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Fermented Foods – The Forgotten Food Group You Need to Know About

Many experts on the leading edge of health would say that since the implementation of the first USDA Food Guide in the early part of the 20th century, things have went drastically awry.  Human health is more than just picking from a few categories of food.  We have thousands of years of documented history, and the idea of a food pyramid is a new invention, and we need to understand this to embrace true health and longevity.

There is a forgotten food group that was CRITICAL to the lives of our ancestors. Yet, today it’s something that we rarely, if ever, hear anything about.  This food group provides essential minerals and trace minerals, rare B vitamins, protection against cancer, and important probiotics that fortify our immune system.

Make it a mandate now to incorporate this once forgotten food group, Fermented Foods or Friendly Ferments, into your diet right away.

You are what you eat can be redefined as, “You are what you metabolize,” and fermented foods are critical for creating the right environment in your gut for true health.  This is the same today, just as it was for your ancestors.

Every well-documented culture in history incorporated the use of some type of fermented food or beverage.  For example, the Korean fermented dish known as kimchi has been referenced in text as long as 3000 years ago!

Here are some of the benefits of incorporating Friendly Ferments into your daily health practice:

*Provides an abundant source of enzymes (catalyst that drive all of your body’s functions)

*Increases absorption of nutrients

*Enhances digestion

*Provide the body with higher levels of vitamins (like Vitamin C and riboflavin) than most other foods

*Provides a wide array of probiotics

*Builds immune system health

*Regulates appetite (excellent for weight management)

Incorporating fermented foods and beverages is so important because it’s one of the only true LIVE food sources that we have available to us.  Even if people are eating more raw foods, there’s a big difference between a handful of almonds and a small bowl of kimchi.  The kimchi is enzymatically active and LOADED with healthy flora, while the raw almond needs to be sprouted and germinated and it still only has a fraction of the life-force found in a serving of fermented food.

Taking probiotics is an increasingly popular health practice, and it’s definitely valuable in some cases.  The benefit that fermented foods have over taking probiotic supplements is that it has the probiotics AND the prebiotics (the substrate that the bacteria was grown on) which gives you a whole food source of healthy bacteria.

Here are some of the best sources for incorporating friendly ferments into your life:



*Coconut kefir

*Raw milk kefir

*Unpasteurized yogurt

*Rejuvelac (fermented grain beverage)


*Organic red wine (yes, it actually had a point when it was first invented)

*Raw apple cider

*Raw apple cider vinegar

*Fermented cacao (chocolate) beans

*Traditionally prepared pickles

What’s your favorite fermented food?  Let me know in the comments section below.

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  1. Love the suggestions. but without knowing what these taste like, which one would be a good start to these listed ? Love the podcast Shawn!

  2. Good day to you!

    My name is Giselle, and I’ve been following your website for quite some time now. I love your post about kefir, as I’m a big fan of the stuff. Currently, I’m working on a blog called Your Kefir Source, which serves as a guide on all things related to kefir. I think I have something that will be a good fit for your site, as well as useful to your readers, and for that, I’d like to reach out:

    It’s all about how you can prepare and enjoy kefir at home. Hope you enjoy trying out these recipes as much as I did. Feel free to share them, as well, if you like. What do you think? 🙂


  3. I am so excited about this information and so eager to start incorporating fermented foods to my diet. Shawn I met you a few weeks ago at my church…..I have been reading your book and your emails they have truly been a blessing.

    1. Maria, thank you SO MUCH for taking action and adding a few good things in for your body and mind. Please let me know if there’s anything else that I can do for you, and make sure to keep posting your inspiring comments!

  4. My favorite is Kombucha, I drink it everyday, yes every day my refrigerator looks like a synergy company : ). I also implement Kimchi in most of my meals. Thank you Shawn for introducing me to great foods of great benefits. I continue to be grateful for the knowledge that I have gained from you. PS. I didn’t know that organic red wine counts don’t make me go looking for it now : ). All in all will try the rest.

  5. This is a great article, Shawn. Thank you. I take 3 to 6 tablespoons of raw, apple cider vinegar every day (except for when I’m fasting). I knew it was good for you, but I did not put it in the same category as fermented foods for some reason. Thanks again for brining us this information.

    1. Thank you Velda. That’s fantastic how you’ve been incorporating ACV into your life like that. It has so many incredible uses, it’s inexpensive, and people need to know about it! Thanks for being the example on adding in a healthy daily practice.

  6. Yay! Thanks Shawn for spreading the word about fermented foods. This is something I recently discovered, and my whole body “sings” whenever I add something fermented to a meal.

    In addition to your list of fermented foods, it is very easy for anyone to ferment their own vegetables. Virtually any vegetables, in any combination, can be easily made into “saurkraut” … it doesn’t have to be cabbage. To find out how easy it is, just search on YouTube for “fermenting vegetables”.

    Besides the delicious flavour, you can see from the bright colour of fermented veggies that this stuff is really alive … and food that is alive makes us more alive.

    1. Steve, you said it perfectly. Living bodies need living foods… It’s a simple law of resonance. My mother-in-law is a true example of fermenting any vegetable you can think of… We live in a great time now where people can do just as you said and simple google or youtube “fermenting vegetables” and learn how to do it at a click of a button. NOW we all have to take action and make the ferments, because knowledge isn’t power, Knowledge Applied is Power!

      Thanks Steve

  7. I make water kefir daily and drink it up, it’s fun to make and experiment with flavours, if you do a second fermentation you get the best fizzy soda pop that’s so good for you, tastes incredible, and increases health and longevity, can’t be beat.

    1. Darcie, you have tapped into something that MILLIONS of people are going to be switching to in the near future once they find out about it… This I know for sure.

      Something so healthy and life giving, and it’s something that we can do ourselves right at home with a little know how. Thanks for being an early adopter of something so cool!


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