The good bacteria living in our bodies, most especially those in our gut, may help boost our immunity, improve digestion and may even help us get leaner. To encourage their growth, the most effective way is by eating foods packed with probiotics.

Probiotics are the good bacteria that live in our gut and show up in fermented foods. Add these top seven fermented foods into your diet for a healthy dose of probiotics.

Top 8 Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut

1. Pickles


Pickles are considered to be the gateway ferment and an all too familiar food that many people loved. They provide a healthy dose of probiotics.

2. Tempeh


Tempeh is a good source of amino acids and probiotics. It is made from naturally fermented soybeans with that slightly nutty flavor. It is considered to be a complete source of vegetarian protein.

3. Miso


Miso is a traditional fermented food native to Japan and China, but is also used in all parts of Southeast Asia. It is a salty bean paste, made by fermenting mashed cooked beans and salt, including “koji” or Aspergillus oryzae. Soybean is also the main ingredient found in most of Asian miso, but it can also be made with other types of legumes.

Miso contains a certain compound, called dipicolinic acid, which has been proven helpful for chelating the effects of radiation exposure. It can also help offer protective properties against certain types of cancers, especially prostate and breast.

4. Sauerkraut


Sauerkraut is a fermented food made by culturing shredded or chopped cabbage in its own juice or brine solution. It has a powerful impact on brain health, which includes that of depression and anxiety.

5. Kefir


Kefir is a tart yogurt-like drink that is made traditionally made by fermenting dairy milk. Other vegan milk varieties can also be used like nut milk and coconut milk.

During its fermentation process, kefir develops a beneficial microorganisms that may greatly help in improving the health of the colon and entire gastrointestinal tract. It can also help boost the immune functions.

6. Kimchi


Kimchi is a spicy Korean dish, made from fermented cabbage. It can serve as a beauty food and an an energy-booster as well. It can also help enhance digestion and nutrient assimilation.

7. Yogurt


Yogurt guarantees about 17 billion cultures in a 6-ounce cup during manufacturing time. That is, if it is labeled with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal. But  Even yogurts without this seal will usually contain some probiotics.

8. Natto


Natto is a popular dish in Japan, which consists of fermented soybeans. It contains the powerful probiotic known as bacillus subtilis. Bacillus subtilis, has been proven to help improve cardiovascular health and the immune system. It also helps a lot in the digestion of vitamin K2. Most importantly, it contains a powerful anti-inflammatory enzyme called nattokinase, which has been proven to fight cancer.