Who should not eat fermented foods


Fermented foods are a great source of probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that can improve gut health. However, not everyone can enjoy fermented foods without any problems. Here are some people who should be cautious about eating fermented foods:

  • People with compromised immune systems. People with weakened immune systems, such as those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, or organ transplants, are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses. Fermented foods can contain harmful bacteria, so it is important for these individuals to talk to their doctor before eating them.
  • People with histamine intolerance. Histamine is a compound that is produced by the body and found in some fermented foods. People with histamine intolerance do not break down histamines as well as other people, which can lead to symptoms such as headache, hives, and nausea.
  • People with digestive disorders. Fermented foods can sometimes trigger digestive symptoms in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, or other digestive conditions. If you have a digestive disorder, it is best to start with small amounts of fermented foods and see how you tolerate them.
  • Pregnant women and young children. The safety of fermented foods for pregnant women and young children is not fully known. It is best to err on the side of caution and avoid these foods during pregnancy and early childhood.
  • People with allergies or sensitivities to specific foods.┬áSome fermented foods, such as soy-based products, can contain allergens. If you have allergies or sensitivities to specific foods, it is important to read the labels carefully and avoid fermented foods that contain these ingredients.
Fermented food and fruit jar. Free public domain CC0 image.

If you are unsure whether or not you should eat fermented foods, it is always best to talk to your doctor.

Here are some tips for eating fermented foods safely:

  • Choose fermented foods that have been made with good manufacturing practices (GMPs).
  • Store fermented foods properly in the refrigerator.
  • Do not eat fermented foods that have expired or have been opened for a long time.
  • Start with small amounts of fermented foods and gradually increase your intake as tolerated.


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