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FERMENTED FOODS

A diet rich in fermented food improves gut microbiome and lowers inflammation

Big Picture: Researchers carried out a trial with a diet rich in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented vegetables and found that it decreased inflammatory markers associated with several chronic diseases.

Study Details: A healthy population of “good” gut bacteria has a significant positive impact on digestive health, mental health, and immune system health, among others. There has been speculation about the effectiveness of fermented foods for supporting a healthy gut microbiome, because, while these foods do contain healthy gut bacteria, it is unclear whether they survive the digestive process to colonize the gut. Researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine compared the impact of a diet rich in fermented foods with a fiber-rich diet on gut microbiota. Researchers found that eating a diet rich in fermented foods and drinks led to an increased microbiome diversity with stronger effects from larger servings. Additionally, those who ate a diet rich in fermented foods had lower inflammatory markers associated with rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes, and chronic stress.

Main Takeaway: This research suggests that diets that target improving the gut microbiome may be a promising avenue for decreasing inflammation and increasing microbiome health.

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