As temperatures drop and flu season approaches, those looking to give their immune system a natural pick-me-up can opt for fermented foods and beverages. Picture: Supplied
As temperatures drop and flu season approaches, those looking to give their immune system a natural pick-me-up can opt for fermented foods and beverages. Picture: Supplied

How to fight the flu with fermented foods

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Jun 11, 2021

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Fermentation is a process that was traditionally used to preserve foods. In times gone by, when freezers and fridges didn’t exist, the fermentation process allowed food to be stored for long periods.

Recently, fermentation has gone through a bit of a revival with many studies and health professionals commending the health benefits these foods offer.

Fermented foods support your health in so many ways. They tame tummy issues, reduce your risk of diabetes, keep your mental health in check and help you maintain a healthy weight, among other things.

But have you ever thought about using fermented foods to fight the flu? I will admit, the thought hadn’t crossed my mind until recently, although it makes perfect sense.

Experts reveal that with up to 80% of the human immune system housed in the digestive tract, taking care of your gut is an essential part of staying healthy this winter.

As temperatures drop and flu season approaches, those looking to give their immune system a natural pick-me-up can opt for fermented foods and beverages, such as kimchi and kombucha, to boost their immunity.

The director at Brew Kombucha, Alex Glenday says there are a ton of different factors that influence the type and number of bacteria we have in our gut. Glenday says diet is one of the key ways to restore balance and stay healthy.

“Foods and beverages that go through a natural fermentation process, like kombucha, tempeh, sauerkraut, and certain yoghurts, gain probiotic properties. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that play an essential role in digesting food and helping to absorb and synthesise nutrients. Beyond the gut, they also assist with metabolic and immune function.

“As a beverage, kombucha has additional benefits because it keeps you hydrated and provides electrolytes, as well as vitamins B and C. It can also help with relieving uncomfortable conditions like diarrhoea or a bloated stomach. It’s also a tasty alternative to alcohol, for those looking to cut back or cut it out,” she says.

Below are the fermented foods you should be eating to promote good health whether it’s flu season or not.

  • Yoghurt
  • Kefir
  • Sauerkraut
  • Tempeh
  • Pickled vegetables
  • Sourdough bread
  • Miso
  • Red wine
  • Kombucha

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