5 Reasons You Should Add More Fermented Foods to Your Diet (Infographic)

A clue: You need to feed the good “pets” inside you

Trillions of bacteria live in your intestines — but don’t be grossed out. Many of them are “good” bacteria that help keep us healthy. Think of it like having pets living inside of us.

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And as with any pets, you’ve got to feed them. Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Institute’s Gail Cresci, PhD, RD, who studies gut bacteria, says a modern Western diet heavy on processed foods can upset the balance of what’s called your gut microbiota.

The solution? That’s where fermented foods can help. Here, Dr. Cresci explains why bringing back traditional fermented foods, such as fermented sauerkraut or pickles, in to your diet is good for optimal health.

Don’t worry. This doesn’t mean you have to eat lacto-fermented pickles for breakfast, lunch and dinner for gut health! The byproducts of fermentation (and thus the benefits) vary depending on the type of food that is being fermented — whether it’s cabbage or cheese.

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MORE: Why — and When — You Should Include Probiotics in Your Diet

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