Almost everywhere you look – online, TVs, and on the shelves in your local retail store – you’ll see a great variety of products and diet methods promising an almost instant reduction of your bloated belly and a healthier gut. While many of these solutions do actually work, the downside is they are more of a quick fix that offers only short-term benefits.
One of the leading factors that contribute to a distended or bloated stomach in many people is diet. By making simple lifestyle changes in what you eat, like consuming more probiotic-rich fermented foods, you’ll discover that not only will your gut flora improve, but you will also feel better.
Here we reveal 5 fermented foods rich in natural probiotics you can add to your diet to heal your gut, combat bloating and improve your overall wellbeing. Remember that fermented foods affect everyone differently, so if you have tried one, maybe it is time to try another one.
5 Probiotic-rich fermented foods for a flatter belly and healthier gutKimchi
Kimchi is a delicious, crunchy, tangy, and spicy Korean cuisine made of seasoned, salted, and fermented Napa cabbage and Korean radish. Due to fermentation, Kimchi comes loaded with friendly bacteria and probiotics that aid digestion, reduce belly bloating, and help flatten the tummy.Sauerkraut
This delicacy, with its distinctive sour, briny taste, is basically shredded cabbage left to ferment in its own juice. Besides its high belly-slimming properties, sauerkraut also contains a good amount of cancer-fighting compounds (glucosinolates) and the gut-friendly probiotic bacteria – Lactobacillus.
According to a 2012 research, naturally-fermented Chinese sauerkraut is found to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels in the body.
Kefir is a tangy, slightly fizzy, smoothie-like drink similar to yogurt. It is made when milk is fermented with Kefir “grains”. Fermentation aids the growth of bacteria, digestive enzymes (e.g. lactases), and nutrients in a Kefir beverage. The extra amount of live bacteria gives the fermented drink its high probiotic quality, while the lactase provides the capability to reduce bloating caused by lactose consumption.
Yogurt is another popular probiotic-rich food that can increase the good bacteria in your intestinal tract. The mildly sour, creamy drink is made when 2 strains of bacteria, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, are added into pasteurized milk.
While you can rely on most yogurts, especially Greek yogurts, to offer you a healthy dose of protein, not all can provide probiotics. The only type that contains the good gut bacteria your body needs are those yogurts that didn’t pass through heat treatment after fermentation. These types are the ones that have beneficial, live active cultures.
Kombucha is a slightly bubbly, tangy drink made by fermenting green or black tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria called SCOBY. If you want a Kombucha with high probiotic benefits, go for one that didn’t pass through the pasteurization process.
One of the many benefits offered by Kombucha comes from its high concentration of lactic acid bacteria. These “live organisms” contain probiotics which provide your body with the healthy bacteria that help with digestion, gut health, and even inflammation.