In the past 3 weeks I knocked out 2 bouts of an oncoming cold before they became full-blown. I also did the same, successfully, a couple of months ago when I felt a bout of flu coming on.
As soon as I felt the very beginning of symptoms – sore throat, sneezing, runny nose, coughing, aches – I didn’t reach for any cold or flu medicine – no pills, no liquids, nor any juices, raw or otherwise.
Instead, I ate sauerkraut. Yes, sauerkraut! I served it from the jar into a bowl and ate it straight.
Why? Because sauerkraut is a great source of probiotics – the friendly bacteria (intestinal flora) that form the first line of defense in your gut. Probiotics are necessary for a balanced environment in the colon which is the command center of our immune system. When the levels of intestinal flora are high we are protected from pathogens, contagion, and allergens.
Too much unhealthy bacteria in your colon makes you vulnerable to viruses, ailments, infections, allergies, and inflammation (inflammation ages you faster and leads to disease). If you’re like most people you run to the store for remedies that hit your wallet and don’t prevent you from getting sick in the first place. And if you lose time from work that’s more cost to you and others.
On one occasion when I felt the onset of symptoms, I ate sauerkraut and experienced heat in my gut and slight stirring within minutes of finishing it. I knew the probiotics were doing their thing – marching into my gut like an army of liberators eating up the ‘bad’ bacteria like pacman dots. In less than a half-hour I felt the shift in my energy from dis-eased to balanced. Beautiful.
Check out the excerpt below stating how probiotics had an 80% success rate in eliminating peanut allergies:
“Scientists from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne gathered a group of 60 children under the age of 10 with peanut allergies for 18 months. During the clinical trial, 30 allergic children were given a daily dose of peanut protein together with a strain of probiotic bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosusin in increasing amounts. The other 30 children received a placebo along with the peanut protein. At the end of the trial, researchers found that 80% of the children, who had taken the oral immunotherapy treatment, could eat peanuts without any reaction,” reports the SpreadIt.
The article goes on to ask whether probiotics could permanently cure peanut allergies (and other allergies). This is NOT the way to think of and use probiotics.
Think of probiotics as part of health maintenance – NOT a cure for disease. Take probiotics regularly along with a fiber-rich diet because probiotics love feeding on fibrous foods (green leafy vegetables, fibrous fruits like mangoes, and whole/sprouted grains). And if you happen to feel the beginnings of ANY symptoms, take larger amounts of probiotics AS SOON AS YOU FEEL THE SYMPTOMS (very important).
Include probiotic foods and drinks as a regular part of your diet and enjoy their benefits for your health and your wallet. Health maintenance is less costly – financially, physically, emotionally, socially, professionally – than the cure for disease. With the right approach you minimize illness and its impact on your health, family, community, and finances.
You can even create your own fermented drinks/foods that are simple to make and probiotic-rich. Make kombucha and other probiotic drinks right in your kitchen. We have, and do. And to make sauerkraut and all you need is cabbage and salt and a little time and effort. Simple.
I also keep jars of German-made sauerkraut in the pantry for the health benefits and as a delicious complement to cooked and raw meals. Since including sauerkraut in my daily diet I am spared the discomfort of colds, flu, and irritability.
Good food sources of probiotics are plain yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, kombucha, miso, and dark chocolate (avoid ingredients like colorings, preservatives, flavorings, corn syrup, and added sugars).
You can find probiotic supplements (in pill, tablet, or, my preference, liquid form) in health stores.