If you want to keep your gut healthy, it’s time to look into the benefits of sauerkraut. To make sure you consume only the best sauerkraut, learn how to make your own here!
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In this article:
- Get Your Hands in the Glass Jar and Make Your Own
- Why Making Sauerkraut Is a Good Idea
How to Make Sauerkraut and Feed Your Gut with Healthy Bacteria
Get Your Hands in the Glass Jar and Make Your Own
In this webisode, we shine our spotlight onto sauerkraut! But first, what is sauerkraut?
It is similar to kimchi and other fermented foods. Various lactic acid bacteria ferment the cabbage. The healthy bacteria that form in the food can help with the biology of the gut by soothing the digestive tract.
What Are Fermented Foods? These are foods produced by converting sugars to alcohol or acid through microorganisms.
When we think of it, we may think, “Oh, it’s another hot dog topping.” It’s time to reinvent how this unlikely superfood fits into our diets.
We have Summer Bock, expert fermentationist, here to show us the way. Summer joins us in Pedram’s kitchen to teach us her secrets to making deliciously mouth-watering, tangy, fresh sauerkraut.
Remember to make or buy sauerkraut that is raw and lacto-fermented instead of a product typically made with vinegar. That way, you get the most out of the beneficial bacteria that heal your gut!
Why Making Sauerkraut Is a Good Idea
Speaking of health benefits, let’s run through them now. Why is it necessary to learn how to make sauerkraut? These points explain why:
1. It Is Probiotic Food and Improves Digestion
It promotes the growth of healthy gut flora. This food also improves digestion and relieves constipation. It can reduce irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It even protects the digestive tract against potential diseases from bad bacteria.
People consider it a probiotic food because it contains a large variety of lactic acid strains of probiotics. The lactic acid in sauerkraut helps break down food more easily, which aids in digestion.
It is one of the few foods that contain Lactobacillus bacteria, especially Lactobacilli plantarum. It’s the “good guy” bacteria. L. plantarum can live in your gut and prevent pathogenic disease-causing microorganisms from flourishing.
Like the way icing lines a cake, it maintains a healthy barrier in your colon that helps keep the “bad guys” from penetrating the lining of your intestines and entering your bloodstream.
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2. It Boosts the Immune System for Better Protection from Diseases
It is packed full of vitamin C as well as other beneficial vitamins and minerals like those found in vegetables. These include calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium. It’s absolutely amazing!
One serving of sauerkraut (100 grams) provides 24% of your daily value for vitamin C. It also contains vital phytochemicals that are created during the fermentation process.
What Are Phytochemicals? These are naturally occurring bioactive compounds in plants, which protect them from harm. Some studies show they have similar effects on human cells.
These compounds help keep your body safe from disease. They help reduce common health problems such as skin disorders, flu, colds, and weight gain.
3. It Decreases Cancer Risk Through Detoxifying Carcinogens
Both cabbage and sauerkraut exhibit anticancer characteristics. This is according to a study published in Phytotherapy Research in August 2012. Cabbage is also found to contain compounds that may decrease lung cancer risk.
The combination of healthy cabbage and the fermenting process produces a powerhouse of benefits. The probiotic cultures derived from fermentation can detoxify ingested carcinogens and stimulate the immune system.
They also create an environment in your gut that is hostile to carcinogenic compounds. More specifically, these probiotic cultures form organic compounds that can inhibit the growth of tumors and cancer cells.
Remember to only buy freshly-made, raw, unpasteurized, and organic sauerkraut. You can probably find it in the fridge of local health food markets or farmers’ markets.
Try to avoid the canned version. It offers far fewer nutrients and probiotic benefits.
We have an even better idea. Why not learn how to make homemade sauerkraut? It’s quick and easy. You will also know exactly what’s in it and it will taste great, too!
Here’s Summer Bock showing you how to create sauerkraut the simplest way possible:
Check out the webisode above to learn Summer’s yummy sauerkraut recipe!
If you would like to learn more tips and tricks about how to heal your gut and your microbiome, watch Interconnected by clicking here!
Do you have other sauerkraut recipes you’d like to share with us? Share your favorite sauerkraut recipes in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on May 29, 2014, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.