Probiotics & Fermented Foods: Are They Essential to Your Health?

Lisa StoryConscious Eating

You may be hearing a lot about fermented foods and gut bacteria these days.  It’s a hot topic and one that’s worthy of exploring.

Consider that increasing the amount of good bacteria in your digestive tract is an important component to creating vitality and radiant health. There are two ways to accomplish this and both are effective.

First, include at least one serving of fermented food each day.  This will help to create a healthy balance between good and bad gut flora.

Secondly, take a high-quality probiotic daily.  However, it can be confusing to know which one to try out of the many that are available so I’ll come back to that in a moment.

The many benefits of consuming healthy, probiotic bacteria include:

  • Strengthening your immune system
  • Supporting detoxification naturally
  • Aiding your digestion and helping to heal digestive disorders
  • Supporting mental and emotional health (the gut is known as the “second brain”. Important neurotransmitters are produced there…for example; serotonin.)
  • Helping you to absorb vitamins and minerals
  • Healing for skin issues such as eczema and acne

A few probiotic-rich foods and beverages you may want to try:

Fermented Cucumbers (pickles):  Make sure there’s no vinegar or sugar on the ingredient list. Enjoy as a mid-day snack or with your meal. Bubbies is an excellent brand to try and can be found in the refrigerated section of the market.

Sauerkraut:  There should be no vinegar on the ingredient list. Eat just one of two bites with your meal. I often grab the jar out of the fridge while cooking dinner and eat a few forkfuls.  You don’t need much!  Again, Bubbie’s is a good brand to try.

Kimchi:  This is a spicy Korean version of sauerkraut. One or two bites with your meal is all you need.

Yogurt:  Whenever possible avoid brands that contain added sugars and other unnecessary ingredients. Read those food labels! Stick with plain whole fat yogurt. Avoid if you’re sensitive or allergic to dairy or make your own coconut or even almond milk-based yogurt.

Live, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar:  You can easily use in salad dressings or add one teaspoon to a glass of water first thing in the morning. Bragg’s is my favorite brand. Just make sure that the one you buy contains the “mother”.

Kvass:  This is a beverage made from fruit or grains that are rich in enzymes and probiotics.  2-4 ounces daily is suggested either as a mid-day drink or before a meal.

Kombucha:  A fermented sweet tea beverage filled with enzymes and probiotics. Be sure to choose a low sugar option.  2-4 ounces a day is suggested either as a mid-day beverage or before a meal.

Miso Paste:  I prefer the gluten-free varieties and use when preparing sauces, spreads, or in soups or salad dressings.

Now…back to those probiotic supplements which are also a useful addition to your daily health and wellness routine.

Recently, I received an excellent and helpful article from, a website that’s dedicated to conducting thorough and unbiased research on health-related products.

They spent six weeks researching and testing 277 top-rated probiotic supplements.

I was pleased to find that the probiotic I personally use and recommend was listed as the 2nd rated probiotic supplement (MegaFlora).  If you’re interested in reviewing the article yourself and seeing how your own probiotic rates….click here.

To create a new habit…it’s got to be simple and sustainable.

How can you bring in one new fermented food or probiotic? What fermented food looks interesting to you to try?

Keep me posted and let me know how it goes.  🙂

Meet Your Health Coach

Lisa Story

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Lisa Story is a Certified Health Coach with over 20 years in the health education and wellness industry. It's her mission is to help you experience more energy, vitality, and contentment so you can enjoy the most fulfilling life possible.