Fermented Foods vs. Fiber: What’s Best?

You want to know what drives obesity, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, and almost all chronic diseases? Sure, there are influences of genetics and lifestyle and diet, but what I’m talking about is the molecular mechanism driving the vast majority of illnesses today.

It’s INFLAMMATION. Chronic, low-grade, insidious inflammation. It goes on unnoticed—until a diagnosis hits. 

If you’re interested in optimizing your health and living happy and healthy for as long as you can, the best thing you can do for yourself right now is to reduce inflammation. 

The exciting news? 

Researchers at Stanford Medical School have found that eating fermented foods enhances the diversity of the gut microbiome and reduces molecular markers of inflammation.

The study was done in 36 healthy adults. Participants ate either a diet that was high in fermented foods or one that was high in fiber for 10 weeks. The fermented-food diet reduced levels of 19 different inflammatory proteins in the blood. One of those was interleukin-6, which we know is linked to many chronic inflammatory conditions. 

This is powerful. It means that the foods you eat can actually influence your gut and immune health in as little as 10 weeks. Imagine what effect that can have over a lifetime? 

Here are some top fermented foods:

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kombucha
  • Sauerkraut
  • Kimchi

Do you have a favorite fermented food?

Wastyk HC, Fragiadakis GK, Perelman D et al. Gut-microbiota-targeted diets modulate human immune status. Cell. 2021. [link]