Homemade fermented strawberry and rhubarb kombucha.

Food, Farming and Nutrition

Clinical Abstracts
May 24, 2023

Food, Farming and Nutrition

Fermented Foods for Brain Health

Clinical Abstracts
Sep 24, 2023

The consumption of fermented products is on the rise, and drinks like kombucha and kefir have become wildly popular. Fermented foods are a source of tryptophan, an amino acid critical for the production of serotonin, a brain chemical which influences several aspects of brain function, including mood. Fermented foods may also contain neurotransmitters (other brain messengers) in their raw form. Research has shown that eating fermented foods may have various long- and short-term impacts on brain function, such as reducing stress. But do certain fermented foods have a bigger impact on brain health than other foods? 

Researchers are currently conducting a large study to address this question. The team has compared sequencing data from over 200 foods from around the world, and are looking for a variety of metabolites that are known to be beneficial to brain health. Although the study is still in its initial stages, researchers are surprised by preliminary results. They expected only a few fermented foods would show the ability to impact gut and brain health, but almost all of the 200 foods showed the ability to exert some sort of potential to improve gut and brain health.

More research is needed to fully understand which groups of fermented foods have the greatest effects on the human brain, but according to lead researcher Ramya Balasubramanian, "Fermented sugar-based products and fermented vegetable-based products are like winning the lottery when it comes to gut and brain health, " and fermented foods can be a natural way of supporting mental health and general well-being. 


Microbiology Society. (2023, April 17). Kombucha to kimchi: which fermented foods are best for your brain? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2023/04/230413154458.htm

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