Jewels Doskicz is a registered nurse, freelance writer, patient advocate, health coach, and long-distance cyclist. Jewels is the moderator of Diabetic Connect’s weekly #DCDE Twitter chat, and she and her daughter both live healthfully with type 1 diabetes.
Fermented dietary products could cut type 2 diabetes risk by as much as 28 percent according to a study in Medicinenet.com. Not a number to scoff at.
So, what is a fermented food?
Fermented foods fall somewhere in the space between fresh and rotten. That may not sound very appetizing, but we eat these foods all the time.
Fermented (healing) foods have a strong hold in a healthful diet and include cottage cheese, yogurt, beer, wine, kefir, kombucha, pickles, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh.
Can't tolerate dairy? Try soy or coconut yogurt instead.
The health benefits of yogurt
What's the secret ingredient? Yogurt and healthful probiotics go hand-in-hand. Probiotics are basically active cultures that have positive impacts on our gut bacteria. I'm sure you've gotten advice to "eat yogurt" when prescribed antibiotics, but this isn't the only opportune time to indulge.
"Emerging research suggests that gut microbes play important roles in the development of type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and other diseases," Samantha Heller, a senior clinical nutritionist at NYU Langone Medical Center told Medicinenet.com.
Why bacteria is good for us
Bacteria has had a bad rap lately, and we've created all sorts of ways to scrub ourselves clean of them. Instead of causing illness, gut bacteria is an essential part of human wellness. A five-year study called the Human Microbiome Project is dedicated to studying the good and necessary bacteria that populates the human body.
Try adding yogurt or other fermented foods into your daily diet one at a time. Remember to watch your portion control and read nutrition labels to make sure you're not taking in increasing amounts of sugar.