These 6 Fermented Foods May Boost Digestion

Kefir is made by adding kefir grains, made up of yeast and bacteria, to milk. This results in a thick and tangy beverage with a taste often compared to yogurt. Kefir has been shown to improve the digestion of lactose in 15 people with lactose intolerance. Those who are lactose intolerant cannot digest sugars in dairy products, resulting in cramps, bloating, and diarrhea. Consuming kefir for six weeks decreased markers of inflammation, a known contributor to development of chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer. These other foods may also help boost digestion and aid in overall health in recovery.


Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans pressed into a compact cake. It is firm but chewy and may be baked, steamed or sauteed before being added to dishes. In addition to impressive probiotic content, tempeh is rich in many nutrients that may better your health. Soy protein has been shown to reduce certain risk factors for heart disease. People who eat soy protein can decrease LDL cholesterol and reduce blood triglycerides.


Natto is a staple probiotic food in traditional Japanese cuisine and, like tempeh, is made from fermented soybeans. It contains fiber that supports digestive health. It adds bulk to stool and promotes regularity. The fermentation of natto also produces an enzyme called nattokinase. Natto has strong flavor and a slippery texture. It is often paired with rice and served as part of a digestion-boosting breakfast.


Kombucha is fermented tea that is fizzy, tart, and flavorful. It is made from either black or green tea and contains potent health-promoting properties. Drinking kombucha can help prevent liver toxicity and damage caused by exposure to harmful chemicals.


Miso is common in Japanese cuisine. It is made from fermented soybeans with salt and koji. It is found in miso soup and is known for its probiotic content. Several studies have tied health benefits to miso. It may also help lower blood pressure and protect heart health.


Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish made from fermented cabbage, although it can be made from other fermented vegetables like radishes. It boasts an array of health benefits and may be effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance.

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