Sauerkraut is one of the oldest and most common forms of preserving cabbage. It has been popular in Central Europe for hundreds of years. Active and live probiotics make the sauerkraut good for the health of your digestive tract and for the rest of your body too.
What else is sauerkraut good for?
Sauerkraut’s process of fermentation is known as lactic acid fermentation. Lactic acid works as a natural preservative and has the ability to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria. It also produces beneficial probiotics that can improve the immune, digestive, cognitive, and endocrine function.
Probiotics make fermented sauerkraut good for you. Its benefits include lowering the risk of:
- Digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis, leaky gut syndrome, and IBS
- Mental illness and brain disorders
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight gain or obesity
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Metabolic conditions such as diabetes
- Hormonal imbalances
- Various autoimmune diseases
7 Reasons Why is Sauerkraut Good For You
Your biggest immune system organ is the gut and sauerkraut’s probiotics are the main regulators of gut health. Probiotics prevent autoimmune reactions and control inflammation. (1) They can be also effective in fighting antibiotic resistance, diarrhea, constipation, inflammatory bowel diseases, various infections, and even cancer.
Protects Cognitive Health
Our digestive systems and brain are connected – your mood can affect your digestion, and the health of your digestive system can also affect your brain function, nervous system, and moods!
Probiotics bacteria are beneficial for reducing symptoms like constipation, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, food sensitives and digestive disorders. They can help lower the number of bad bacteria, toxins, and inflammation within your digestive tract.
Fermented foods and sauerkraut help you in the absorption of nutrients, help manage your appetite and regularly go to the bathroom.
Sauerkraut is a traditional ulcer treatment
Peptic ulcers are traditionally treated in some European countries with sauerkraut. This is because cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin U, which can help heal peptic ulcers. Raw cabbage juice is proven to be an effective treatment for peptic ulcers, and raw sauerkraut is another way to get your vitamin U.
Reduces Inflammation and Allergies
Autoimmunity is a condition in which the body attacks its own tissues and is one of the main causes of inflammation. This is because it suspects that it’s being under attack by an outside “invader,” whether this is poor quality water and air, toxins from household, a food you’re allergic or sensitive to, and beauty products.
Beneficial probiotics from sauerkraut help regulate and increase NK cells known as “natural killer cells” that take action against food allergy reactions, infections and control the body’s inflammatory pathways.
This decreases your risk of developing chronic disease including heart disease and cancer.
Good for Weight Loss
The state of your gut health directly affects every aspect of your life! Probiotics found in sauerkraut can help regulate various hormonal functions; therefore they can have a positive effect on your appetite control and cravings.
Cabbage on its own is a powerful cancer-fighting vegetable. It also supplies dietary fiber and various antioxidants. Cabbage has phytochemicals, including isothiocyanates, sulfur compounds, and indoles. They have positive effects on lowering inflammation and protection against cancerous cell formation.
Some varieties of sauerkraut use purple cabbage which is loaded with anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are flavonoid phytochemicals which act as powerful antioxidants that help fight cognitive disorders, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
Sauerkraut Nutrition Facts
Sauerkraut is a good source of dietary fiber and antioxidants. Even a small amount of sauerkraut can give you great benefits and loads of nutrients, including probiotics, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
A half-cup serving of sauerkraut has about:
% Daily Value
0 grams fat
4 gr. fiber
2 gr. sugar
7 gr. carbohydrates
1 gr. protein
470 mg. sodium 20%
10 mg. vitamin C 17%
9 mcg. vitamin K 11%
1 mg. iron 6%
1 mg. manganese 6%
17 mg. folate 5%
1 mg. vitamin B6 5%
Recipe for Homemade Sauerkraut
All you need to make sauerkraut is simply the cabbage, water, salt and some patience! Therefore, it is one of the most basic fermentation processes. For this recipe, you’ll need 20 minutes for preparation and:
- 5 pounds shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons sea salt and
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optionally)
- Clean one head of cabbage (any color)
- Chop it into small pieces or shreds,
- In a large bowl mix cabbage with salt and caraway seeds
- Massage all together for several minutes
- Let stand for 10 minutes.
- Pack cabbage mixture into a large glass food container
- Top with a smaller lid (to fit inside the container)
- On top of the lid put a sanitized glass jar filled with water to weigh it down.
- Place in a cool spot overnight.
- Make sure the sauerkraut is completely submerged in liquid.
- Check cabbage every other day for 2 weeks, and skim off of any scum that may form on the surface.
- Let stand for at least 4 weeks. Then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This way it can last for up to 6 months.