As the title asks, are fermented foods good for IBS? Well, we're here to explore exactly that. There are several factors that play into what causes IBS, and it's mostly down to how food is digested. Abdominal pain, bloating, and irregular bowel movements are all IBS symptoms that can be relieved by ingesting the correct foods and drinks.
The health benefits of fermented foods
Let's get into why fermented foods are good for people with IBS. Fermentation is when a culture of microorganisms breaks down sugars and starches found in foods, keeping beneficial bacteria and yeasts. This type of food is known as a probiotic, a live culture of bacteria that is greatly beneficial to the gut and overall health.
Here we will list a few health benefits associated with foods that have gone through a fermentation process.
Because the starches and sugars have been broken down in fermented foods, our gut will have an easier time digesting the food. As an example, let's talk about natural yogurt. Natural yogurt is a healthy probiotic that will go down a lot easier than milk would. This is because the glucose in it has been broken down. Natural yogurt is great for anyone with IBS or with lactose intolerance.
Stablises our gut bacteria
Our gut microbiome is filled with good bacteria which are there to help with our immune system and to prevent general feelings of unwellness. Food that has gone through a fermentation process is filled with lactic acid bacteria, which top up and keep your gut biome going strong.
Those with a healthy microbiome are able to more easily ingest and digest foods and drinks they consume throughout the day. IBS issues can be soothed and reduced by ensuring the gut microbiome is active and healthy, and fermented foods are a great way to do this.
Improves overall health and wellbeing
Nourishment is very important when it comes to eating food, but so is our general well-being and mood. Generally, IBS causes an overall feeling of unwellness, tiredness, and stress. That's because your body isn't letting you process the correct foods.
The feeling of wellness comes from what we eat, how much we eat, and when we eat. Fermented foods are a great addition to any healthy and stable diet, providing us with nutrients, vitamins, and healthy bacteria that keep us feeling good throughout the day.
Some great fermented foods
It's time to share with you some great fermented foods you should be adding to your diet. These will help with IBS and also improve your general health.
Sauerkraut is made from raw cabbage. It has a generally strong tart flavour, that goes really well with chopped apples in a salad, and is even a great ingredient for soups. We think red cabbage is the better option as it has a higher content of probiotics, but normal white or green cabbage will do the trick.
Tempeh is an Indonesian food made from fermented soybeans. The flavour is strong, yet not overpowering. It has a texture similar to tofu, but with a meatier and nuttier flavour. Not only is it good for the gut, but it's also an awesome meat alternative for those wanting to move to an animal-free diet.
Natural yogurt is fermented milk, which can be from a cow, soy, and almonds. Yogurt is a great food to have in the morning with some fruits or with a seasoning of nutmeg or cinnamon. A tasty and gentle meal for anyone suffering from IBS and other gut issues.
Kefir milk is fairly similar to yogurt but has a tangier flavour and a milkier texture. Kefir is made from a collection of good bacteria known as kefir grains, which are added to the fermenting process. You can have kefir a number of ways, drink it, pour it over muesli for breakfast, or in a smoothie as a milk substitute.
The traditional Korean dish known as kimchi is an extremely healthy fermented food, filled with beneficial bacteria to help your immune system. It's made from a selection of fermented vegetables and spices and works perfectly either as a side dish to a meal or even on its own. Much like the rest of the fermented foods, kimchi has a tart umami flavour, but it's empowered by the spices like garlic and ginger.
Try fermenting your own food!
Look, we think the best fermented foods to eat are the ones you make yourself. This way you're preventing yourself from potentially eating processed food, which generally has a number of heavy metals, toxins, and excess sugars in them.
So, how easy is it to ferment your own food? Well pretty easy actually! Check out our fermentation books, and kits, available on our website here at NourishMe Organics. But, if you're looking for a range of healthy fermented foods in Australia, we have that too.