Too Much of A Good Thing When It Comes to Fermented Foods?

Composition with jars of pickled vegetables. Marinated food

The word is out – fermented foods may hold the key to better health. So, in an effort to do the body good, you down a bottle of kombucha, eat forkfuls of kimchi and sauerkraut from the jar, and start your day with a glass of kefir or a cup of yogurt. But is there such a thing as too much of a good thing?

Not likely, but your body may have a healing crisis as the fermented foods are extremely good detoxifiers. That means you could experience symptoms of ‘die-off’ as bad bacteria, parasites and candida, to name a few of the bad guys, leave the body.

This can cause headaches, stomach bloating, skin breakouts and even flu-like symptoms.

In order to avoid this, start slowly. Here are some recommendations:

Start small. A couple of ounces of a fermented milk beverage, a half cup of kombucha or a tablespoon, a few times a day of sauerkraut or kimchi is good way to get started.

Slowly add 1 additional serving as you gauge how your body is managing the inoculation of new bacteria.

Eventually you can work up to a serving of cultured veggies and a fermented beverage at every meal and snack. Again, the idea is to have small doses of fermented products at each of your meals and snacks.  Thinking of fermented foods as condiments instead of a food group might help.

Here are some meal suggestions that work once your body has adjusted to fermented foods:

Breakfast – a cup of yogurt with mixed berries; a half cup of kefir added to your morning smoothie; or a tablespoon of kimchi with your scrambled eggs.

Lunch – A cup of miso soup; a salad or a sandwich topped with a tablespoon of sauerkraut.

Dinner – Add a tablespoon of sauerkraut to your stir-fry; top your burger with some fermented relish; or top your potato with a dollop of crème fraiche.

Snacks – Dill pickle; fermented crunchy carrot sticks; and if you’re open to adventure, add a few cultured veggies to a berry smoothie.

The take home is this, fermented foods are great for us and you really can’t go overboard. Just listen to your body and go at a pace that works best for you.