If you don't eat fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha or natto, consider adding them to your menu. They’ve been part of the human diet for nearly 10,000 years, but only recently have fermented foods become trendy in North America for their health benefits.
Research suggests fermented foods can help the body dampen inflammation, fend off cell-damaging free radicals and fight infection. They’re seen as a boon to the gut and, as such, fermented foods may help prevent digestive problems, allergies, obesity, even mood disorders.
Beneficial live bacteria and yeasts, called probiotics, which are found in fermented foods, have been associated with many health benefits. Probiotics are made through the process of fermentation. As bacteria chemically alter the food — say, turning milk into yogurt — they secrete enzymes, organic acids and proteins.