COVID-19 and fermented foods
An interesting study carried out by European researchers suggests that COVID-19 mortality rates are lower in countries where diets are rich in fermented vegetables. The paper is a preliminary report and is undergoing peer review.
Fonseca at al (2020), acknowledge that age structures, timings of interventions, employment type and housing conditions are relevant contributors but explicitly state that nutrition should not be overlooked.
What is it about fermented foods that potentially helps lessen COVID-19 mortality? Antioxidants! According to Melini at al (2019), by fermenting vegetables, you increase the vitamin C and antioxidant levels. Oxidative stress and inflammation are key factors increasing the severity of Covid-19, especially in combination with chronic diseases (Lammi and Arnoldi, 2021).
Fonseca at al (2020) found in their research that for each increase in national consumption of fermented vegetables, per gram; the risk of COVID-19 mortality rate decreased by 35.4%!!
Coincidence? Or should we be eating more fermented foods? Well according to literature, magical sauerkraut saved the aged of sailors. Captain Cook used sour cabbage (sauerkraut) to prevent scurvy.
While cabbage has moderate vitamin C levels, the process of fermentation increases these levels considerably. The bacteria create vitamin C and B as by-products of the fermentation process.