Table of Contents
What is sauerkraut?
Krauts are fermented vegetables that can be made from different foods. Traditionally, sauerkraut has been made with cabbage, but you can also make it with other types of crops such as beetroot or garlic.
The process of fermentation uses bacteria to break down the fruits and veggies into healthy digestive juices and chemicals. The result is a flavorful treat that packs a lot of health benefits.
First, let’s talk about why sauerkraut is good for us. Healthy gut skills! About 80% of our immune function is located in the intestinal wall, called the gut-brain axis. Everything your stomach contains plays a role in how your brain functions.
If you have inflammation anywhere in your body, then there could be consequences for your overall health and functioning. That includes pain, bloating, and reduced appetite.
Making a few servings of sauerkraut will help reduce symptoms of mild inflammatory conditions like IBS and ulcerative colitis. By helping reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal system, it may help improve related symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and irritability.
It also helps kill ‘bad’ bacteria in your digestive system. Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements.
Researchers are still studying probiotic strains and their effects on health. But so far, studies show that they may help decrease numbers of bad bacteria, enhance weight loss
Why is sauerkraut good for your health?
There are many ways in which eating sauerkraut can help to keep you healthy. First, by introducing it into your diet regularly, you can support the balance of bacteria in your digestive system. This will also help with weight loss as you feel fuller longer due to all the nutrients that you consumed.
Second, since it is high in fiber, drinking lots of it may help reduce cholesterol and aid in regular digestion.
Third, by feeding the probiotics (good bacteria) in sauerkraut into your system, you can enjoy its health benefits. Probiotics help protect against bacterial infections, maintain gut health and function, and have been linked to several other health benefits.
Fourth, studies show that people who eat a lot of soy produce similar benefits.
Finally, research suggests that sauerkraut may offer protection from cancer. However, this benefit appears to be limited to certain cancers and types.
What is fermented?
The term “fermented” means process, like you would make cheese or wine.
There are many ways to ferment foods.
Some of them may surprise you!
The most common way people experience fermentation is in beer. Brewing has been done since pre-historic times and was one of the first ways humans experimented with food processing.
Next time you’re at the grocery store, check out the brands that say they contain no additives or enzymes! Many sport names such as Leinenkugel’s and Hofmann’s boast this fact.
These two breweries were founded over 150 years ago and still operate under the same family ownership today.
Families also own other brewery companies such as AnheuserBusch (AB) and MillerCoors (MCC). These three company’s share similar products but both AB and MCC produce lager beers while B sells lighter, more floral ales.
In recent years, craft brewers have increased production of unique and innovative recipes – proof that creativity is not just part of founders’ startups, it is actually cultivated for everyone’s benefit.
The benefits of probiotics
Probiotics are live microorganisms that can be consumed through fermented foods or supplements. Many studies have shown that consuming probiotics may improve health in many ways.
Foods rich in these organisms include sauerkraut, kefir, soy sauce, beer, and tempeh. Probiotic supplements are available over-the-counter at most grocery stores.
There is no one specific strain or type of bacteria that must be treated; any product with this symbiotic organism is what we call “probiotic”.
Studies show that certain probiotic strains can help reduce symptoms of diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gastritis, ulcer disease, and liver inflammation. Other strains play roles in promoting immune function and preventing infection.
A review of 9 studies found that probiotics from 1 to 2 billion CFUs reduced symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Another study conducted over 6 months reported improvements in both severity and frequency of abdominal pain and shortness of breath in people with mild asthma.
Another trial led by investigators at the University of Maryland found that supplementing a healthy diet with 5 to 8 grams of bifidobacterium per day improved insulin resistance. Yet another group from Seoul, South Korea, taught nurses how to deliver oral diets to patients with upper GI disorders and estimate dosage. They discovered that individuals who received trained nurse follow
Sauerkraut helps balance the bacteria in your digestive system
Recent research suggests that sauerkraut may be more than just good tasting food– it may help keep you healthy!
That’s because this traditionally fermented vegetable contains several compounds that benefit your health.
One of these compounds is called lactobacillus, which promotes healthy digestion.
As we get older, our bodies create less acid from fermentation. This can affect the effectiveness of digesting proteins and fats.
By balancing the bacterial environment in your gut, sauerkraut contributes to better overall health.
It also has been used for hundreds of years to treat gastritis, inflammation of the stomach wall. It also improves symptoms of bowel disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
It is a good source of histamines
Certain foods can induce symptoms of IBS, including tomatoes, beans, peanuts, wheat, and carrots. One type of food that seems to cause problems for people with IBS is sauerkraut.
Histamines are compounds found in certain plants that may produce symptoms of IBS after eating them.
Sauerkraut contains high levels of histamine. Cooking releases more of the compound than raw sauerkraut. With higher concentrations of histamine, people with IBS tend to feel worse after eating it.
In one study, 88% of participants were diagnosed with IBS. They consumed 1 kg (2.2 lb) of fresh sauerkraut per day for two weeks. No adverse effects were seen.
However, some individuals may be tolerant to this treatment. Histamine tolerance means they have built up an immunity to its effects. Only those without pre-existing sensitivities or intolerances would benefit from this treatment.
Another way sauerkraut helps promote bowel health is by boosting the intestinal flora. “Good” bacteria grow when you eat probiotics such as sauerkraut. This makes for a healthy gut ecosystem.
Can I eat sauerkraut?
Sauerkrauts are fermented foods that contain living microorganisms which help make products like lebkuchen, kimchi, and ginger beer more nutritious.
More importantly, though, is the fact that these cultures produce lactic acid. This natural compound has several health benefits, including anti-cancer effects.
Traditional sauerkraut is made with brined cucumbers–but you can make it with any type of vegetable or fruit that cooks down into a thick puree. Kimchi, another Korean dish, is similar to sauerkraut, but it’s spicy instead of salty.
These food things aren’t just delicious snacks; they’re medicine. -Harvey Dent
How can I store sauerkraut?
If you bought fresh, packaged sauerkraut from your grocery or health-food store, it should already be stored (see tips below).
If not, then choose your favorite brand—and make sure it’s produced in Germany according to government safety standards.
Either way, you will still enjoy eating this wonderful flavor of cabbage!
Sauerkraut is highly nutritious and provides both prebiotic fiber and probiotics. Both balance blood glucose levels, help maintain digestive health, and are necessary for good gut bacteria.
It also has anti-cancer effects. In fact, recent research suggests that sauerkraut may reduce the risk of certain cancers including colon cancer.
This protective effect seems to apply particularly to gastrointestinal cancers. Making changes to your diet is an easy way to improve your overall health.
These recipes use ingredients available at all seasons. There’s nothing special you need to prepare them during the right months.
Techniques for making sauerkraut
Making your own sauerkraut is one of the most common ways to incorporate good bacteria into your diet.
Not only is it delicious, you are responsible for what goes in your body.
Manufactured sauerkrauts just don’t contain anything close to the amount of live bacteria or plant enzymes found in fresh sauerkraut.
When you make your own sauerkraut, you can control how much sugar and spices you add to the recipe. There are many different types of sauerkraut to try, each with their unique flavor.
Here are all the types that exist today:
• White cabbage kimchi — this type of sauerkraut has a milder flavor and contains no black pepper nor salt. It is made by gently drying out raw white cabbage under low temperatures and high humidity conditions.
• Green cabbage kimchi — as the name suggests, this version contains more cilantro than the previous one. It also contains garlic (mostly dried), green chili, and/or ginger if you like its spicy kick.