This Is Your Brain On Fermented Foods

Have you ever had a craving for pickles? The sour, salty wonderfulness that is essentially a fermented cucumber is a huge favorite for many people. If you’re anything like me, when you want one you really want one. I like to think that it’s my body’s way of telling me that I need all of the goodness that they contain.

Naturally fermented foods – like cucumbers and the others on this list – come packed with some surprising nutrition and possible health benefits. Wonder what I mean? Take a look.

Fermented Foods Your Brain And Body Crave


If you’re going to choose to try anything off the list, this is probably the most popular one. Studies have shown that eating fermented foods such as pickles can help boost your mood by raising your serotonin levels while simultaneously increasing the probiotics in your gut. If that’s not your brain and body working together to make you a better you, I don’t know what is.

If fermented cucumbers aren’t your thing, there are plenty of other fermented foods for you to choose from:


Natto is nothing more than fermented soybean paste. It’s been found to be especially rich in vitamin K2 and PQQ. Vitamin K2 has been shown to reduce menopausal bone loss and PQQ is responsible for repairing human tissue and repairing damaged skin. If you feel like your skin is looking a little dull lately, this just might be the thing for you.


If you’ve ever been to a Korean restaurant, you’ve likely seen kimchi. It’s a little more flavorful than some of the other items on the list – containing cabbage garlic, chili peppers, scallions, and several other spices – which is perfect for those that like their food to have some bite.

Don’t be afraid of trying it if you’re not a fan of cabbage – It doesn’t taste anything like it by the time it’s done fermenting.


This common sausage topping is perhaps best known for being high in dietary fiber. It also contains vitamins A, C, K, and multiple essential B vitamins as well. If that’s not enough to convince you to get more, it also boasts various minerals like calcium, iron, sodium, manganese, iron and copper. Oh, and it has fiber in it too.


This traditional Japanese seasoning is made by fermenting chickpeas or soybean paste. In addition to the probiotics it gives you, it also contains copper, manganese, and vitamin K. Ingesting miso can help aide in digestion, help lower your blood pressure, and might even help ward off cancer.


This Indonesian classic made from soybeans can help reduce high cholesterol and help you gut health get back on track. It also contains manganese, could potentially reduce menopausal symptoms in women, and has even been shown to increase bone density when consumed on a regular basis.

Fermented Vegetables

If none of the things above appeal to you, you could always just ferment your favorite vegetables. Regardless of what you choose to ferment, you’re going to get some gut building probiotics out of the deal. Why are probiotics important? Research has suggested that they are able to slow and in some (rare) cases even reverse some common diseases. They also help to improve your digestion and bowel health, and even help to boost your immune system.

Here’s a video by nutritionist Barbara Mendez that explains can help boost your brain and body to help fight depression and anxiety:

Do you eat fermented foods? What’s your favorite?

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Written by Shanda de Vries


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