Can Fermented Vegetables Help with COVID-19?

Fermented Vegetables and COVID-19 

The research on this new Virus

I've been watching and waiting for months to post this article. In my own personal experience and those whom I help through my website, we have all seen tremendous help and healing from eating fermented vegetables and especially when dealing with any kind of virus. I knew fermented vegetables had certain strains of bacteria that could often prevent or help when dealing with a virus, but COVID-19 was a new virus and it's hard to make a claim without research. The Health Minister of South Korea where they eat a lot of kimchi, a fermented food, quickly came out at the beginning of the COVID-19 virus to say that kimchi does not help with this virus, but months later this has been found to no longer be true.

Dr. Jean Bousquet, professor of pulmonary medicine at Montpellier University in France, and who chaired The Global Alliance Against Chronic Respiratory Diseases, and his team studied a link between countries that consumed a lot of fermented krauts (such as South Korea and Germany) and saw they had lower death rates and cases.[1] “Little attention has been given to the spread and severity of the virus, and regional differences in diet, but diet changes may be of great benefit,” said Dr. Jean Bousquet, advising people to include fermented vegetables in their breakfast.

“If the hypothesis is proved, COVID-19 will be the first infectious disease epidemic whose biological mechanisms are proved to be associated with a loss of nature. When modern life led to eating reduced amounts of fermented foods, the microbiome drastically changed, and this may have facilitated SARS-CoV-2 to spread or to be more severe,” writes the team.[2]

How COVID-19 Enters The Body

The study, published in the journal Clinical and Translational Allergy,[3] found that fermented cabbage helps decrease levels of ACE2 which is key to the virus replicating and finding entry into the body. ACE2, which stands for angiotensin-converting enzyme 2, is a protein that sits on the surface of many types of cells in the human body including the heart, gut, lungs, and inside the nose. This protein adheres to cells located on the surface of the lungs and begins to form pockets or little openings, in the organ. This is used by COVID-19 as an entry point into the body. SARS-CoV-2, (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 - the official name of the virus) with its spiky exterior, does have the ability to unlock the ACE2 receptor and gain entry into the lungs. This is how the virus begins by invading the lungs and making copies of itself.

Fermented Foods and ACE2

The exciting news is consuming probiotic fermented cabbage brings down the number of ACE2, making it much more difficult for the virus to enter the body.[4] It's amazing how protective it can be, but only raw fermented cabbage has this effect. Sauerkraut that is canned and heated lacks the probiotic power that you need to keep this at bay.

As the virus spread, many high-risk groups started to surface. People with heart conditions, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity were the ones that seemed to be greatly affected. Many people in these groups take medications that are known to boost ACE2[5] expression. So again, scientists wondered, could that protein be responsible? The research is still ongoing and there is no easy answer but they did find that fermented foods were helping many people around the world.

Kefir Helps Too!

Countries such as Bulgaria, Greece, and Romania have very low death rates due to the virus. These countries all consume fermented milk and fermented cabbage. Fermented milk such as kefir is also known as a natural ACE inhibitor[6],[7]. Turkey, another apparently low-death rate country, also consumes a lot of cabbage and fermented milk products.

Cultured Vegetables Most Important

The researchers gathered data and found that, everything considered, only fermented vegetables had a significant impact on the mortality rate by country. Interestingly, for each gram per day of consumption of fermented vegetables, the risk for COVID-19 mortality fell by 35.4%. Check out the graphs on this link to see the impact.

Geographical Mortality

The Bird Flu

The first time I heard about the power of the cultured vegetable kimchi was during the bird flu epidemic. It was a scary epidemic that hit Asia in 2005 - about 60% of those infected with this virus died. Scientists were searching frantically for ways to protect humans and poultry from this deadly virus.

