Did you know that you are home to trillions of microbes? Yes, beneficial bacteria in your small intestine and colon help to keep you healthy. And these good microbes keep the bad guys at bay by outnumbering them and keeping them in their place. So you’d be in serious trouble without them.
But it’s really easy to lose our intestinal balance. More than ever before, people are being plagued with gut issues. Antibiotics, stress, and a host of other reasons can change our gut health. That’s why probiotics are a popular remedy today.
What does this have to do with sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a probiotic. How do probiotics help us? They contain live cultures of bacteria that are very similar to the strains of healthful bacteria that live in our gastrointestinal tract. They introduce beneficial bacteria into our gut where they go to work to push out pathogens and repopulate our intestinal tract with good bacteria.
One of the best ways to make sure you have good bacteria levels in your body is to consume fermented foods.
There are many probiotic and fermented foods to choose from, but let’s discuss sauerkraut. Sauerkraut (which means sour cabbage in German) is a delicious probiotic that is very essential in helping to keep your digestive tract balanced. It is made of finely shredded and salted cabbage. Where I live, it’s popular on a chili dog. But its benefits are more than a tangy and delicious topping on a sandwich.
What Are the Benefits of Sauerkraut?
Powerhouse of Vitamin C & K :
When cabbage is fermented, the vitamin C and antioxidant levels are greatly enhanced. The average level of vitamin C in raw cabbage is about 60 mg per cup, but when fermented the level shoots up to around 700 mg! It’s also an excellent source of vitamin K – one serving provides 85 percent of the daily required amount your body needs!
It’s amazing that microbes can remove pesticides from our vegetables. This is a blessing for people who can’t afford or find organic produce. The healthy bacteria L Plantarum helps remove pesticides from non-organic vegetables.
We all know that sugar damages the gut and causes inflammation in our bodies. Sauerkraut helps with sugar cravings. It helps the body keep candida in its proper place so that it doesn’t allow for an overgrowth. Candida drives the urge to eat sugar, so sauerkraut helps with sugar cravings.
Because sauerkraut is loaded with friendly bacteria, it helps in the digestion process. Therefore, if you have diarrhea or even constipation, sauerkraut can help balance these conditions.
Sauerkraut is made from cabbage. Cabbage is known for its liver cleansing properties. By eating sauerkraut with meals, you are helping to enhance liver function. And you only need to eat one spoonful to reap enormous benefits.
It has been discovered that gut health affects your mood and happiness. When you eat fermented foods, it helps with depression and mood swings. In fact, probiotic foods are now being explored by science and medicine as a viable ingredient in the successful treatment of mood disorders. Imaginee a doctor telling her sad patient to grab a jar of sauerkraut on the way home!
When our food is not digested and absorbed properly, over time allergies can manifest. Many allergies can be reversed when we fix our digestion by eating fermented foods. Consuming sauerkraut helps in managing food allergies.
Caution When Eating Fermented Foods
If you are eating sauerkraut for the first time, it’s best to take it slowly and only eat small portions. Too much can cause a healing crisis. Start with a teaspoon at first and see how your body responds before eating larger amounts.
Caution When Buying Sauerkraut
When you are buying sauerkraut, don’t make the mistake of buying it off the shelf in your grocery store. You want to go to the refrigerator section to buy fermented sauerkraut. The ones on the store shelf is processed with vinegar, and this is not the sauerkraut you want for good probiotic activity.