Registered Dietitian. Yoga teacher. Author. Public speaker. Dog lover. Keri Gans knows the importance of maintaining a healthy balance - both in life and in your gut - and she's here to help.

Keri Gans, MS, RDN, CDN

MAKE FRIENDS WITH FERMENTED FOODS

Eating a wide variety of plant-based foods rich in fiber along with adding a daily serving of probiotics can boost your body's microbiome. Fermented foods and beverages may contain live and active cultures as well as probiotics - "good" bacteria that are beneficial for health and wellness.

Here are some tips for making fermented, probiotic foods and beverages a regular part of a healthier lifestyle.

1. Become a fermented foodie.

From pickled vegetables like fresh kimchi and sauerkraut, to fermented soy products such as miso and tempeh, chefs and home cooks alike are turning to the appeal of fermented foods to add a new dimension to meals. Whether you savor the flavors of traditional Korean cuisine or enjoy a modern take on sauerkraut, look for your favorite ferments in local restaurants or learn to make homemade cultured foods in your own kitchen.

2. Be a savvy supermarket shopper.

Look beyond the dairy aisle for probiotics. You can find a variety of probiotic products to add to your grocery cart that are made from ingredients that do not contain dairy, like KeVita fermented beverages. KeVita Sparkling Probiotic Drinks and KeVita Apple Cider Vinegar Tonics are fermented with a water kefir culture, and KeVita Master Brew Kombucha is fermented with a kombucha tea culture. These effervescent drinks contain billions of live probiotics in every bottle, and are available in a wide range of delicious and innovative flavors.

3. Spice up your salads

Dress up your mixed green salad with fermented foods, such as miso and fresh kimchi. Miso paste, along with spices, can be a delicious addition to a classic oil and vinegar dressing. Fresh kimchi, a pickled cabbage dish, tossed with your leafy greens can add live and active cultures and a boost of bold flavors.

4. Mix up your menu for the summer season.

Fire up your barbecue with grill-friendly fermented foods. Tempeh - a fermented soybean cake and popular source of plant-based protein - has a firm texture that makes it a perfect match for the grill. Miso - a fermented soybean paste - makes a delicious marinade or glaze for grilled salmon fillets. And don't forget to add fresh sour dill pickles when you serve the burgers!

5. Stay active and be mindful.

Along with a healthier diet, being physically active is essential for overall health and well-being, including digestive health. Exercise helps improve blood flow throughout the body, which includes your digestive system. Low-impact exercise like yoga can also help you be more mindful and reduce stress. Try energizing your daily routine by drinking KeVita Master Brew Kombucha, a bold, tangy fermented tea beverage with billions of live probiotics in every bottle.

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