Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage which is fermented for a couple of days resulting in amazing health benefits. Sauerkraut is prepared under conditions that promote growth of good bacteria.
Sauerkraut is believed to have originated around 6000 years ago in Eastern and North Asia and was eventually brought to Europe by migrating tribes where it gained popularity. Sauerkraut is now a staple food of Germany and is widely consumed everyday amongst most European nations.
Fun Fact: Germans believe that the wealth they will gain next year is proportional to the amount of Sauerkraut consumed in the current year.
Hippocrates, a Greek physician, recommended sauerkraut against overweight and Romans consumed it to prevent intestinal infections.
Cabbage is a rich source of minerals, vitamins and phytonutrients. The process of fermentation is known to make these nutrients more bioavailable. This means when cabbage turns into sauerkraut, these nutrients are broken down into elemental forms such that they are more easily absorbed by the body. Dr. Natasha from Campbell-McBride states in her book “The amount of bioavailable vitamin C in sauerkraut is 20 times higher than in the same serving as raw cabbage”
Sauerkraut is undoubtedly a superfood. It is full of probiotics- live microorganisms that offer health benefits to the host. Sauerkraut contains Lactic acid bacteria which is one of the most researched and beneficial bacteria known. It helps in the treatment of any kind of stomach disorders and infections. It is also shown to enhance immunity and improve lactose tolerance. The major benefits of sauerkraut which have been backed by research are below
- Antioxidant: Free radicals are unstable molecules that the body produces in response to environmental and other pressure. Free radicals are responsible for slowing damaging cells which result in ageing and chronic health problems, such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. Antioxidants are the hero- the free radical scavengers who prevent the body from the damage caused by free radicals. Sauerkraut contains high levels of vitamins C and E as well as other compounds that act as antioxidants which is proven by research.
- Anti-inflammatory: Chronic inflammation (swelling of the cells) plays a critical role in various chronic diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, type II diabetes, and obesity. When an immune cell is attacked by a toxic element, its response is to produce inflammation. This can be done in various ways by the immune cells. Recent research has found that sauerkraut has the ability to prevent certain types of inflammation response, hence potential to protect against chronic diseases.
- Anticarcinogenic: A few recent studies have documented the protective effects of sauerkraut against cancer. The anti-inflammation properties of sauerkraut can protect against cancer which is caused by inflammation of cells. In 2005, a team of researchers in Spain found that women who consumed 30 pounds or more Sauerkraut were less prone to breast cancer than those who consumed 10 pounds or less. Read more
- Source of prebiotic fibre- Plant based fermented foods are excellent sources of prebiotic fibre. Sauerkraut is not just a probiotic but also a prebiotic food. Prebiotics are compounds that feed, sustain and nourish the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
- Cholesterol lowering effect- Preliminary evidence shows that bacteria like lactobacilli, bifidobacteria, and their metabolic products found in sauerkraut can lower serum cholesterol level thus reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases due to high cholesterol.
We don't think you need any more reasons to include Sauerkraut in your daily meals ! If you are like us and believe health is wealth, make your own sauerkraut today or order online and get digging !