IF YOU'RE ONE OF THESE 3 TYPES OF PEOPLE, YOU REALLY SHOULDN'T BE EATING FERMENTED FOODS
Certain people should avoid fermented foods. That's right, they aren't a magical gut health food for everyone.
Adding fermented foods may not be the right move for you if you are looking to reduce your bloating and stomach pain.
Or maybe you've already added fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir or sourdough bread and things have gotten worse.
Here are 3 types of people who should avoid or reduce their fermented food intake:
1. People who are already bloated.
Fermented foods are probiotics (ie. contain living bacteria that may have a health benefit) (1).
The most popular fermented foods include natto, kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, miso, and kombucha.
Bloating is a common side effect of fermented foods.
"Good" bacteria in fermented food react to "bad" bacteria and fungi inside of your gut. These so-called "good" bacteria work against "bad bacteria," reducing their population (2).
When bad bacteria die, they give off excess gas, and this is felt as bloating (2).
Although killing off bad bacteria is ultimately a good thing, try telling that to someone who is already suffering from terrible bloating.
If you are bloated, a great natural way to help is with our infamous “carrot salad” recipe instead. You can also make small changes like quitting chewing gum, avoiding sugar alcohols, and wearing loose clothing (“tight pants syndrome” is actually a thing).
|REDUCE YOUR BLOATING WITH DIET & LIFESTYLE CHANGE FIRST|
2. People who are intolerant to histamines.
Histamine is a compound that is produced by the body and found in fermented foods.
Normally, histamine is broken down by enzymes in our bodies. However, people with histamine intolerance do not have enough of those enzymes to break down histamines (3).
When histamine builds up, it can cause a range of symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, skin itching, or even a drop in blood pressure (4).
So instead of opting for a fermented food, opt for the normal, well cooked version of it. For example, instead of having kimchi, try to opt for its unfermented version – cabbage.
Probably cook the cabbage first.
IF YOU'RE HISTAMINE INTOLERANT, EAT BOILED VEGGIES INSTEAD
3. People who have a compromised immune system.
Whilst most fermented foods are safe to consume, some could be contaminated by bacteria and cause food-borne illnesses (5).
People who have a decreased immune function (e.g. because of chemotherapy or certain medications) are more vulnerable to food-related infection.
With fermented foods being so bacteria-abundant, there is a higher chance of unwanted types of bacteria entering the food during fermentation (5).
This has led to serious infections in the gut, blood, brain, and sinuses in people that are immunocompromised (6).
If you are immunocompromised you're better off avoiding fermented foods for now.
|AVOID FERMENTED FOODS IF YOU ARE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED|
Want to get started?
Take the short Gut Regimen Builder Quiz and we'll take it from there.
- Carvalho NM de, Costa EM, Silva S, Pimentel L, Fernandes TH, Pintado ME. Fermented Foods and Beverages in Human Diet and Their Influence on Gut Microbiota and Health. Fermentation. 2018;4(4):90.
- Williams NT. Probiotics. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2010; 67(6):449-58. doi: 10.2146/ajhp090168.
- Smolinska S, Jutel M, Crameri R, O'Mahony L. Histamine and gut mucosal immune regulation. Allergy. 2013;69(3):273-281.
- Tuck CJ, Biesiekierski JR, Schmid-Grendelmeier P, Pohl D. Food Intolerances. Nutrients. 2019 Jul 22;11(7):1684.
- Sivamaruthi B, Kesika P, Chaiyasut C. Toxins in Fermented Foods: Prevalence and Preventions—A Mini Review. Toxins. 2018;11(1):4.
- Snyder, A. B., & Worobo, R. W. (2018). Risk Mitigation for Immunocompromised Consumers of Mucormycete Spoiled and Fermented Foods: Germain Guidance and Remaining Needs. Microorganisms, 6(2), 45.