Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
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Sauerkraut and More Fermented Foods That Are Good for You

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Senior married couple eating healthy food for breakfast.
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Good For Your Gut

Fermented foods are nothing new — they have been a part of people's diets around the world for centuries. So why talk about them now? Research continues to find new ways that fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, and more, are good for your body.  In particular, the more fermented foods eaten, the greater number microbial species found in the gut. What that may lead to is a lower rate of obesity,  Type 2 Diabetes, and other health conditions. 


These are some of the most popular fermented foods — if you haven't added them to your diet yet, they're well worth considering.

Related: 20 Foods Americans Eat Now That They Never Heard of 20 Years Ago

Naruto miso ramen
Christina L./Yelp

Miso

If you love Japanese food, you're probably well-acquainted with how tasty miso soup is. Made of fermented soybeans, miso specifically contains the probiotic A. oryzae, which may reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel disease, as well as generally supports the digestive system. 

Related: This Is the Best Ramen in Your State, According to Customers

Kimchi
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Kimchi

This fermented Korean dish dates back 2,000 years. Kimchi usually consists of cabbage, digestion-friendly spices such as ginger, garlic, and pepper, and radish. The dish was traditionally fermented in cool pits in the ground, which helped to  control the speed of bacterial growth. If you want to make your own kimchi, you can do it other ways, such as in a jar

Related: A Guide to the Best Korean Food in America

Bratwurst with Sauerkraut
instamatics/istockphoto

Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is arguably one of the oldest fermented dishes in history, dating back over 2,000 years. The cabbage dish has German, Russian and Chinese variations. Sauerkraut may do everything from help digestion to boost the immune system and possibly maintain brain health. You can make your own at home with a process that takes a few weeks. 

Kefir
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Kefir

This greek yogurt-like drink (but thinner) is made from the fermented milk of a cow, goat, or sheep. The word  word kefir comes from the Turkish word “keif,” which means “good feeling.” Packed with over 30 species of probiotics, the drink is well-known for promoting good gut health.

Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, Goleta, California
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Kombucha

Black tea, sugar, and something called SCOBY (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), combine to make this tart, somewhat sour drink that some liken to sparkling apple cider. It's suggested the drink offers the same health benefits as probiotics, though the Mayo Clinic advises to drink cautiously, as it may cause an upset stomach or allergies for some. 

Bowl with homemade Indonesian sambal tempeh goreng close up
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Tempeh

Tempeh is comprised of fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a cake. The chewy texture works well in a number of dishes where you would use meat. But what is actually the difference between tofu and tempeh if they seem very similar? The biggest difference is tofu is made from soy milk, not soybeans, plus only tempeh is fermented, making it packed with beneficial probiotics.

Healthy breakfast with Fresh greek yogurt on background
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Yogurt

You can't forget good old yogurt. It's no secret that yogurt contains active cultures that are good for your gut. Research has shown eating yogurt can help decrease the likelihood of having diarrhea after taking antibiotics, as well as have benefits for other gastro-related issues.