Both fresh and fermented foods are gut-friendly

Quick notes

  • Keeping your gut microbiome diverse is critical for proper digestion and a strong immune system.

  • Fresh foods outpace supplements when it comes to bacterial diversity and microbiome stimulation.
  • Fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut help the body digest foods and absorb nutrients.

Our gut microbiomes are extremely complex, containing microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Sustaining a healthy microbiome is integral for proper digestion, a vigorous immune system, and even a well-functioning central nervous system.

The best way to keep your microbiome in tip-top shape is to integrate gut-healthy foods into your everyday meals. Eating foods your gut likes is rather easy once you know what to look for. While fermented foods boost microbiome activity, even fresh fruits and vegetables play a vital role in gut health.

Keep it fresh

Fresh foods are much more beneficial for digestion than processed foods and even supplements.

In fact, recent research has shown that eating fiber-rich produce is better for the gut microbiome than taking supplements. Synthetic supplements are created to mimic the vitamins, minerals, and bacteria we find in everyday foods. However, fresh foods are far more effective due to their bacterial complexity.

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The average apple, for instance, has over 100 million bacteria, and a variety of bacteria at that. On the contrary, supplements usually only contain a few different types of bacteria. The bacterial diversity found in fresh foods like apples enhances digestion and improves immune functions.

Fiber is another component that helps ease digestion. When you eat fiber-rich foods, the absorption of sugar is slowed down, and the fiber feeds the microbes in the gut. This fiber content is usually stripped away from foods as they’re processed.

For this reason, it’s recommended to eat as many fresh foods as possible and avoid over-processed items like pasta and bread.

Fabulous fermented foods

Just as fresh foods can be beneficial for the gut, fermented foods also play an active role in making your digestive system happy. Fermented foods help the body digest and absorb foods properly while enhancing your body’s ability to get good use of the foods you eat. This is especially true for fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.

Kimchi is a popular side dish in Korean cuisine. Kimchi is typically made from salted and fermented vegetables such as cabbage and radishes, along with seasonings and herbs like onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauerkraut is similar to kimchi and made from raw cabbage that’s been fermented by lactic acid bacteria.

In fact, recent research has shown that eating fiber-rich produce is actually better for the gut microbiome than taking supplements. Synthetic supplements are created to mimic the vitamins, minerals, and bacteria we find in everyday foods. However, fresh foods are far more effective due to their bacterial complexity.

Sauerkraut has a sour flavor, and kimchi also has a strong and somewhat spicy flavor. If you’re looking to ferment your own sauerkraut or kimchi at home, consider adding different vegetables to enhance the traditional recipe to your liking.
By eating a combination of fresh and fermented foods, you’ll boost the activity in the gut microbiome. This enhanced activity will allow your body to easily digest the foods you eat. At the same time, your body’s immune functions will improve, and you’ll be more likely to fight off infections with gut-healthy foods in your diet. Instead of wasting money on supplements, opt for fermented and fresh foods instead.

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