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Fermented Foods List – Diversify Your Diet for Health

Updated on March 28, 2014
Pickled cucumbers
Pickled cucumbers | Source

What is Food Fermentation?

Fermentation is a process where microorganisms convert carbohydrates to alcohol or carbon dioxide through chemical changes. This process produces wine, yogurt, beer, and other everyday foods that one wouldn't normally think as part of a list of fermented foods. Probiotics are the microorganisms used in fermentation. When consumed, probiotics benefit one’s health.

Fermentation and probiotics are good for the stomach. Aside from being a preservation technique, fermentation also increases the flavor and nutrients in food. It is good to have a handy fermented foods list in order to make your dietary choices healthier and tastier.

ReNew Life Ultimate Flora Critical Care

Renew Life - Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care - 50 billion - 60 vegetable capsules
Renew Life - Ultimate Flora Probiotic Extra Care - 50 billion - 60 vegetable capsules

Renew Life is one of the best probiotic supplements for Candida. What makes it so great are the high count CFUs, 50 Billion CFUs per capsule, and the complete probiotic profile, with 10 different strains. Here is the list and proportion of the supplement:

Bifidobacterium bifidum - 25 Billion

Lactobacillus acidophilus - 10 Billion

Lactobacillus casei - 8.875 Billion

Bifidobacterium breve - 4 Billion

Bifidobacterium longum - 1 Billion

Lactobacillus rhamnosus - 250 Million

Lactobacillus rhamnosus - 250 Million

Lactobacillus plantarum - 250 Million

Lactobacilllus fermentum - 250 Million

Lactobacillus salivarius - 125 Million

With my previous supplement I was taking 6 capsules, and was still taking less CFUs than with ReNew Life. It works great for various problems associated with Candida infection, IBS, Crohn's, indigestions, and a lot of other problems.

This is my personal favorite, and the second favorite is FiveLac.



Tea is the most consumed beverage in the world. While not all teas are fermented, and aren’t mainstays in a fermented foods list, some teas (like the pu-erh) goes through a second round of fermentation after the initial oxidizing process. This second round of fermentation adds a unique taste to the tea.

Cheeses | Source


Cheese is just milk that went bad. Different types of cheese from different cultures don’t go through the same kind of fermentation, which is why cheeses vary in flavor. People who make cheese controls the way the milk goes bad in order to create the type of cheese they want. Cheese consists typically of milk, culture (microorganisms), and if desired, a coagulant.



Yeasts are used to ferment bread. Without a yeast culture, the dough won’t rise properly. Sourdough bread is a common bread that’s made with wild yeast (and the sour taste’s mainly due to the microbe’s presence).

Pearls - Enzymatic Therapy Acidophilus

FiveLac-Five Lac Probiotic (60 Packets)
FiveLac-Five Lac Probiotic (60 Packets)

Five bacteria strains in a proprietary blend: Bacillus coagulans, acillus subtilis, Enterococcus faecalis, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Vifidobacterium longum.

These strains are the most effective in fighting bacteria, and even with a relatively low count, compared to ReNew Life, they are a powerful solution to fight Candida.

This is one of my two top probiotic choices.


Fermented Foods Video - How to Give Healthy Bacteria to Your System

Home made Yogurt
Home made Yogurt | Source

Fermented Milk


Like cheese, yogurt comes from milk that is fermented in a controlled manner. Specific strains of bacteria (like lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus) are used to make yogurt. Yogurt contains a lot of probiotics. Yogurt is better made at home, as those available in stores are often laced with sweeteners and artificial additives.

Cultured butter

Cultured butter is made from sour cream (soured in a controlled manner). This sour cream is churned to separate the butterfat from the whey. This type of butter is more expensive than regular butter.

Crème fraiche

Crème fraiche is a delicious addition to fruits and berries. Crème fraiche is also made from cream and follows the same production process as cultured butter.


Viili originates from the Nordic countries and resembles yogurt. It’s a type of fermented milk that uses mesophilic bacteria as its culture. Due to that specific kind of microbe, the taste of viili is mild and it has a gelatinous yet ropey consistency. Like yogurt, viili also contains a lot of probiotics.

Garden of Life - Ultimate Probiotics Formula

Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic Supplement - Primal Defense ULTRA Ultimate Probiotic Dietary Supplement for Digestive and Gut Health, 90 Vegetarian Capsules
Garden of Life Whole Food Probiotic Supplement - Primal Defense ULTRA Ultimate Probiotic Dietary Supplement for Digestive and Gut Health, 90 Vegetarian Capsules

Digestive enzymes combined with 13 species of probiotics, including soil-based probiotics, called homeostatic soil organisms (HSOs)

A great solution for healthy intestinal comfort and function.

Garden of Life probiotics formula contains a unique blend of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium, plus Saccharomyces Boulardii. This makes it a complete probiotic supplement.

Not all supplements work for everything. It looks like Garden of Life works for Candida, and Crohn's.

Coffee | Source


Coffee isn’t commonly known to be part of a list of fermented foods. But coffee beans undergo a process of fermentation after they are picked and removed from the pulp. The taste and flavor of coffee depends on the fermentation technique used and the way it’s roasted.

Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus

Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus EPS, 5 Billion Cells Per Capsule, Supports Intestinal Function and Health, 120 Veggie Capsules
Jarrow Formulas Jarro-Dophilus EPS, 5 Billion Cells Per Capsule, Supports Intestinal Function and Health, 120 Veggie Capsules

4.4 billion CFUs per capsule, containing: Lactobacillus, Bifidobacteria, Lactococcus and Pediococcus.

According to the manufacturer it doesn't require refrigeration, but I always refrigerate probiotic supplements, just in case. You can take them with you if you travel, and that's a huge bonus.


Fermented Drinks


Wine’s often brought up when coming up with a fermented foods list. The juices extracted from grapes are mixed with yeast to undergo a fermentation process. After fermenting, the wines are then allowed to age. It does not contain any live cultures, or very little, but it is a great prebiotic. Vinegar is made from wine, and it has the same properties.


Beer comes from wheat and other grains. These grains are mashed, and then fermented. The ingredients and their ratio are often manipulated to acquire the desired taste. It does contain probiotics, unless pasteurized.


Like yogurt, this drink is made from a specific type of bacteria culture. The culture, called a skoby, is spongy and slimy. It is often served with black tea and sugar, creating a fizzy drink that tastes rather sour. Some believe it to be a cure for many ailments.


Did you know that spirit drinks are made by fermenting various fruits, or cereals, and then distilled to extract only the alcohol?

Pickles - various fermented vegetables
Pickles - various fermented vegetables

Pickles and Fermented Vegetables


Pickles are easy to make at home. While most pickles are now made by simply adding vinegar, the traditional dill pickles are made through lacto fermentation. Pickles are full of lactobacilli, hence healthy.


Kimchi comes in different varieties. This food, which originates in Korea, has a distinct but delicious taste that comes from fermentation. Kimchi can be made in many different ways. The seasonings and the vegetables added can be changed to suit individual tastes. Other fermented and dried-fish products could also be added if desired.


When talking about a proper list of fermented foods, most people would end up mentioning this food. Using either salt or yogurt whey, sauerkraut can be easily fermented in the comfort of one’s home.

Both sauerkraut and kimchi are great sources of probiotics, and it is one of the best vegetable fermented foods. Just make sure you don't cook them if you want the probiotics in them.


Other Fermented Foods

  • Salami

Cured meats like salami, if made traditionally, are fermented. After the meat is mixed with different spices and salt, a bacteria culture is added. The flavor of traditional salamis come from the way they’re fermented.

  • Bagoong and Patis

Bagoong is a salty condiment from the Philippines. It is made from fermented shrimp (or fish) and salt. It is either partially or completely fermented. The fermentation process of bagoong results in a by-product called patis, which also known as fish sauce. The fermentation of fish sauce is longer though and could last from six months to a year.

  • Tempeh

Tempeh is a soybean cake that is savory and tastes like meat. It is part of Indonesian cuisine and is fermented with a special type of mold. Like the mold in blue cheese, the mold in tempeh is not dangerous to eat and may be appealing to certain types of palate. Tempeh contains a lot of protein, twice as much as tofu, and it is better digested.

  • Miso

The Japanese use this salty paste in cooking, especially in making soup. It is made with a special bacteria culture (koji, soybeans, barley, and rice are some other common miso ingredients). This is a staple in the Japanese diet and is often eaten as soup during breakfast.

  • Appam

Appam is a kind of pancake from South India. It uses a fermented rice batter that is mixed with coconut milk. It is frequently eaten during dinner and breakfast. Appam is also eaten often in Sri Lanka where it is known by its Anglicized name, Hoppers. Appam has many variations – ingredients (like honey and egg) could be added to its batter.

  • Fermented bean curd

Both fermented bean curd and tofu are often used as condiment in East Asian cuisine. They’re made from soybeans fermented in salt, rice wine, and sesame oil.

All these are also great sources of probiotics, and they are very healthy, with great nutritional qualities. If you cook them, you'll get the benefits of getting minerals and vitamins in a bioavailable form. If you don't cook them you'll get the above plus the health benefits of good bacteria.

Labneh - Strained Yogurt
Labneh - Strained Yogurt | Source

More Probiotic Foods

This list is by no means complete. It is a good starting point with if you’re planning to add more probiotics (and probably, prebiotics) in your diet, or just improve digestion and absorption of mineral and vitamins, and proteins. Check this article for a more comprehensive list with probiotic foods.


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    • the rawspirit profile image

      Robert Morgan 2 years ago from Hutchinson Island, FL - Myrtle Beach, SC - Scottsdale AZ

      Great article. I was a raw vegan for many years and I could not have survived without fermented and cultured foods. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Dini 3 years ago

      I was feeling very sick with a cold and genittg ready to hunker down for a few days. Kristina gave me this fermented garlic and bee pollen to mix with raw honey. I started eating it at noon. I had about 4 more teaspoons by evening. The next day I woke up feeling much better. I continued the fermented garlic the next day. By the evening I was felt completely healthy again. The fastest cure to a common cold I have experienced. It worked like magic! *beam*

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 3 years ago from New Zealand

      Great hub. You have covered it all very well as usual. Will pin it on my Health and Aging board.