We sometimes forget the importance of a healthy gut. Our digestive system is full of beneficial and harmful bacteria. Our overall health is improved when the beneficial bacteria outnumber the harmful ones. Unfortunately, our modern diet is mostly sanitized of the natural healthy bacteria found on organic produce and then contaminated by harmful bacteria during its processing, transport and shelf life. An out of balance gut can lead to seemingly unrelated health issues like high LDL cholesterol levels and heart disease.
It is important to get more beneficial bacteria into our gut so it can push out the harmful ones out. One way to do this is to take two probiotic supplements each day that contain Lactobacillus reuteri. A second way is to eat vegetables that have been naturally fermented, such as real sauerkraut or Korean kimchi (this tastes great as a side dish). Fermenting vegetables does not produce alcohol because there is no sugar. Instead, fermenting vegetables produce natural probiotics which our bodies have been using for thousands years to maintain healthy digestive systems.
Most health food stores sell natural sauerkraut and kimchi. Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator because it is still alive and the fermenting process is sped up at room temperature. In the fridge it will last for weeks.
More info about the clinical trials linked below,