Sauerkraut is like a “cheat code” to make an already healthy food even healthier. It’s good for your body, preserves food, is easy to make, tastes good, and is better for you than regular probiotics.
The best sauerkraut for probiotics is the sauerkraut you make yourself from locally sourced cabbage. This is because the heat pasteurization process that preserves normal food would actually sterilize and kill off the beneficial probiotics in sauerkraut. Making it fresh yourself ensures that you have live probiotics. Making it from locally sourced plants ensures that the probiotics produced are from the local environment you live in.
When you make sauerkraut, you are curing cabbage so that it lasts longer – as has been done for centuries. It turns out that this way of preparing cabbage has great benefits to our bodies and health, not to mention our taste buds! Sauerkraut is used as a condiment or compliment to flavor all sorts of foods. Try it and the taste will definitely grow on you!
How It Improves Your Overall Health
Eating sauerkraut on a regular basis could help you with weight loss. Like many vegetables, cabbage is low calorie. It’s also high in fiber so it keeps you full for a long time and aids in digestion. Sauerkraut’s probiotics help maintain a healthy digestive tract. It fights against leaky gut which can wreak havoc on our immune systems. Having a diet that’s rich in probiotics, like those that come from sauerkraut, keep us from becoming so susceptible to common infections.
Your brain health is critical and related to your gut health. There is more and more research being done now on the correlation between a healthy digestive tract and cognitive function. The gut is like a second brain in a way and when it is not healthy it impairs our primary brain. Sauerkraut fosters good bacteria and maintains a healthy environment for digestion, so helping our brain to process information like we should and allowing us to properly deal with stress.
Taking antibiotics for long periods of time strips your digestive tract of good bacteria and allows harmful bacteria to take over. The probiotics in sauerkraut can help repair this imbalance. It provides enzymes that can better breakdown nutrients so our bodies can absorb them better. When these nutrients are broken down into smaller molecules, they’re digested easier.
What Is Sauerkraut Exactly?
Sauerkraut is actually fermented cabbage and has been consumed for hundreds of years. The benefits of cabbage alone are plentiful:
- Vitamin C antioxidants for your immune system.
- Vitamin K for bone health, blood clot prevention, promotes healthy brain function and metabolic function. It likely even helps prevent cancer.
- Fiber which cleans your intestines and helps reduce cholesterol. This helps with better circulation and less stress on one our important organs.
- It is rich in manganese and iron, and free of fat and low carb.
- Folate, vitamin E, and many micronutrients and phytonutrients.
- Cabbage is keto friendly and can provide many nutrients you may be missing on a low-carb or keto diet.
It is essentially a combination of one of the healthiest vegetables and one of the best food preparation methods – fermentation. Foods like sauerkraut kefir and yogurt are the most popular modern fermented probiotic foods using what is called lacto-fermentation (not to be confused with lactose in milk). Lacto-fermentation is the process whereby bacteria breaks down sugars in food to form lactic acid. Lactic acid preserves food and allows all the benefits we’ve just discussed.
How Do You Get It?
If you’re wondering if store bought sauerkraut is still good for you, sure it’s a healthier condiment than others. Remember though, store-bought sauerkraut is not the same – it is pasteurized and treated with chemicals in order to be preserved. Making it yourself or buying it fresh is best.
How To Make Sauerkraut
The good news is that you can easily prepare sauerkraut on your own following these directions.
- Take one small-to-medium head of cabbage.
- Use 3 tablespoons salt preparation. Or better yet, weigh the head of cabbage in grams and take 2.5% of the weight in salt.
- Wash the cabbage first, remove the outer leaves, then shred the remaining parts with a knife or processor.
- Place the shredded cabbage in a bowl then sprinkle over the salt.
- Dig in and massage the mix for 10 to 15 minutes in order to stimulate the cabbage to release its water.
- Put the mixture in a large glass jar or mason jar.
- Fill to about 2 inches from the top.
- Use a lid or put a small plate over the jar, weighted down by a rock or a pan. (For a more elegant solution see here.)
- Cover it all with a towel and leave the container at room temperature.
- Check periodically.
- In about a month the sauerkraut will be ready!
Your sauerkraut will keep refrigerated for months, rest assured. If you don’t know how to eat sauerkraut – well, the simple answer is try it on anything: meats, vegetables, sandwiches, tortillas, eggs, and more. It won’t last that long though if you eat it often in order to boost your immune system and improve your overall health!