The All Powerful Sauerkraut!
So It seems that I am the last person on the planet to know about the AMAZING health benefits of Sauerkraut.
To be 100% honest our dog got really sick this week and we were researching how to help him out without having to spend a fortune at the vet's office. We kept reading that the dogs health and overall well being started off with how his gut was, and what was going on in his digestive track. JUST LIKE PEOPLE. And the way to make sure that your gut is healthy is probiotics!
One of the easiest, and least expensive ways to get billions of these things in you a day is with eating fermented foods like Sauerkraut.
Here is a link to a REALY interesting article I found about the science of probiotics, mental health, gut health, becoming healthier.
In a much shorter intro to the benefits of Kraut, here is the gist of it from another article I read pertaining to people as well as animals:
History of Sauerkraut
Although many people think of sauerkraut as a German invented foodstuff, its true origins are thought to be ancient China. The Chinese have been fermenting cabbage since 200 BC. Over 2,000 years ago, Chinese laborers responsible for building the Great Wall of China ate sauerkraut as part of their daily diet - that early version was made using rice-wine. It is assumed that sauerkraut made its way to Europe 1000 years later during the 13th century when Gengis Kahn plundered China. The Romans carried barrels of sauerkraut on long campaigns - feeding it to soldiers in order to prevent intestinal infections. The Dutch sea faring traders ate sauerkraut on a regular basis as it could be easily kept on board ship, do not require refrigeration and helped to prevent scurvy due to its high vitamin C content. Captain James Cooke followed the example of the Dutch sailors.
Active Ingredients in Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is a dense source of a wide range of benefical lactic acid bacteria. The predominate bacteria in sauerkraut is Lactobacillus plantarum. While commercially produced sauerkraut does retain these valuable properties, fresh sauerkraut is higher in beneficial organisms. Sauerkraut typically contains 13 strains of bacteria and about 100 times more probiotics than most supplements while being a lot less expensive! If you are purchasing rather than making your own sauerkraut, make sure it is in the refrigerated section of the store to ensure that it contains live bacteria.
Benefits of Sauerkraut
Aids in the digestion process;
Boosts the immune system;
Helps prevent cancer (sauerkraut contains compounds called isothiocyanates which protect against cancer);
Fights E. Coli, salmonella and candida;
Has anti-inflammatory properties (inflammation can cause some cancers);
High in Vitamin A, B, C and E;
High in Minerals calcium and magnesium, folate, iron, potassium, copper and manganese;
High in phytonutirent antioxidants;
Helps alleviate anxiety and depression;
It helps generate omega-3 fatty acids;
It can help reduce allergy symptoms;
It is very low in fat and calories.
Each batch of fresh, raw sauerkraut contains different species of beneficial probiotics in different proportions. The table below provides a list of the bacteria species found in sauerkraut.
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides, - Pediococcus pentosaceus
- Lactobacillus coryniformis
- Lactobacillus curvatus
- Lactobacillus sakei
- Lactococcus lactis subsp lactis
- Lactobacillus paraplantarum
- Leuconostoc argentinum
- Leuconostoc citreum
- Leuconostoc fallax
- Weissella species
In addition, 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of fresh sauerkraut contains…
15 mg Vitamin C
.21mg Vitamin B6
1.5mg Vitamin K
If you're looking to make your own I have found a gazillion recipes online. If you're not into that, you can get it pretty much at any grocery store. Just make sure you get it in the refrigerated section and never heat it up. Also if you can find organic, and one that reads that is if fermented and contains probiotics thats even better. Trader Joe's has one that's cheap and tastes great.
So that's it from me about this. Eat your Kraut. Have your Kombucha, a little Kefir, maybe some yogurt, and start to heal yourself. My new habits (and my husband, and my dogs') start TODAY!!!