The benefits of fermented foods continue to mount.
Fermented foods recently scored a huge scientific victory. In an elegantly conducted clinical trial by one of the world’s most esteemed microbiome scientists, we learned that stepping up the intake of fermented foods is a quick and highly effective way to boost gut microbial diversity (something most everyone needs) AND decrease disease-driving inflammation.
For this landmark study, 36 healthy adults were placed on one of two test diets. One diet group consumed a diet enriched with a variety of fermented foods (ultimately ramping up to about 6 servings a day), and the other study group consumed a high fiber diet (about 40 grams of fiber a day).
Each study subject had their stool and blood monitored prior to, during, and up to four weeks after the test diets. The researchers were specifically tracking the microbial species within study subjects’ stools (a proxy for those in the gut) as well as numerous blood markers for inflammation.
The results were eye-opening! Eating the fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, fermented cottage cheese, kraut, and other fermented veggies) leads to a significant increase in gut microbial diversity—the most telling sign of a healthy gut microbiome!
What’s even more exciting, in those consuming the fermented food diet, four types of pro-inflammatory immune cells diminished in activity and levels of 19 different pro-inflammatory blood proteins, including the infamous interleukin 6 or “IL6”, significantly decreased.
In other words: fermented foods appear to be very potent anti-inflammatory agents! This is incredibly empowering to note as inflammatory proteins are implicated as key drivers of numerous diseases including autoimmune conditions, IBD, acne, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, death from covid, and depression, amongst others.
According to the lead scientist of this study, Stanford’s Justin Sonnenburg, PhD, these findings are “stunning.” They show that stepping up the intake of fermented foods quickly boosts gut microbial diversity and results in significant reduction of damaging pro-inflammatory compounds.
For goodness sakes, go stock your fridge with a variety of fermented foods and include them every day–yes, every day, in your diet!
Thank you so much for being here and feeding your hunger for health because I know it is the most important thing you can do for yourself, as well as those who love you.
Try this delicious topped with some fermented foods!
Lightly toss greens with apple, bell pepper, onion and
vinaigrette of choice. Add kimchi and fermented cottage cheese on top. For a dressing, I love the basic combination of extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard with a splash of fresh juice from a lemon! Top with almonds.
Source: Cell, 2021; DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.06.019
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