If you are new to eating sauerkraut and fermented foods all together then you will want to start out slowly to prevent an upset stomach, gas, or bloating. Start with as little as 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut a day and work your way up from there. Eventually, you can incorporate sauerkraut into every meal.
What about fermented drinks such as kefir, beet kvass, and kombucha? Again, start slowly with a 1/4 cup per day.
If you notice you are not having any stomach aches or bad reactions, start increasing your serving each day.
Once your body is used to fermented foods and drinks, I highly recommend making them a staple in your diet. This will help you digest your food and absorb more minerals and vitamins. You’ll get the most health benefits this way.
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut, the finely cut, fermented cabbage containing lactic acid created through the fermentation process, is a sour flavor similar to kimchi, without the spice. It’s one of the most common forms of preserving, containing lactic acid, Tyramines, vitamins, and minerals.
Why Should I eat Sauerkraut Daily?
Due to the fermentation process, sauerkraut has other health and nutrition benefits that go above and beyond the benefits of fresh cabbage, as do other fermented foods.
The Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Strong immune system
High vitamin C source
High vitamin K source
Promotes healthy skin
Sauerkraut provides a range of nutritional elements for optimal health. Low in calorie and containing no fat, sauerkraut also features other benefits making it a decisive contribution to your diet, including:
Probiotic bacteria created through fermentation allow your body to digest food more efficiently and enable your gut to fully absorb any vitamins and minerals. These probiotics are good bacteria that defend your body against any harmful bacteria types or any toxins. These bacteria also communicate with your brain functions and have been proven to improve memory, reduce symptoms of anxiety and characteristics of depression.
Medically, sauerkraut is confirmed to have immune-boosting properties. Creating balance within your gut provides good gut lining, consistent with a healthy immune system, allowing the production of natural antibodies that will keep your body safe and protected.
Including sauerkraut into your diet after a course of medication such as antibiotics can rebalance your gut and prevent stomach irritation. Small amounts of sauerkraut provide prevention and recovery elements to its benefits list, having been recommended to recover from illness as a probiotic-rich food.
Suppose you’re mindful about your diet or weight, sauerkraut’s low-calorie. In that case, high fiber makeup allows you to remain fuller for longer, providing the potential for you to reduce your daily calorie intake as a diet aid.
Incorporating sauerkraut into your diet is only advisable as an addition to your eating plan instead of a replacement. Please discuss any diet or lifestyle changes with your doctor and seek nutritional advice before making diet changes.
What is this Healthiest Sauerkraut to Buy?
The very best sauerkraut you can eat is homemade sauerkraut. However, that’s not always a possibility with our busy lives.
There are a variety of different types of sauerkraut to buy. Where possible, avoid pasteurized sauerkraut, preservatives, and any sauerkraut, including sugars. Sauerkraut should be as simple as possible, only containing cabbage and salt. At the same time, some varieties do add other herbs, spices, and vegetables to avoid any additional sugar added to the jar.
If you’re looking for probiotic benefits from sauerkraut, be mindful of store-bought brands, as they may contain lower probiotic counts compared to fresh, unpasteurized sauerkraut.
Always look for refrigerated sauerkraut. Look for labels containing the words raw, live, or probiotic. There should be no sugar or vinegar within the ingredients list.
Buying sauerkraut in a tin or jar will involve it mixed with vinegar and pasteurized at a very high temperature leaving it without live probiotic cultures. Therefore, excluding the fantastic benefits, fresh sauerkraut has to offer. Overall, the ingredients to the best sauerkraut and nice and simple.
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Can You Eat Too Much Sauerkraut?
Your body will tell you when you’ve eaten too much sauerkraut. Eating excessive amounts of any fermented food can lead to flatulence, diarrhea, and bloating due to the small intestine unable to break it down. While it might be uncomfortable in the short term, it has no long-term effects on you or your body.
Sauerkraut has a high sodium content, so be mindful of the amount you include in your day-to-day diet.
Other Fermented Foods to Eat for Probiotic Health Benefits.
Other fermented foods such as probiotic yogurts and Kefir also provide opportunities to look after your gut health in a similar way to sauerkraut.
Some cheeses also provide probiotic benefits for gut health, easing the effects of irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and bloating. Feta, Swiss, Gouda, and Edam cheese all have probiotics to help support your gut health and be incorporated into your day-to-day diet.
Having probiotic foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and Kefir within your diet will help reduce your risk of common infections such as UTIs, common colds, and flu. To experience the continued benefits, include probiotic health foods within your day-to-day diet.
Consuming a small amount daily will continue to balance both your body and your gut.
Sauerkraut, Fermented Food and Histamine Intolerances.
Despite sauerkraut’s range of benefits for human health, it’s important to consider any medication you are taking and any intolerances you have. If you have an MAOI prescription (covering depression, anxiety, Parkinson’s disease, and OCD) or a prescription with a diet restriction list, sauerkraut should be avoided.
If in doubt, consult your medical professional.
Sauerkraut has a high content of tyramine and glucosinolates. Yes, sauerkraut also has a very high concentration of histamine, a major cause of food intolerance. Those who suffer from hay fever may find sauerkraut might heighten their symptoms.
Watch The Salt Content
Sauerkraut is known to be high in salt, therefore, I recommend rinsing the salty brine off before eating it. This will remove some of the beneficial probiotics, but not all of them.
And like always, it is best to consult your doctor before changing your diet.
Sauerkraut is gluten-free and vegan, as well as containing all the health benefits we’ve explored today. Suppose you’re looking for similar fermentations to sauerkraut. Why not consider the sour cabbage from Romania, Brevard from northern Italy, or Curtido from El Salvador and of course, if you’re ever in Germany, be sure to try their Sauerkraut as Sauerkraut is one of Germany’s national dishes!
If we’ve piqued your interest in healthy, nutritious sauerkraut, why not try it for yourself? We recommend Bubbies Sauerkraut, Hamptons Brine, Farmhouse Culture Kraut, and Olive My Pickle. To taste the range of benefits eating sauerkraut daily has to offer.
We’ve also got some further Sauerkraut information on Fermenters Kitchen, including the best sauerkraut to buy containing the probiotics and sauerkraut recipes for good gut health.