Sauerkraut (or fermented cabbage) has been valued for its health-giving qualities and delicious taste since the Romans in the 3rd Century BC.
Lacto-fermentation has many benefits for vegetables beyond preservation and storage. Numerous studies have confirmed that sauerkraut is a superfood and are proving its worth.
You may be tempted not to make it, but commercially prepared sauerkraut or pickles are pasteurized for storage and transport.
This process, along with the sodium benzoate, commonly used as a preventative, kills all beneficial bacteria produced during fermentation. Thus, this superfood can no longer be consumed for health reasons.
It’s fun to make your sauerkraut at home. You will need a wholly organic, raw cabbage, sea salt or Celtic, a croc, and a knife/food processor. That’s it!
Sauerkraut has many health benefits.
Numerous studies have confirmed that sauerkraut is a great source of lactic acid bacteria. This includes lactobacillus Plantarum and Brevis, as well as new species.
These good bacteria provide the following benefits:
- Encourage healthy intestinal flora growth.
- Make useful enzymes to improve digestion and assimilation.
- Normalize stomach acidity (increase it if it is too low, decrease it if it is too high).
- Large amounts of choline are produced, which aids in the metabolism of fats.
- Sauerkraut is a great remedy for constipation because it produces acetylcholine. This helps lower blood pressure, promotes good sleep, and stimulates intestinal peristalsis.
- Sauerkraut can also be used to detoxify the liver in phase II.
Fermented vegetables make a great side dish to any meal and are especially good for meat and fish because of their digestive-enhancing properties.
Sauerkraut and other lactofermented vegetables can have a strong flavor, so you may not like them as a condiment. Instead, add some to your casserole or stir-fry just before you serve. You should not heat the food too much or kill the beneficial bacteria.
It is a great way to introduce healthy food to fussy children. Add a teaspoon of sauerkraut juice into soups, stews, or smoothies. Then increase the amount. After they have gotten used to the sauerkraut’s tangy flavor, you can add a few more strands.
As a Naturopath, I have seen many chronic cases of digestive problems and recurrent upper airway infections resolved by switching to a traditional, nutritionally-dense diet, as Dr. Weston A Price suggested, and the inclusion of lactofermented vegetables in the daily meal.