HealthFermented foods: unlocking the secret to good gut health and cancer prevention

Fermented foods: unlocking the secret to good gut health and cancer prevention

Miso has anti-cancer properties. It's also worth paying attention to other fermented products.
Miso has anti-cancer properties. It's also worth paying attention to other fermented products.
Images source: © Licensor | kumacore
3:55 AM EST, January 14, 2024

The bacteria present in fermented products play a significant role in shaping and maintaining the health of our gut and immune system. They can have a positive impact on our well-being and may even help prevent certain cancers.

Fermented food is highly valued as anti-cancer food because it contains beneficial probiotics that help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the digestive system, says wellness expert and nutritionist Lauren Lepley in an interview with

These probiotics also reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system, support the production of short-chain fatty acids, and aid the body's detoxification process, she adds.

According to Lepley, there are at least three fermented products you should consider incorporating into your daily diet.


Kefir is a rich source of probiotics, protein, calcium, folic acid, B vitamins, Vitamin K, biotin, and tryptophan.

A study published in 2017 in the journal "Medical Oncology" shed light on the potential anti-cancer properties of kefir. Numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the impact of kefir on various types of cancer, including colon, breast, and lung cancer, and on malignant T cells.

Kefir can be added to oatmeal, used to prepare cold soups, consumed with protein supplements after a workout or simply enjoyed with a light summer lunch.


Miso, a fermented soybean paste available in Asian stores and supermarkets, forms the basis of many traditional Japanese dishes.

Produced through the fermentation of soy, salt, and a fungus called koji, miso imparts a distinctive umami flavor to dishes, aids digestion, and provides protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Miso paste's most classic use is in miso soup (simply warm two tablespoons of paste in water with a few dried shiitake mushrooms for a basic broth), but it is also a great ingredient for fish or meat marinades, sauces, and salad dressings.

A 2013 study published in the "Journal of Toxicologic Pathology" showed that miso inhibits the development of several cancers in animals and liver tumors in mice.

In 2020, a research team from the National Cancer Center in Japan found that higher consumption of fermented soy products, including miso, was associated with a lower risk of premature death.


Kombucha is a tea beverage produced by fermenting sweetened tea using a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), also known as a tea mushroom.

This sweet-sour drink is cherished for its health benefits, particularly its content of probiotics and antioxidants.

A surprising discovery about kombucha was revealed in the "Journal of Education and Health Promotion" in 2021. The research suggested that kombucha might enhance the effect of commonly used chemotherapy drug doxorubicin in colon cancer treatment.

Kombucha can now be found not only in supermarkets but also in small grocery chains.

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