What Are Fermented Foods And Which Are Best For Improving Our Gut Health?

Gut Health

From BBC’s ‘Trust Me I’m A Doctor’.


Traditionally many different cultures have used the process of fermentation to preserve foods.

In India lassi was a common pre-dinner drink, Asian cultures enjoy pickled fermentations of cabbage, turnips and eggplant, kefir originated in the northern Caucasus Mountains and sauerkraut is associated strongly with Germany. Other fermented foods include yoghurts, cheeses, sour dough bread and chutneys.

However, as well as lasting longer, fermented foods often contain a variety of ‘good’ bacteria which, if they can survive the journey to our gut, can be beneficial for our health.

In our big probiotics study, the group taking a fermented milk based drink called kefir saw significant changes in their gut bacteria – specifically a rise in a family of bacteria called Lactobacillales, which are known to maintain gut health.


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