A healthy diet is one of the greatest weapons you can add to your arsenal of protection against unhealthy aging.
However, Dr Michael Mosley shared that some foods seem to be more potent than others.
To put this to a test, he made a fermented fizzy drink, using black tea, sugar and a live culture he bought online.
Speaking on his Stay Young podcast, the doctor said: “Today, I’m making something that it’s claimed could boost my mood, improve my immune system, deepen my sleep, and reduce those niggling aches and pains that come with age.”
But if you’re not a fan of kombucha, you can opt for different fermented foods, ranging from sauerkraut to kefir and kimchi to yoghurt.
Dr Mosley said: “The idea is that as we get older, the number and diversity of our gut microbes declines, which contributes to chronic inflammation and a host of age-related diseases.”
However, eating fermented foods can help rejuvenate your gut microbes, making you feel better inside out.
The main reason why fermented foods can promote healthy aging comes down to their ability to dampen inflammation.
The doctor said: “As we age, broadly speaking, we tend to develop these kinds of inflammatory conditions.”
However, consuming fermented foods helps to stop this underlying process, potentially protecting you against a whole host of health problems.
Professor Justin Sonnenburg from Stanford University, who also appeared on the podcast, explained that one of the mechanisms that can reduce inflammation is the production of lactate.
When you eat fermented foods, they directly interact with your microbiome, producing the substance.
Professor Sonnenburg said: “We know that lactate from experiments that we’ve done in the lab can actually increase a certain subtype of T cells in the immune system called T regulatory cells.
“The T regulatory cells actually have a calming effect on the immune system so they actually dampen inflammation.”
The researchers are now planning to test the effects of fermented foods on older individuals to see if they really offer a protective effect.
He added: “We’re hopeful from the broad signature of inflammatory markers that a decrease that this would have a really broad beneficial impact to guard against a lot of these chronic inflammatory diseases.”
While there’s currently a need for more research, gut-healthy foods have been proven to boost the gut microbiome, lower inflammation and reduce pesky aches and pains that come with age.
Dr. Mosley added that all of this should help with age-related diseases.
Although you can reap many beneficial effects from adding fermented foods to your diet, doctors warn you should start slowly.
Dr. Mosley said: “If you do choose to go down this route, a word of warning, do start slowly to give your gut a chance to get used to it.”
According to Professor Sonnenburg, yogurt with live bacteria or kombucha are good ways to start.