Ferment to Be

How “good bacteria” is good for your gut.

By Rebecca Kirkman - March 2015

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

How “good bacteria” is good for your gut.

By Rebecca Kirkman - March 2015

-Photography by David Colwell

From food trucks to fine dining, fermented foods—like kimchi, sauerkraut, and miso—are appearing on menus around town. Not only do these foods pack bold flavors, they're good for our bodies, as well.

"I've always liked the way miso tastes," says Juliana Converse, a writer living in Baltimore. "When I realized it was probiotic, I tried to eat more of it because it's good for the gut."

Fermented foods like miso—a Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans—are rich in enzymes and acids, making it easier for organs to break down food and absorb nutrients.

"When you add sea salt to fresh produce [like cabbage], you wake up colonies of lactic-acid-loving bacteria, or lactobacillus," says Meaghan Carpenter, co-owner of Belvedere Square Market's Hex Ferments, which specializes in fermented foods. "That's going to line your gut with billions of good guys that are going to help your gut break down the foods you eat."

Good bacteria also help to keep inflammation and food sensitivities in check, according to nutritionist Kasia Kines of Holistic Nutrition Naturally in Baltimore. "They help provide energy for the colon, they crowd out pathogens, [and] might support a healthier weight and a stronger immune system," says Kines.

The probiotic revolution is backed up by data, with science showing the strong interconnectivity of the gut to the rest of the body, according to Dr. Gerard Mullin, associate professor of medicine at The Johns Hopkins Hospital and author of the upcoming book The Gut Balance Revolution.

"The gut is kind of like what the brain was several years ago and what the heart was before it. It's not as sexy, but it's your inner being," says Dr. Mullin. "Your gut—it's the core of your health."





You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Open & Shut: Bullhead Pit Beef; Gourmet Girls; Food Plenty

The restaurant latest openings, closings, and recent news.

In Good Taste

Open & Shut: CookHouse; Water Song; Plug Ugly’s; L’Eau de Vie

The latest restaurant openings, closings, and recent news.

In Good Taste

Restaurant Community Unites to Propose Industry Relief Efforts

Longtime hospitality professional explains what's at stake amid COVID-19.


Food & Drink

How Abbey Burger Became a Hub for Arsenal Soccer Fans

For 10 years, the Federal Hill location has been home to the team's Baltimore supporters.

On The Town

Three Local Beverages That Celebrate the Women Who Created Them

For Women's History Month, sample local sips made by these female industry leaders.

The Chatter

Lexington Market Renovation Will Break Ground Next Week

Developers and city leaders talk safety and environmental concerns as work gets underway.

-Photography by David Colwell

Connect With Us

Most Read


Maryland Hoops, and Everyone Else, Stomachs A Sudden End to Their Seasons: Plus, an update on Trey Mancini’s health and Joe Flacco shows for Marshal Yanda’s retirement party

With Emptying Venues, Local Music Community Faces Uncertainty: There are still ways to support local artists during the coronavirus outbreak.

Local Boutiques Offer Deals and Online Shopping Amid Coronavirus Outbreak: Opening and closing updates from the retail scene.

What Will Druid Hill Park Look Like in Two Years?: As Druid Lake Reservoir overhaul continues, city leaders consider activation options.

How to Support Small Businesses Amid Pandemic Panic: As foot traffic slows due to coronavirus, owners worry about lasting impacts.