Common fermented food products include sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, sourdough bread and pickles. Sauerkraut is shredded cabbage fermented in a brine solution or in its own juice, to which spices are added. Sauerkraut contains beneficial enzymes and lacto-bacteria for intestinal health. Enzymes aid in the absorption of nutrients and help in digestion. Sauerkraut is also rich in fiber.
Kefir is a tart, yogurt-like drink made by fermenting dairy milk. It can also be made using coconut or almond milk. Kefir consists of beneficial microorganisms that boost immune function and help to improve colon health. Kefir contains natural probiotics that help to reestablish healthy flora and is also high in calcium.
Yogurt containing live active cultures is a natural probiotic. It is also rich in calcium for bone health and is a source of easily digested protein. Eating yogurt regularly helps to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Sourdough bread contains wild yeast fermented and mixed into flour and water causing the bread to rise. It also gives the bread a characteristic sour taste. Sourdough bread is more easily digested because the protein gluten is already broken down into amino acids in the preparation of sourdough.
Pickles are cucumbers fermented in a brine using water, salt, vinegar and dill. They are low in calories and high in fiber. One drawback to eating pickles is a high-sodium content. Certain brands offer a more nutritionally sound low-sodium version.
Fermented foods in general are easily digested and absorbed. They support digestive health and improve immune function.