This time of year it is especially necessary to have a strong immune system to fight off viruses. We all know that Vitamin C and Zinc are the backbones of fighting colds and boosting immunity but there are many other ways to keep your system in tip-top shape. One of our favorite ways to get a robust immune system is to consume fermented foods and drinks.
Lacto-fermentation specifically is the process in which the Lactobacillus, the beneficial bacteria on vegetables, converts the natural sugars into lactic acid which is a natural preservative, inhibiting the growth of bad bacteria. To ferment this way, the vegetables are submerged in a salt brine and the natural fermentation takes place over a specified period of time, depending on the vegetable. This natural method of preservation increases the enzyme levels of the vegetable making it much easier to digest as well as making fermented food naturally probiotic. In addition, this type of fermentation increases b-vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids.
Our gut is the foundation of our immune system and eating probiotic foods can aid in boosting immunity, improving digestion and the intestinal tract, and decrease inflammation. Eating a diet high in inflammatory foods (sugar, processed and fried foods, refined flour, etc) can break down the immune system. We need a strong and healthy immune system to not only fight off the winter sniffles but to fight infection, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and abnormal cells.
Fermented food can be a delicious addition to your immune arsenal and is so easy to incorporate into your recipes! The tonics such as Real Pickles Beet Kvass and Hosta Hill Krautonic can be sipped on or used in soups and salad dressings. Using Beet Kvass as a medicinal tonic is an excellent way to alkalize the blood, cleanse the liver, regulate digestion and blood pressure, and of course boost the immune system! The Krautonic is 100% juice from their sauerkraut and “makes a tasty restorative shot after exercise or a savory digestif after a great meal.”(1)
Pickled Beets are “delicious on green salads or sandwiches, or as a colorful side dish with any meal. Try an appetizer of goat cheese topped with this lively condiment.” (2) Also, for our athletes, beets help dilate blood vessels which improve blood flow and muscle performance. You can’t beet that!
The Turmeric Kraut is “valued for its warm flavor and health-supporting properties, organic turmeric, combined with black pepper, brings new life to a traditional kraut recipe. Enjoy this probiotic snack straight from the jar or add brilliant color to your sandwich, salad, or rice bowl. “(2)
An additional win with these products is that they are locally grown and produced, organic, and raw! So, you’re not only improving your gut through fermentation but your supporting local agriculture and small businesses. And that really makes your gut a good one.