When I first tried fermented miso (versus the off-the-shelf kind), I got a gut wrenching reaction that I would have likened to a mild form of food poisoning or some sort of miso-induced food allergy.
Of course, there was a chance that I had messed up the ferment and was experiencing food poisoning… except I was eating store-bought fermented miso and it looked, smelled and tasted good. It was definitely not food poisoning…
My body was just reacting to new ferment.
It is common to react to new probiotic foods with a gut wrenching sensitivity.
When you eat a new fermented food, you’re basically bringing a whole new set of probiotic friends to the party in your guts. At first they don’t all get along and a fight ensues. A few of the unsavoury types end up getting kicked out as the brawny newcomers assert themselves. Then slowly, over time, your gut will settle down as everyone finds a new equilibrium.
If anything, a gut wrenching reaction to a new ferment is actually a good thing! It means that you are slowly bringing your gut back into health as the good probiotics take over.
Regardless, self-punishment is not the way to deal with introducing a new probiotic strain… Never over do it thinking that you’re somehow curing yourself. Instead, start out by eating a small amount every day for a week.
In my case I took a half-teaspoon of miso every day until my tummy grew to love that umami flavour as much as my mouth did.
For the record, water kefir also resulted in a gut-wrenching first experience. However, it was all worth it. After a year of eating tons of ferments, the digestive systems (and the health) of my whole family drastically improved. It was certainly worth a few gut battles!