Sauerkraut

By: Anja Springthorpe

Sauerkraut is undoubtedly worthy of its superfood title.  For centuries, this fermented cabbage dish has been widely known for its various health benefits.  Records dating back to the Roman Empire mention the use of sauerkraut to treat intestinal infections and upset stomachs.

Fermentation is an ancient technique, preserving vegetables for long periods of time.  During the fermentation process, the lacto-bacteria found on cabbage leaves convert sugar into lactic-acid.  This essentially “sours” the cabbage, hence the name sauerkraut. 

High levels of beneficial live bacteria makes sauerkraut a probiotic food.  Probiotics are known for a wide range of positive effects on health.  Live bacteria balance gut microflora, aid digestion and support healthy bowel movements. 

Sauerkraut stimulates the production of stomach acid, bile and digestive enzymes.  A healthy digestive system absorbs more nutrients and minimizes issues like constipation. 

Sauerkraut is a great addition to any diet when using antibiotics.  Antibiotic medication destroys the bacteria responsible for infections, but it also reduces beneficial gut bacteria.  Consuming sauerkraut helps us re-establish healthy microflora in our gut. 

Another reason sauerkraut is a bona fide superfood stems from its detoxifying abilities.  When combined with live bacteria, sauerkraut’s high fiber content helps eliminate toxins and heavy metals.  This eases the overall burden of toxins on the body and supports optimal immune function.  

Sauerkraut also benefits more than just the gut.  High levels of vitamin K in regular sauerkraut consumption may explain the link to improved cardiovascular health.  Vitamin K is known to reduce the risk of narrow arteries, the main cause of strokes and heart attacks. 

Sauerkraut is inexpensive, stores well and tastes excellent.  It is so easy to make that you should try your hand at fermenting vegetables yourself.

The high fiber content and presence of live bacteria in Sauerkraut helps eliminate heavy metals and toxins.

 

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