Koreans have eaten kimchi for thousands of years and believed in the powerful medicinal effects of kimchi. Microbiologist Kang Sa Ouk thought he had found a way to battle against the bird flu virus with kimchi. Dr. Kang used the special bacteria extracted from kimchi to treat chickens with the bird influenza.[8] They gave thirteen chickens kimchi and eleven of the thirteen chickens made a full recovery; those in a control group who were not treated with kimchi died. Kimchi was credited with protecting South Korea from the bird flu since most Koreans eat seventy pounds of kimchi a year. Neighboring countries that don't consume kimchi, like China and Japan, were not so fortunate. They had many cases of bird flu while South Korea had no confirmed cases. It was this bird flu story that really convinced me to try the cultured vegetables I had previously made a week earlier. It was my first batch of cultured vegetables, and I had been stricken with food poisoning from a batch of artichoke dip. I was desperate to feel better. Laying in bed, sick as can be, I was thinking about this story. I then dragged myself to the kitchen, grabbed my cultured vegetables, and swigged a drink from the jar. Later that day I felt like a new woman and was convinced of the power of these cultured vegetables, and the rest is history. I eat them every day.

Kimchi and all cultured vegetables have been studied and proven to have many healing properties. The Journal of Medicinal Food has credited kimchi with the following benefits:[9]

helping digestion fighting cancer anti-obesity
anti-constipation colorectal health promotion cholesterol reduction
fibrolytic effect brain health promotion immune promotion
skin health promotion anti-aging properties antioxidative properties

With 200 strains of good bacteria, these are powerful foods that can make a huge difference in helping you stay healthy.

Hope and Encourgement For the Future

This is my heartfelt contribution to this pandemic that has everyone focusing on a virus and wondering what will become of the future. I do have to say that our desire for survival and to protect one another has had the entire world focusing on one singular thing - staying alive and trying to stay healthy and out of harm's way. I see it everywhere, people trying to go on with their lives and adapting to new financial situations and schools possibly not re-opening. I want to encourage you that we're all stronger than we know, and if you're wondering what to do with your kids this is my encouragement. I homeschooled all three of my children from kindergarten through high school. I did it when it wasn't popular and got criticized for it, and also sacrificed financially to do it, but it was one of the single greatest decisions I ever made. No matter what your situation, I've lived long enough to know that the answers will come for you and what you seek is seeking you. As the world is turned upside down, keep these foods in your fridge and I can help you make them easily. They offer help filled with billions of microbes that were designed to keep you healthy. I wish I could send everybody a jar but then you wouldn't get the great joy of making them yourself. Stay strong my friends, you control what you put in your mouth and this can change everything, it surely did for me. Check out the recipes below. 👇🏼👇🏼👇🏼

"If we are to have any hope for the future, those who have lanterns must pass them on to others." Plato

fermented Veggie Recipes and Tips

How To Make Fermented Vegetables

Here are all the basics of how to make cultured vegetables. They'll last for months in your fridge, staying perfectly preserved due to the billions of good microbes that keep pathogens out!

FAQ's Cultured Vegetables

Cultured vegetables are easy to make and only take a jar, salt, a culture, and some vegetables. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions and you can always email us too if you have more questions.

Spanish Kimchi

How do I explain how much I love these cultured veggies? The taste is so unique you'll love having a jar in your fridge.

Spicy Kimchi

Koreans have eaten kimchi for thousands of years because of its powerful medicinal effects. This  is one of my favorite recipes.

Apple Kraut

Apples and kraut are a wonderful combination and one I use a lot when I'm making kraut. Apples are a prebiotic and so you will get lots of extra probiotics from adding apples to your kraut.

Shelley's Cultured Vegetables

You don't have to add these special minerals and prebiotics in this recipe; if you don't include them, it will still taste great. Although it does give it a flavor that is irresistible!

Flu Prevention Vegetables

These are a little spicy, and a little sweet and sour. They are wonderful for digesting your food, building up your immune system, and helping your adrenals feel nourished. It is the flavor I love the best.

Lemon Kraut

Lemons are superfoods: they are a digestive aid and a liver cleanser, and they contain many nutritious substances such as citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, and pectin that promotes immunity and fights infections.

Kombucha Pot

Listen To My Podcast

Exciting research has found that consuming probiotic fermented cabbage makes it much more difficult for the COVID-19 virus to enter the body due to special properties. Check out this week's podcast to hear more.