These fermented foods that boost the microbiota

Fermentation transforms vegetables, beverages and dairy products to the great benefit of our health. There are contraindications to their consumption.

Sour milk, pickled cabbage: fermented foods have been an integral part of the human diet since ancient times. This is one of the oldest food processing and preservation techniques. From a nutritional point of view, its benefits are numerous: “Fermented vegetables, for example, contain more vitamins than fresh ones. All fermented products are also particularly digestible. There is a reduction in poorly digestible food components such as the sugar present in kefir or the lactose in cheese and yogurts., explains nutritionist Isabelle Descamps. If the restaurant’s topped sauerkraut sticks in your stomach, it’s because of the meats and goose fat, not the fermented cabbage…

For Marie-Laure Nageleisen, nutritionist specializing in the microbiota of the small intestine, eating fermented food helps to ensure the balance of the various bacterial families of the microbiota. Provided, she insists, to consume the original food, and not its encapsulated copy offered in pharmacies. The nutritionist recommends consuming these products two to three times a week for a healthy eater. Her colleague Isabelle Descamps goes so far as to recommend a daily ration. But not all professionals agree. Thus, the gastroenterologist Bruno Bonaz does not “do not recommend eating fermented products every day”due to the lack of evidence on the benefit of such regular consumption.


Lacto-fermentation, alcoholic, acetic, alkaline fermentation… You should know that these products, which have become more acidic due to the process, are not suitable for everyone. “Very thin people or those whose microbiota suffer from malabsorption, after having been ‘abraded’ following an excessive intake of antibiotics or treatments against acne, become ‘vinegar factories’. They risk being burned by these acidic and vinegary foods., explains Marie-Laure Nageleisen. Individuals with Sibo (a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine) or candidiasis (a fungal infection) must also pass their way.

Eat everything in moderation

Bruno Bonaz, doctor

“Their body could overreact in contact with these foods, warns Isabelle Descamps. However, these people can consume this food as part of nutritional management. This sometimes includes taking dietary supplements. » Fermented products would, on the other hand, improve other pathologies: ulcers, anemia, eczema, constipation, diarrhea and certain liver fragility. The intake of these foods must, in all cases, be part of a balanced diet. And doctor Bruno Bonaz recalls a basic principle: “You have to eat everything in moderation. »

Buy or do it yourself

Milk or fruit kefir, pickled vegetables, sourdough bread, sauerkraut and kimchi (Korean recipe), kombucha (sour drink), miso soup or raw milk cheese are all products where fermentation plays a role. Very trendy, you can easily find them on supermarket shelves or organic stores. You can also easily make them yourself: a Le Parfait type jar, brine (1 tablespoon of unrefined salt for 500 ml of water) and very fresh vegetables, one week at room temperature, then storage in a cool place.


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