As the spirit of Christmas hedonism dissipates into New Year’s quite often pious abstinence (low cal, low carb, low fun), it is typical of our culture to swing between these polar extremes & something, as Brits, we are notorious for, regardless of its well documented and regularly proven detrimental effects on our health.
Add to this mix a large dollop of the fear of the unknown - Hi Covid 👋 add a splash of mistrust & border control via Brexit & our sensibilities are on accelerated unsensible overdrive. In these extreme times when question marks hang over, not just the wellness of friends and family members but the future of our livelihoods and businesses as we know them as we are threatened with everything from the prospect of the rug being pulled from our ever dining out again at any moment, right through to the ultimate scare mongering; will we even make it to the next Big C?
At a time when the accessible advice and data on Covid delivers incredibly mixed messages, it’s hard to know who and what information to trust. Step up Covid’s Doctor Data, Tim Spector; one of the world’s leading gut microbiome researchers, Kings College’s Head of Epidemiology & Co Founder of Health Start-up Zoe which subsequently launched the Covid Symptom Study App.
Alongside leading the charge in reliable & unbiased Covid-19 data, gathered via the app, of which there are 4.5 million users (they were the first to recognise and report many of the symptoms and patterns far and ahead of government reports & subsequent lockdowns).
In a revealing quote to New Statesman Magazine back in February of 2021 Tim Spector says
“We’ve always tried to encourage large numbers of symptoms to be reported and this has always been our point of contention with Public Health England, which is still sticking to the three symptoms, whereas most countries have moved to be much broader,” he said.
“Clearly, they’re missing lots of cases, and it seems to me daft to be doing lots of screening of asymptomatic people while they’re missing perhaps up to a third of people who are unwell and aren’t allowed to have a test without the classic symptoms.”
This is what Spector – who caught Covid-19 himself in March last year – described as his “constant fight”. By recognising other symptoms, we could catch more cases earlier: “There’s still a feeling in the government that if they didn’t invent it, they don’t believe it.”
What do we find pertinent in all this? Well, it is no coincidence that the cutting edge start-up, Zoe, at the frontier of science based nutrition & massive advocate of gut health is also behind the leading & widely regarded most accurate data on Covid. The Zoe website clearly states:
“Generic nutrition advice isn’t working. Diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health problems are not improving. Current approaches to address them view weight gain as the problem, rather than a symptom of poor metabolic health. They also treat us all the same, when in reality our bodies are all very different.
We believe the first step to reaching your best health is to discover exactly how your body works and then retrain your biology from the inside out. By avoiding dietary inflammation and improving your gut health, our program can help to unlock energy, manage hunger, manage your weight, and reach your best health naturally.”
Alongside more generally sensible eating advice for a healthier immune system; eat the rainbow; eat less processed food; up your plant intake; included in Tim Spector’s top 5 tips for a healthier gut microbiome to boost immunity is to start experimenting with fermented foods (if you aren’t already!). He adds that including a small amount daily will really take things to the next level and that an easy place to start is with the four K’s; KEFIR, Kombucha, Kimchi & Kraut.
So there you have it - Water Kefir - not just a delicious probiotic & functional, low alcohol drink but endorsed as a weapon to fight infectious diseases by leading scientists!