Fermentation is a process that involves bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars.

Not only does fermentation help enhance food preservation, but eating fermented foods can also boost the number of beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, found in your gut.

Probiotics have been associated with a variety of health benefits, including improved digestion, better immunity, and even increased weight loss.

1. Kefir

Kefir is a type of cultured dairy product.

It’s made by adding kefir grains, which are made up of a combination of yeast and bacteria, to milk. This results in a thick and tangy beverage with a taste that’s often compared to yogurt.

Studies have shown that kefir may come with many benefits, affecting everything from digestion to inflammation to bone health.

2. Tempeh

Tempeh is made from fermented soybeans that have been pressed into a compact cake.

This high-protein meat substitute is firm but chewy and can be baked, steamed, or sautéed before being added to dishes.

3. Natto

Natto is a staple probiotic food in traditional Japanese cuisine.

Like tempeh, it’s made from fermented soybeans. It has a very strong flavor and slippery texture.

4. Kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented tea that’s fizzy, tart, and flavorful. It’s made from either green or black tea and contains their potent health-promoting properties.

Animal studies show that drinking kombucha could help prevent liver toxicity and damage caused by exposure to harmful chemicals.

5. Miso

Miso is a common seasoning in Japanese cuisine. It’s made by fermenting soybeans with salt and koji, a type of fungus.

It’s most often found in miso soup, a flavorful dish made up of miso paste and stock. Miso soup is traditionally served for breakfast.

6. Kimchi

Kimchi is a popular Korean side dish that’s usually made from fermented cabbage. It can also be made from other fermented vegetables such as radishes.

It boasts an extensive array of health benefits and may be especially effective when it comes to lowering cholesterol and reducing insulin resistance.

7. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a popular condiment consisting of shredded cabbage that’s been fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It’s low in calories but contains plenty of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

Like other foods made with leafy green vegetables, it also contains a good amount of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants help promote eye health and reduce the risk of eye disease.

8. Probiotic yogurt

Yogurt is produced from milk that’s been fermented, most commonly with lactic acid bacteria.

It’s high in many important nutrients, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin B12.

Yogurt has also been associated with a wide variety of health benefits.

Medical reference: Healthline