Fermented foods have been prized for their medicinal value and flavor for centuries- many of the world’s healthiest civilizations include fermented foods as part of their nutritional legacy. Why are fermented foods so healthy? They contain beneficial bacteria known as “probiotics” that help the digestive system work effectively and aid in the nutrient assimilation of food. Studies have shown that optimal numbers of 'good' bacteria increase the immune system’s ability to fight disease. Probiotics may also have a role in reducing the severity of allergies, controlling cravings, and establishing optimal intestinal health.