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Sauerkraut for Health Benefits

Updated: Nov 24, 2018



Sauerkraut for good health

Did you know that you can use Sauerkraut for health benefits? People have been making Sauerkraut for thousands of years because of the health benefits of fermented vegetables. Research shows that Sauerkraut can help you in many ways, and it actually tastes good too. It is always best to make your own Sauerkraut, however if you don't have the time do your research and make sure you buy a brand that is organic and has no nasties added to it. Also remember Sauerkraut is high in salt, however it's the good salt i.e. sea and Himalayan, not the commercial bought salt.

To make your own sauerkraut for health benefits try this recipe:

You can use both red or green cabbage.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cabbage

  • 1-3 TBL Salt (not table salt use Himalayan pink salt or sea salt)

  • Sterilised glass jars with airlock lids

Method:

  • Slice the cabbage thinly and rub salt into the sliced cabbage. Keep one large leaf of the cabbage for the fermenting process.

  • Pound the cabbage for about ten minutes or until you see the juice form a brine and completely cover the cabbage (you can use a potato masher)

  • Place the cabbage and juice into the jars

  • Cut a circle out of your cabbage leaf to cover the mixture in the jar - this will help it stay submerged in the water. You will need to place a weight on top of the cabbage leaf to keep it weighted down. Remember to sterilize the weight

  • Cover the mouth of the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar

  • Over the next few days press the cabbage mixture down

  • If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of sea salt or Himalayan salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage. Do this for at about 2 weeks at room temperature until you are happy with the flavour

  • Once finished secure with a tight lid and store in the fridge. When opening release the lid slowly!

FERMENTATION PROCESS

As your sauerkraut ferments a microbial process creates lactic acid and probiotics (the good gut bacteria). Sauerkraut is made by a process called lacto-fermentation, in other words healthy bacteria (the same in yoghurt and other cultured products) is present on the surface of the cabbage and when submerged in brine, the bacteria start converting sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid. This natural preservative stops the growth of harmful bacteria.

As someone who has had Crohn's Disease for nearly twenty years I know that keeping your gut healthy with probiotics is an important part of keeping well. Sauerkraut is full of probiotics. I keep a jar in the fridge and use it as a side dish (don't heat it), or just have a couple of tablespoons as a snack. Sometimes I even have some before breakfast because it feels so cleansing. Whilst I am talking about breakfast, the first thing I do in the morning is have a drink of salt sole then I have a couple of spoonfuls of Sauerkraut. It's a good start to the day before I put anything else into my body.

A healthy diet that consists of salads, fish and vegetables will help your immune system.


Healthy eating

GOOD BACTERIA V BAD BACTERIA

Sauerkraut contains probiotics, which include live bacteria. Now this might sound terrible but in fact it's really good. These good bacteria can actually stop the growth of bad bacteria in your gut. This can aid in digestion, improve overall gut health, and relieve symptoms of an upset stomach as well as other bowel problems. Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disease (our body is fighting itself) so good gut health can assist to improve your immune system.


Sauerkraut in jar

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SAUERKRAUT

Sauerkraut is high in fibre which can help reduce the risk of heart disease by bonding together with cholesterol and fat in the body and then eliminating out of the body. The fermented vegetable also contains vitamin C, K and iron which helps increase energy.