Health Benefits of Fermented Foods + Fermented Soda Recipe

Susan Hoff
September 7, 2023

Learn how to make your own fermented soda for a gut-healthy treat.

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Fermented foods have been used for centuries across diverse cultures as a source of health and vitality. Their popularity is growing today, as a variety of fermented juices like kombucha are on the rise, and flavors range from sweet and syrupy to citrus-filled and savory. They aren’t difficult to find - anyone can make them with home fermentation or find them at their local kombucha breweries. 

Fermented food and drink calm the gut and provide crucial bacteria for a healthy digestive tract, enhanced immune system, and easier digestion overall. Like kombucha, all fermented bubbly drinks are great allies for those seeking to maintain and enhance their health.

This chemical transformation in which microbes, healthy bacteria, and yeast, interact with food. When complete, fermentation not only preserves the foods but also enhances their nutritional value and changes their flavor. Well-known fermented food and drink include sauerkraut, wine, beer, yogurt, kombucha, and miso. Find more information about how to ferment vegetables and how food is fermented.

Top Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Probiotic Powerhouses: 

Fermented foods are teeming with hundreds of thousands of probiotics—living microorganisms that positively impact gut health. A well-balanced gut microbiome is crucial for digestion, nutrient absorption, and a robust immune system.

Enhanced Nutrient Absorption: 

While breaking down complex compounds in foods, fermentation makes nutrients more readily available for absorption. This helps address common issues like nutrient deficiencies, weakened digestive functions, or even just a simple upset stomach.

Digestive Harmony: 

Foods that have undergone fermentation aid digestion by promoting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and reducing harmful bacteria from simple sugars or fried foods. This alleviates digestive discomforts, like bloating and gas.

Immune Support: 

A strong immune system is your body's first line of defense against any kind of illness. Fermented foods make the vitamins and minerals we consume in other foods more easily accessible to the body, keeping us resilient.

Mood and Mental Health: 

More and more, research is showing evidence of a strong link between gut health and mental well-being. Fermented foods contribute to a healthy, balanced stomach and positive mood. The better mood we’re in, the more likely we are to take care of ourselves, exercise, and manage our schedules and spaces. This is one of the most exciting benefits of fermented foods!

Homemade Ginger Cucumber Fermented Soda

Ginger and cucumber are well-known ingredients that contribute to a happy and healthy microbiome. When they’re fermented they’re even more beneficial! This is the perfect home fermentation recipe to begin fermenting and experiment with. 

Don’t be afraid to add other ingredients, like mint or raspberries, throughout the process to add a sweet flavor, or as a garnish on top. 


  • 2 medium cucumbers, thinly sliced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup honey or sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup whey (strained from plain yogurt) or a tablespoon of salt
  • Filtered water
  • Lemon or lime wedges (optional, for serving)


  1. Place the cucumber and ginger slices in a clean glass jar.
  1. In a separate container, dissolve the honey or sugar in a little warm water. Add the yeast and let it activate for about 5 minutes until it's frothy. (Or, add an extra challenge and forage for wild yeast. An unexpected benefit of working with fermented foods is experimenting with collecting wild yeast.)
  2. Pour the yeast mixture over the cucumbers and ginger.
  1. Add the whey (or salt) to the jar.
  1. Fill the jar with filtered water, leaving about an inch of space at the top. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  1. Cover the jar with a clean cloth or paper towel secured with a rubber band. This allows oxygen to enter while keeping out contaminants.
  1. Place the jar in a cool, dark place for 2-4 days, depending on your desired level of fermentation. Taste test along the way.
  1. Once the soda reaches your preferred level of tanginess, seal the jar with a lid and refrigerate. 

We recommend serving this fermented soda over ice and lemon or orange wedges. If you have it, don’t forget to garnish with a sprig of mint or rosemary from your garden.

Take a look at one of our favorite ginger juice recipes for more fermentation ideas, or check out our top fitness tips for women on the path to health.

Oath & Grind By Susan Hoff
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