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GOOP Why Fermented Foods Matter

Historically, fermented foods played a significant role in our ancestors’ diets. And according to registered nutritionist and clean-eating coach, Shira Lenchewski, the food world’s recent rediscovery of kimchi, sauerkraut, and even kefir is kind of a big deal. “Nostalgia aside, I’m really hoping this fermentation resurgence sticks because it’s actually really good for us.” In simple terms, fermentation means that the sugars and carbohydrates in a food have been broken down by beneficial (or “good”) bacteria, resulting in the formation of lactic acid, which our taste buds recognize as a complex, pungent burst of flavor. “Fermentation also yields a crucial benefit, far more important than an enhanced flavor profile—a healthy gut.” In fact, that might be part of the reason why food allergies (gluten, lactose, etc.) were nowhere near as prevalent in our grandparents’ days as they are now. Here, Lenchewski breaks down the basics of gut health, its affects on overall wellbeing, and the far-reaching benefits of fermented foods.

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