Fermented foods encourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut. When your levels of good bacteria are high, so is your immune system, which is protecting you from viral infections.
Fermented foods are created when the starch or carbohydrates in food are broken down and changed by microorganisms into smaller, more digestible components. Each culture has its own signature fermented food.
Tim Spector, a Professor of Genetic Epidemiology at King’s College London, reports that it is the variety of good bacteria that determines your intestinal health, one way of increasing this variation is by eating fermented foods.
Protecting yourself from the virus in the outside world is essential, but you can also build up your defenses from the inside. By strengthening your immune system. Your immune system is complex and highly responsive to the world around you, so it’s not surprising that many factors can impact its function. One thing that you can control is the health of the trillions of microbes living in your gut, collectively known as the microbiome. Research published two years ago shows that the gut microbiome plays an essential role in the body’s immune response to infection and in maintaining overall health. As well as mounting a response to infectious pathogens like viruses, a healthy gut microbiome also helps to prevent potentially dangerous immune over-reactions that damage the lungs and other vital organs.
Spector himself takes a shot of kefir every morning, along with home-brewed kombucha two-three times a week, and kimchi with cheese twice a week. He believes “everyone would be healthier if they had some fermented foods every day of their lives.“
Some tips from Spector for incorporating fermented foods into your diet include:
- Little and often is better than devouring a large amount of fermented food once a week because this allows you to maintain and energize the microbes in your stomach.
- Keep your diet as diverse as possible, choosing fermented foods like kimchi will encourage the growth of the microbes in your stomach, other types of fermented foods that will maintain good bacteria are:
- Artisan cheeses
- Some olives
Like everything in life, balance is essential. By adding small quantities of this food into your diet, you begin to improve your internal health.