• Nikki Gepner, RDN

Feed your microbiome with fermented foods

Your gut microbiome is made of bacteria that impact your health in many ways including supporting your immune system to fight illnesses and infections, preventing diarrhea associated with traveling or use of antibiotics, and may aid in the management of irritable bowel diseases such as Crohn's and ulcerative colitis and are found to play a role in sleep, mood and controlling inflammation. Pretty amazing right?

Beneficial bacteria are often called probiotics. Fermented foods are a natural source of probiotics and can be a delicious way to add diversity to your gut microbiome. Research is finding that different strains of probiotic bacteria have different functions in the body, therefore having diversity is important.

Choose one of the foods listed below each day to add beneficial bacteria and diversity to your microbiome. If you are new to eating these foods, choose one to start with, start with just a bite or sip a day, and increase your intake slowly. Just a spoonful or forkful of these fermented foods each day is all you need. If you feel gassy or bloated after eating one of these foods, try a smaller amount - go slow. If you still have issues, try a different type of fermented food.

Not tolerating any fermented foods? Consider working with a functional nutritionist to figure out what might be going on in your digestive tract and how to promote balance and relief.