Gobbled fridge side straight from the jar or as a tasty topping for pork; sauerkraut is delicious but also beloved as a wonder food by Paleo followers everywhere. Made from cabbage and salt fermented at room temperature for about a week or two; Sauerkraut literally means “sour cabbage” in German.
How sauerkraut is made
During fermentation, lactic acid bacteria gobble up and ferment the sugars in the cabbage in an oxygen-free environment. This helps lower the pH of the cabbage (acidifying it) and that prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria. The lactic acid from the bacteria also gives it a long shelf-life. It also gives its distinctive sour taste. Whichever way it gets to your fork, here are some great reasons to say yes to ‘kraut and enhance your health.
Benefits of eating sauerkraut
- As a fermented food, sauerkraut is loaded with helpful probiotics. “good bacteria” – that make for happy gut flora and help improve nutrient absorption.
- As a high-density source of probiotics, a daily dose of sauerkraut helps keep the digestive process running smoothly. It stimulates peristaltic movement of the intestines and prevents constipation, while helping to eliminate harmful parasites as well.
- The fermentation process enhances cabbage’s protective properties. Including the production of isothiocyanates, compounds that have been shown to prevent some kinds of cancer growth.
- Sauerkraut also contains glucosinolates. Which activate the body’s antioxidant enzymes, as well as flavonoids, which protect arterial walls from oxidative damage.
- Its primary ingredient, cabbage, also offers a bevy of health benefits. For starters, it’s high in vitamins A and C.
- Like other cruciferous vegetables, studies have shown cabbage helps protect against some types of cancer.
- Diets rich in crucifers like cabbage may also offer cardiovascular disease prevention.
- Sauerkraut can help with weight loss. Its high lactobacillus content helps keep the appetite under control by lowering blood sugar levels.
From its zippy taste to the barrel of health benefits it delivers after we eat it; ‘kraut does a body good in so many ways. While most commercially sold sauerkraut has lost much of its beneficial bacteria. A healthier option is to purchase it freshly made or give making your own a try. You can add shredded carrots, beets or mix several cabbages (including white or red) to add variety and taste. Also look at throwing in garlic, onions and apples or caraway seeds. With all it can do for our vitality and well-being, you might just add sauerkraut to your list of Paleo favorites.