Kimchi – a delicious fermented food

Probiotic Bacteria

For centuries, before the introduction of home refrigerators in the early 1900s, people used fermentation as a way to preserve food. Preserving foods like fruits, vegetables, and dairy products in that way prevents them from spoiling and also stimulates the growth of natural bacteria – those gut-boosting probiotics. Fermentation can also increase the nutritional quality of certain foods. When you consume fermented foods, their beneficial microbes settle in your intestines, helping to deal with harmful bacteria and toxins. Eating just a tablespoon or two of fermented foods a few times a week is sufficient for most people. Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are four awesome fermented foods that you may want to try if you haven’t yet.

Full-Fat Kefir

Full-fat kefir, an example of fermented dairy, is made with cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or sheep’s milk. It can contain up to thirty-four strains of bacteria per serving. Just steer clear of the varieties with added sugar. Great for smoothies!

Plain, Full-Fat Yogurt

With plain, full-fat yogurt, you get two super healthy probiotics, lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, among others. Go for plain yogurt made from grass-fed animals’ milk (from cows, goats, or sheep).

You can also make your own yogurt. In a previous post, I mentioned the  “DIY Antiaging Yogurt.” You can find the recipe in Boundless, by Ben Greenfield. This recipe is originally from cardiologist Dr. William Davis, whose blog is at This “L. reuteri yogurt” is fairly easy to make on a regular basis, and definitively worth checking out!


Sauerkraut, a type of fermented cabbage, offers twenty times the amount of vitamin C you would find in fresh cabbage and it has a high amount of lactobacilli. Make sure the one you buy is made with healthy local or organic ingredients. You can also make your own; it’s a very easy recipe. I love putting some sauerkraut in my salads.


Kimchi is very similar to sauerkraut, but a whole lot spicier. Originally from South Korea, it is fermented Chinese cabbage to which you add seasonings and spices like garlic, ginger, onion, sea salt, red pepper flakes, chili peppers, and fish sauce. You usually let it ferment from three days to two weeks.

In Summary

Fermented foods bring a wide array of beneficial bacteria to the gut. For instance, they help with recalibrating stomach acids and enhancing the release of the enzymes that aid the body absorb nutrients more efficiently. Fermented foods strengthen the immune system. They also can aid with balancing insulin levels, which makes weight management easier. The above list is a nice introduction to fermented foods. There are many more of course. Which fermented food is your favorite?

Until next time!


Axe, Josh. Keto Diet : Your 30-Day Plan to Lose Weight, Balance Hormones, Boost Brain Health, and Reverse Disease. New York, Little, Brown Spark, 2019, pp. 68–70.

Lipman, Dr Frank. “Heal Your Gut with Fabulous Fermented Foods.” Frank Lipman MD, 12 Aug. 2019, Accessed 7 Nov. 2021.

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Gut Health is Essential

As mentioned in a previous post, What Are the Best Foods for the Gut?, we more than ever need to eat foods that are beneficial to the gut. Our gut microbiome (supported by probiotics – “the good bacteria”), is essential for a great number of biological functions like metabolic function, hormone function, the gut-brain axis, mood changes, etc. Removing the foods that do not sustain gut health (such as refined flour, sugar, and industrial seed oils) is the first step. But we also want to consume on a daily basis (preferably) foods that are beneficial to the gut. Such foods include bone broth, raw cultured dairy, fermented foods, coconut products, sprouted seeds, healthy fats, and fruits (and vegetables).

7 Amazing Foods for the Gut

  • Bone Broth: it offers collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that are beneficial to the gut. 
  • Raw Cultured Dairy: it has good bacteria when fermented and short-chain fatty acids beneficial to the gut. Pastured kefir, yogurt, amasai, butter, and raw cheese are some of the best picks.
  • Fermented Foods: just like fermented dairy, fermented vegetables are awesome probiotic foods. They have organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics helping with gut health. Sauerkraut, kimchi and kvass are great options.
  • Coconut Products; they are particularly good for the gut because the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are usually easier to digest (for most people) than other fats –  a great choice for sustaining digestive health. Also, coconut kefir offers microbes beneficial to the digestive system.
  • Sprouted Seeds: sprouted chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds are good sources of fiber that can foster the growth of beneficial bacteria. 
  • Healthy Fats:  healthy fats like egg yolks, avocados, ghee, and coconut oil are easy on the gut and contribute to nutrient absorption. Some protein foods like grass-fed beef, lamb, and wild-caught salmon also have healthy omega-3 fats.
  • Fruit: eating fruit in moderation (one or two servings/day) is an easy way to get vitamins and minerals. You can make homemade apple sauce or fruit sauce with pears or other low-glycemic fruits.

