The Real Reasons Your Immune System Needs Cultured Foods

Your gut is responsible For 80% of your immune system

Boosting Your Immune System

One of my favorite things about cultured foods is that they boost your immune system. Your gut is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system is.

Here's Where Your Microbes Come In

White blood cells destroy germs as soon as they detect them. However, if a viral infection begins to take hold, they fight back using a more powerful defense with T and B cells. Antibodies are special proteins made by B cells. They bind to a virus to stop it from replicating, and they also label viruses so that other blood cells know to destroy them. T cells have different roles to play. Some act as warning bells that raise the alarm when they detect invading viruses. Here's where your microbes come in . . . certain good bacteria in the gut influence the strength of the immune system by increasing the number of T cells. There are two kinds of T cells: killers and helpers. Killer T cells find and destroy infected cells that have been turned into viruses making communities. Helper T cells don’t fight invaders; instead, they are like a military intelligence system. When a helper T cell sends out a chemical message, its matched killer T cell is alerted that a virus is present and seeks to destroy it. Having lots and lots of good bacteria in the gut increases T cell production and keeps communication among all the cells functioning at optimum levels. Signals from these beneficial microbes are essential for keeping the immune system strong so it can seek and destroy a virus or infection.

Vitamins Increase When You Ferment Foods

On a daily basis, our body uses antioxidant vitamins to boost the immune system. One of the most important antioxidants for this is vitamin C (sometimes known as ascorbic acid). Studies have shown that vitamin C helps reduce cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke and improves prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. We don't have the ability to make this special vitamin in our bodies so we must obtain vitamin C from our diet. One of the best ways to do this is through cultured foods and especially cultured vegetables. Lactic acid fermentation increases the micronutrient profile of foods. Not only does vitamin C increase when you ferment foods, but many other vitamins such as vitamins A and B are also increased.1 All of these essential nutrients boost our body's ability to fight infections and invaders and keep our adrenals running at optimal levels.

Cultured vegetables are the cultured foods I use for any kind of stomach virus or other stomach ailment. The stories I have witnessed are nothing short of miraculous. On several occasions, I have used cultured vegetables and their juice to get rid of food poisoning and a nasty stomach virus. It was like injecting some kind of magic tonic that worked so quickly I was shocked. When my children came down with the stomach flu, I gave them small sips of the juice from cultured veggies and watched as the vomiting and diarrhea and stomach cramps subsided. I have personally seen it knock out food poisoning within a few hours. The special bacteria in cultured veggies called Lactobacillus plantarum binds to the mucosal lining of the gut preventing the adhesion and translocation of pathogens. It steals the nutrients that pathogens need to survive, and the pathogens then die and pass out of the body. This reduces pathogen growth that can also lead to reducing any circulating endotoxins. Having too many endotoxins can cause the immune system to weaken which can cause infections and inflammation. Cultured veggies work wonders on strengthening the immune system and fighting those pathogens.

Sugar Lowers Your Immune System By 75%

One of the things that can affect your immune system is eating sugar. This is the reason people get sick during the holidays. Many people have way too much sugar during the holidays and it lowers our immune system's ability to keep us well. Let's talk about this as it relates to vitamin C. In the 1970's, Dr. Linus Pauling (one of the greatest researchers in the field of microbiology) discovered that vitamin C helps the body combat the common cold. But what he also found was how sugar can do the opposite.

Let's say you decide to have a sugary treat. Maybe you decide to have something like a big piece of cake, or some cookies, or a large glass of soda. Any of these would be enough to get your blood sugar to rise. As your blood sugar starts to rise from the sugar and gets to 120 units or above, the white blood cells start to lose their ability to absorb and fight infections.

Your Cells Think Sugar Is Vitamin C

Vitamin C is used by white blood cells to engulf and absorb viruses and harmful bacteria. White blood cells need to contain 50 times the concentration of vitamin C as would normally be found in the blood around it. Sugar, or glucose, has a very similar chemical structure to vitamin C; so when you eat sugar, your cells hungrily take in the sugar thinking it is vitamin C.[2],[3] The 50% concentration of vitamin C in your cells starts to drop and your immune system's ability to fight a virus is reduced by 75%. It can take four to six hours for the vitamin C concentration in the white blood cells to go back to the normal concentration and to be able to function at the highest level again. So it's not a great idea (especially if you're sick) to eat any kind of sugar, because the white blood cells can't get past the sugar to do their job.

Cultured Foods Boost Your Immune System

Having lots of vitamin C in your diet is a great way to keep your immune system healthy. One cup, or the juice, of cultured cabbage can have as much as 700 milligrams of vitamin C, while un-fermented cabbage only has 70 milligrams of vitamin C. Impressive, right?! There are many reasons your body needs cultured foods besides the fact that the vessel you live in contains 100 trillion bacteria. You have more bacteria than human cells in your body, so eating probiotic cultured foods is a no-brainer. These are some of the most powerful reasons you need to eat cultured foods to help boost your immune system. I'm not just giving you facts and figures; I have actually lived these results and seen so many others do the same. They work, they do the job, and you will receive the benefits. It will make you a believer. Eat your cultured foods. We have a lot to choose from such as kefir, kombucha, yogurt, natto, kefir soda, and cultured vegetables. They talk to your immune system and keep you strong.

Listen To My Podcast

One of my favorite things about cultured foods is that they boost your immune system. Your gut is responsible for 80 percent of your immune system. The more good bacteria you have, the better your immune system is. Find out how to stay healthy during cold and flu season and keep your immune system strong!

References I talked about:


  1. Evaluation of lysine and methionine production in some Lactobacilli and yeasts. International Journal of Food Microbiology. Odunfa et al.

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