Here are 5 reasons why making your own fermented foods is the best way to get a dose of probiotics. Skip the snake oil, and choose the flavors of fermentation instead!
This post covers some of the reasons why I think homemade fermented foods are the best source of probiotics.
1. 100% Alive
Probably the #1 concern with store-bought probiotic supplements is whether they are actually alive.
There are a few ways to make sure you’re getting your money’s worth… however, I haven’t had a ton of success with using probiotic pills or drops as a culture. They may have been teeming with probiotics when they left the factory, but that doesn’t mean they contain the 10 billion CFUs by the time they get to your house.
Even store-bought kombucha and other products aren’t necessarily alive. If you’re curious, I ran a test of 3 brands of store-bought kombucha that didn’t live up to their probiotic claims. They were about as healthy as a can of soda pop.
When you make your own ferments you know that they are alive. It’s so fun to see your pickled turnips bubble or taste the sourness in a bacterial ferment. When you pop open that jar, you KNOW it’s 100% alive.
There are so many different types of probiotic cultures. In fact, diversity and richness are key to a healthy gut.
Most supplements don’t contain a ton of different cultures. And that’s only IF they are all still alive by the time you swallow them.
Making your own fermented foods, means you can explore all sorts of different cultures.
Here are a few ways to get a lot of diversity in your fermented foods:
- Try out different heirloom yogurts.
- Experiment with different types of fermented soda.
- Fermented sauerkraut had a ton of bacterial diversity within the first few days of fermenting.
- Add as many different types of fermented foods to your diet as possible.
3. Probiotics for your whole body
My favorite reason for fermenting is that it improves the culture of the wild yeasts and bacteria in your indoor air. This gives your whole body a probiotic boost.
Our microbiome (the yeasts, bacteria, etc.) is not only in our gut but also on our skin and in our lungs.
This is why homemade sourdough bread still offers probiotic benefits! Baking a loaf of bread obviously kills all of the microorganisms. However, when you keep a sourdough starter in your kitchen, the sourdough yeasts and bacteria are in your indoor air, offering probiotic benefits for your whole body.
The same is true for all homemade fermented foods! So if you struggle with eczema, asthma, or chronic infections, consider making fermented foods for probiotics.
Homemade fermented foods are also affordable… way more affordable than store-bought ferments which tend to be pricey. This is because fermented foods are ALIVE. They can’t be shipped long distances or preserved for long-term storage and sales.
Fermented foods are also more affordable than probiotic pills… Not only do you get the probiotic goodness, but you also get a delicious addition to your meals!
Fermentation is easy! It’s even easier if you stick with the simplest fermented foods.
If you’re new to fermenting, here are a few recipes that just need to be packed into a jar and left to ferment. That’s it! There’s no cooking, heating, or stirring involved. They only take between 2 to 10 minutes to make. They are SO easy that you just got to try it.
- Grandma’s pickles, fermented giardiniera, or pickled vegetable sticks.
- Sauerkraut, curtido, or kimchi.
- Room-temperature cultured dairy products like sour cream or buttermilk.
- ACV or honey-fermented condiments like salsa, chutney, or relish.