In Summary

Feeding the good bacteria in your gut by selecting the right foods that work well for you is very important. And as you can see, choices abound, so eating healthy doesn’t have to be dull in any way. Having to watch my blood sugar, I consume healthy fats every day and prefer getting my fiber from vegetables than the traditional fruits. See how your body responds to foods. Maintaining your health and wellness over the years is priceless.

Until next time!


Axe, Josh. “Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan, Including Top Gut Foods.” Dr. Axe, 7 Jan. 2021, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

Huberman, Andrew. “Control Pain & Heal Faster with Your Brain | Huberman Lab Podcast #9.” YouTube, 1 Mar. 2021, Accessed 1 Mar. 2021.

You can also find me on Instagram.

The Gut Microbiome

The gut has trillions of microorganisms from three hundred up to a thousand different species (it varies from person to person). In Your Personal Paleo Code, Chris Kresser adds that “those microbes have one hundred times more genes than the human genome does.” Stanford microbiologist Justin Sonnenburg concluded: “Humans can be regarded as elaborate vessels evolved to permit the survival and propagation of microorganisms.” We are clearly more bacteria than human!

The gut microbiota (or gut flora) helps with normal gastrointestinal function and with protecting us from infections. Indeed, it is home to most of our immune cells and it helps regulate metabolism. Knowing that the gut microbiota is critical to our overall health and wellness, it is important to stay away from things that can disrupt it.

13 Ways to Help Protect Your Gut Microbiome

The following strategies are mentioned in Young and Slim for Life, by Dr. Frank Lipman:

  • Avoid GMOs whenever possible – we simply don’t know enough about them.
  • Keep away from sweet and starchy foods.
  • Avoid junk food and processed food, as most have trans fats, GMO corn, GMO soy, or industrial seed oils.
  • Keep away from gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and some other grains, as well as in soy sauce, seitan, beer, and a lot of packaged and processed foods.
  • Steer clear of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
  • Keep away from conventionally farmed meat, poultry, dairy products, and eggs as they likely contain antibiotics and hormones, and as they likely have been fed on GMO corn or soy.
  • Whenever possible, avoid antibiotics, (NSAIDs, and other medications).
  • Steer clear of artificial sweeteners.
  • Drink filtered water. You can add water filters to your home taps, for instance. Also, there is the Aqua Tru countertop water purifier that I like to use.
  • Consume fermented foods – kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, or other fermented vegetables. Fermented foods offer natural bacteria that help protect your gut microbiota.
  • Consume prebiotics: foods that have the fiber on which friendly bacteria feed (like garlic, onions, radishes, leeks, asparagus, and Jerusalem artichokes).
  • Find efficient ways to deal with stress.
  • Get sufficient sleep.

In Summary

Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.” Many things can influence gut health, so we want to do our best to put into practice as many of the above strategies as possible, as a start. By choosing to eat a paleo/primal diet over 6 years ago, I got to eliminate the unwanted or suspect foods that can easily disrupt the gut microbiome. And as mentioned in My Paleo/Primal Eating Habits, I do not contemplate, even for a minute, going back to eating foods that are not beneficial to my health and wellness. 

Until next time!


Kresser, Chris. Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life. 1st ed., New York, NY, Little, Brown and Company, Dec. 2013, pp. 162-66.

Lipman, Frank. Young and Slim for Life : 10 Essential Steps to Achieve Total Vitality and Kick-Start Weight Loss That Lasts. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc, 2016, pp. 33–42.

Mailing, Lucy, and PhD. “The Ultimate Quick-Start Guide to the Gut Microbiome.” Lucy Mailing, PhD, 11 Feb. 2020, Accessed 3 Sept. 2020.

You can also find me on Instagram.