Why Fermented Foods Give You Great Skin & A Healthy Body

mbg Contributor By Megan Kelly
mbg Contributor
Megan Kelly is a functional nutrition practitioner based in Denver, Colorado.
Expert review by Megan Fahey, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.

Megan Fahey, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian, Functional Medicine Nutritionist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She holds her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from Bastyr University, where she was trained to artfully blend eastern and western healing modalities.

8 Ways Fermented Foods Will Give You Great Skin & A Healthy Body

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Healthy probiotic bacteria may not sound as appealing as the ever popular goji berry or raw cacao nibs, but fermented foods provide powerful nutrients that can transform the health of your entire body.

Healthy Gut = Healthy Mind and Body

The most current, groundbreaking research in health points to the vital importance of probiotics and a healthy gut flora. Unfortunately, most of us are inadvertently killing all of the good bacteria we need in our systems through antibiotics, stress, chlorinated water, and processed foods. This is harmful because we are not then replenishing our bodies with the probiotics we need to live a happy, healthy life.

So many of the health concerns we are facing today are largely caused by an unhealthy gut flora. Most physical and mental disease originates in the digestive system. This includes disorders such as acne, depression, asthma, autism, food allergies, and digestive disorders.

Once you heal your gut lining, and make your digestive system work properly again, disease symptoms will typically resolve.

Simply put - the health of your gut determines the health of your entire body and mind, and we need the "good" bacteria to experience the incredible health we all desire to have.

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Decrease in Fermented Foods = Increase in Disease

Ancient cultures all around the world consumed fermented food and beverages at almost every meal- and did not suffer from the digestive/emotional/autoimmune problems we are suffering from today. Primitive and traditional diets have a high content of food enzymes and beneficial bacteria from lacto-fermented vegetables, fruits, beverages, raw dairy products, and condiments.

In our society today, fermented foods are rarely seen around the dinner table - which could be part of the reason our nation is experiencing more disease than ever before in history. We are no longer getting the live probiotic enzymes from our food that are bodies so desperately need. The correlation between healthy bacteria in our bodies and physical, emotional health is outstanding.

Fermented food and beverages are an ancient source of powerful healing that has been lost in recent years. Before refrigeration, cultures were necessary to preserve vegetables and dairy through ‘lacto-fermentation’- which actually increases the nutritional content of the product dramatically.

When food goes through the fermentation process, it begins to produce beneficial bacteria, such as lactobacilli, along with other strains that sustain gut health.. Without a balanced gut flora, , we can experience symptoms such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, allergies, asthma, digestive issues, skin problems and more.

Consume Fermented Foods and Beverages to Take your Health to the Next Level

Fermenting food and beverages is a practice that can turn ordinary food into nutrient dense superfoods. You can ferment anything from cabbage, carrots, and beets, to coconut milk, water, and tea! Go ahead and turn that ordinary cabbage sitting in the fridge into sauerkraut that is filled with life. If you are looking to fight disease, restore your health, lose weight, clear skin troubles, balance hormones or have more energy, fermented foods are for you.

When you begin consuming fermented foods on a daily basis, you are flooding your body with probiotics, vitamins, and live enzymes.

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Eating fermented foods has several benefits, including:

Consuming fermented foods will help create a thriving ecosystem within your body which will bring you in balance, prevent disease, and fill you with life! For a curated list of the healthiest fermented food options, check out our piece here.

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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