Steven and Chris

Forget Yogurt: Fermented Foods Are the New Probiotic

Probiotics are bacteria that help keep the natural balance of organisms (microflora) in the intestines. But overuse of antibiotics and an unbalanced diet that is high in acidity and can kill off the good bacteria and make us prone to illness. Wellness expert Kyra Gerber is here to tell us how to put the good bacteria back in your body!

Before you go and buy a tub of yogurt, consider this: Commercial yogurt is pasteurized. All natural probiotics are killed and then probiotics are added back but in small amounts, some of which may not survive stomach acid to arrive in to the small intestine where they need to go. The best way to supplement your body with good bacteria is with fermented food! Here are the best places to find it:

Kefir

What it is: A fermented milk that you can drink or add to smoothies.

Where to find it: The dairy aisle of most large grocery stores or in specialty Middle Eastern shops.

Benefits: It contains approximately 30 strains of bacteria and yeast. It is rich in naturally occurring vitamins, minerals and contains one billion CFU (colony forming units) per millilitre.

Sauerkraut

What it is: Fermented cabbage soaked in brine that you can eat on its own or as a side dish.

Where to find it: Look for unpasteurized and non-GMO in the refrigerated section of many health food stores. You can also make it yourself at home!

Benefits: You don't need to eat a lot daily to reap the benefits of this healthy food that is high in digestive enzymes (pancreas), naturally occurring lactic acid (creates acidic environment in large intestine which is hostile to parasites and yeast but comfortable for good bacteria) and vitamin C (helps tackle yeast overgrowth).

Kimchi

What it is: Fermented cabbage with garlic, chili and other spices.

Where to find it: Asian grocery stores.

Benefits: Loaded with immune boosting vitamins. Many natural health practitioners credit kimchi with improving immunity and complexion.

Natto

What it is: Fermented Japanese soybeans with a strong smell and flavour, but many health benefits.

Where to find it: You can find them in Asian supermarkets in the freezer section in small Styrofoam containers. Look for non-GMO, organic soybeans.

Benefits: Low-calorie, high soluble fibre and high quantity of iron, calcium, magnesium, protein, potassium cause, B6, B2, and is the best food source of vitamin K2.

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