Most of your immune system is in the gut and there is a good reason for this. Eating food is pretty much the main way bacteria, pathogens and foreign bodies make it into our body on a regular basis. Our army of immune cells need to be on guard to decide which parts of food are good for us and which are not. As well as our own defences, there is a garden of good bacteria in our gut which occurs naturally and the key is to support this.
Fermented foods are a great source of good bacteria, aiding the digestive system to maintain its healthy garden and to protect it against nasties. Research now suggests that even depression and unwanted menopausal symptoms are significantly decreased with regular intake of fermented foods.
A simple recipe to make yourself is kimchi – or sauerkraut. This is basically naturally pickled veg. It contains an abundance of pre and pro biotic bacteria. So push aside the sugary yogurt drinks and try this instead. Just two heaped tablespoons daily with your salad will make a positive difference to your body.
Ingredients (use organic)
1 red cabbage
1 long radish (or try a handful of salad radishes if that’s all you can source)
1/2 apple (cut in two)
Thumb of grated ginger
1 strip kombu seaweed
1/2 tea spoon of Himalayan/sea salt
Soak the kombu in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
Grate the cabbage, carrots and radish and mix together in a bowl with grated ginger. Massage the salt into the veggies.
Place half the grated veggies in a large jar (try a Kilner jar or a clean, empty jam jar). Add the two pieces of apple. Place the rest of the veggie mix on top and press down firmly. Drizzle a small amount of the kombu water into the jar.
Place 2 cabbage leaves over the top and seal with a layer of (drained) kombu.
Put the lid on and leave the lovely jar on a shelf at room temperature for 3-5 days.
After that time, remove and discard the apple.
Your kimchi is now ready! Keep in fridge and eat when desired.