Healthy Body: Fermented foods to eat right now

There's been a lot of buzz about the advantages of fermented foods in the last several months, but most of us don't really know what that means. What does fermented mean, what are the best sources of these fermented foods, and how can it help our overall health?

Fermentation is a process that was used hundreds of years ago to conserve and preserve foods that creates the development of live bacteria. This bacteria is good in that it can aid in digestion and help to balance things in the digestive system.

Here are four fermented foods to eat right now.

Sauerkraut. Although it has a pretty distinctive, pungent flavour on its own, sauerkraut is easy to add to salads, sandwiches, and others foods, which will pare it down a bit. There are also lots of different flavours of sauerkraut made in with a wide range of ingredients, from classic cabbage to carrot and more. You add a variety of herbs as well to change up its "sour" flavour.

Yogurt. The main thing to look for when choosing a yogurt, however, is having "live and active cultures" on the label. This means it has the optimal amount of probiotic cultures. You also want to ensure that the yogurt is relatively love in overall sugar content - a lot of yogurts contain a crazy amount of (unnecessary) sugar.

Natto. This is a traditional food usually found at Japanese breakfast tables with miso soup, fish, and rice, and it's made by soaking whole soybeans, then steaming or boiling them. You can find this item at most Asian markets, especially those that specialize in Japanese fare.

Kombucha. This drink is made by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria. The taste, again, is quite unique, however the great thing about this beverage is that you can jazz it up any way you want: add fruit, fresh herbs, and even other juices. This drink has almost become "mainstream" enough that you'll find it in some grocery stores, juice bars, and more.

Kefir. Similar to yogurt, kefir is a drink that is made from cow's milk that is fermented with certain bacteria. You can find kefir cheese at certain health food stores, or you can use kefir in veggie dips, salad dressings, smoothies, and even popsicles!