This just in: Microbes are trending. Not sure what they are? These tiny, invisible-to-us single-cell organisms just happen to be the oldest form of life. Literally.
There are several types of microbes, but there’s only one that’s been catching major attention in the wellness world as of late: bacteria. Long associated with being the cause of runny noses and viruses, bacteria (good bacteria, that is) actually improve digestion and boost immunity (along with many other developing claims); lucky for us, our guts are naturally packed with them in the form of probiotics.
As research develops, we’re learning there are many things you can do to encourage their growth and reap even more benefits. One of the main ways is to eat probiotic-packed fermented foods. When food is fermented, it’s left to sit and steep until the sugars and carbs become bacteria-boosting agents ready for consumption. The process might sound a little unappetizing, but trust us—fermented foods can be both beneficial and tasty.
Check out the list below to see what we mean.
Are you a fan of any of the foods on the list? Would you try them? Let us know!
Kefir is a fermented milk product that tastes like a drinkable yogurt. Packed with vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, vitamin K2, biotin, folate, enzymes, and probiotics, kefir is said to boost immunity, heal irritable bowel disease, build bone density, fight allergies, kill candida, and improve digestion. That’s a lot of benefits packed into one cup.
Made from fermented soybeans, tempeh is a complete protein with a hearty texture. Tempeh is a great option for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, as it boasts more than double the protein content of tofu—consider it your fermented protein superfood.
Kombucha, a fermented, carbonated beverage, is made by adding bacteria and yeast to black tea and sugar. While that description might freak you out, kombucha is packed with B vitamins, enzymes, probiotics, and a high concentration of acid. It’s said to assist the gut by helping digestion, and it’s also said to detox the body, aid weight loss and support the immune system.
Arguably the most mainstream food on the list, probiotic yogurt’s gut-healing and immunity-boosting benefits have long been known to us. When choosing a yogurt, look for one with live active cultures, which are known to support digestion. For the most benefit, choose plain, full-fat versions, and avoid options with high sugar quantities, as sugar can be counterproductive to the healthy bacterial benefits.