon
  • Make a salad dressing from raw apple cider vinegar with olive oil
  • Try tempeh and a veggie curry for dinner
  • Drink on kombucha during the day for a pick me up
  • Snack on miso soup if you are feeling a bit hungry
By incorporating your favorite fermented foods on a daily basis, you may find you experience more regular bowel movements and reduced gas and bloating. You may also experience fewer colds and see improvements in your allergies and skin issues.

Learn how to rebalance your hormones by improving your zinc levels on day 4! 

Have you read day 1 and day 2 of my 7-day nutritional guide? Check them out! Day 1 – boost your energy levels through mindful eating Day 2 – sharpen your memory and boost your mood by balancing your essential fatty acid intake