8 Fermented Foods To Make Your Gut Happier And Healthier
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Taking a daily probiotic supplement is an easy way to add more good bacteria to your gut. As per the National Library of Medicine, probiotics help 'crowd out' harmful bacteria and support the functioning of your gastrointestinal tract. You can get probiotics from foods like yoghurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Over time, regularly consuming probiotics can strengthen your microbiome diversity, support your immune system, improve digestive issues like bloating or constipation, and even positively impact your mood and mental health.   

When foods are fermented, the bacteria pre-digest them. This makes the nutrients easier for your body to absorb. They are especially good for your gut health. Your gut health affects your whole body and immune system. Eating fermented foods regularly may help prevent diseases like heart disease and arthritis.  

The 8 Best Fermented Foods   

There are many fermented foods that can improve gut health. According to the National Library of Medicine, these foods contain beneficial probiotics and enzymes from the fermentation process. Eating them regularly can help balance gut bacteria, improve digestion and nutrient absorption, reduce inflammation, and boost immunity.   


Kefir is a tangy drink that comes from fermenting milk. It is thicker than regular milk and has a sour taste. As per the research by the National Library of Medicine, kefir contains healthy probiotics, which are good bacteria for your gut. It also has lots of protein. You can make kefir using cow's milk, goat's milk, or non-dairy milk like almond milk or coconut milk. Kefir can be consumed on its own as a drink, added to smoothies, or used in recipes.    

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Kimchi is a common side dish in Korean cooking. It is made by fermenting cabbage or other vegetables, which gives it a tangy, sour taste. Kimchi often contains spicy ingredients like ginger, garlic, and gochujang (Korean red chilli paste), which give it a fiery kick. The fermentation process creates healthy probiotics, provides nutrients and adds lots of flavour to any meal.       

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It starts as whole soya beans that get fermented with a culture. This fermentation breaks down the soya bean proteins into amino acids our bodies can absorb better. After fermenting, the soya beans are pressed into a firm, dense cake. Tempeh offers more protein and lots of flavour from its unique fermented preparation.  

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Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that is bubbly and tangy. It is made by adding sugar to tea and letting a blob of yeast and bacteria called a SCOBY grow in it. This ferments the tea, making it fizzy and sour. As per the National Library of Medicine, the SCOBY eats most of the sugar, leaving behind healthy acids and probiotics. Kombucha comes in many fun flavours, like ginger, berry, or lemon. Besides probiotics, kombucha contains antioxidants called polyphenols from the tea.   

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Fermented Pickles (or Sour Pickles) 

Pickles can be made in different ways. Some are pickled in vinegar, salt, water, and spices. These taste good but don't have live bacteria. Other pickles are fermented. Fermentation uses natural bacteria to sour the pickles. These fermented pickles are called "sour pickles." A study by the National Library of Medicine states that they have probiotics, which are good for your gut. The natural bacteria make them a healthy snack.  

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Back in the old days, after churning milk into butter, people would drink the leftover liquid, aka buttermilk. As per the study by the National Library of Medicine, this tangy, thick milk contained live bacteria and probiotics from the churning process. Nowadays, buttermilk is made by adding bacteria to regular milk. So, if you drink unheated buttermilk, like in a smoothie or dressing, you'll get the benefits of the "good" bacteria, plus calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals.  

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Labneh is a thick, creamy cheese originally from the Middle East that is made by straining regular yoghurt to remove the whey and achieve an ultra-concentrated texture. To make homemade labneh, plain whole milk yoghurt is drained in a cheesecloth or strainer overnight in the refrigerator. 

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According to the National Library of Medicine, because live and active yoghurt cultures remain present in unheated labneh, they deliver probiotic benefits too.    


Miso paste is a highly flavourful, fermented seasoning made by mixing soybeans, salt, and koji mould together and letting it ferment for months or years. The lengthy fermentation process gives miso its deep, savoury umami taste. Miso comes in many varieties, from sweet white miso to salty red or brown miso. It is rich in probiotics, so to get the most health benefits, miso should be used raw or added at the end of cooking.