These fermented foods that boost the microbiota

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

Sour milk, cabbage in brine: the fermented foods has 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: “For example, fermented vegetables 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 in kefir or the lactose in cheese and yogurt., explains nutritionist Isabelle Descamps. If the restaurant’s topped sauerkraut sticks in the stomach, it’s because of the meat and goose fat, not the fermented cabbage…

For Marie-Laure Nageleisen, nutritionist specializing in microbiota of the small intestine, eating fermented food ensures the balance between the different 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, gastroenterologist Bruno Bonaz does not “do not recommend eating fermented products every day”due to the lack of evidence for the benefit of such regular consumption.


Lacto-fermentation, alcoholic, acetic acid, 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 being ‘worn out’ after excessive intake of antibiotics or anti-acne treatments, become ‘vinegar factories’. They risk being burned by these acidic and wine-containing foods., explains Marie-Laure Nageleisen. Persons with Sibo (a bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine) or a 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 these foods as part of nutritional management. This sometimes includes taking nutritional supplements. » Fermented products, on the other hand, would improve other pathologies: wound, anemia, eczema, constipation, diarrhea and certain weaknesses of liver. In any case, the consumption of these foods must be part of a balanced diet. And doctor Bruno Bonaz recalls a basic principle: “You must eat everything in moderation.”

Buy or do it yourself

milk kefir or fruit, 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 tbsp unrefined salt to 500ml water) and very fresh vegetables, a week at room temperature, then stored in a cool place.


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