Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is made from fermented chopped cabbage wherein you can add spices if you like. It is also known as “sour cabbage” and is one of the most common and oldest forms of preserving cabbage.
Fermentation is an ancient method of preserving food. What’s so special about the fermentation process is that it produces probiotics. These probiotics are what give sauerkraut most of its health benefits.
What are Probiotics?
Also known as the “good bacteria”, they are living microorganisms that are beneficial to your body. They colonize the “bad bacteria” thus maintaining a healthy balance of organisms.
Most of these good bacteria are already present in your body, particularly your guts. They are also present in some of the foods we eat like sauerkraut, kimchi, and dairy products. Many probiotic supplements are now available in the market too.
Probiotics are credited for a variety of health benefits. Since most of them reside in your guts, probiotics are known for improving your digestion. Another major health benefit is their immune-boosting property which helps fight inflammation and other illnesses.
If you’re aiming for a specific health benefit, make sure you are taking in the right probiotic strain. Unknown to many, probiotic strains vary in functions and benefits. Taking a strain targeted for diarrhea might not help with your acne or allergy and vice versa.
Take Bionaze for example. It’s a probiotic supplement formulated with two cutting-edge strains: BLIS K12 and Bl-04. These strains are especially targeted for ear, nose, throat, and mouth issues. Thus it works best if you have halitosis, post-nasal drip, and sore throat among others. For health issues concerning other parts of your body, you might not feel much of its effects.
Do your own research on what probiotic strain you need. This will help you maximize the effects of probiotics, both from foods and supplements.
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Here are some of the health benefits that you can get from eating Sauerkraut.
Can Help You Have A Healthier Digestive System
There are now several studies that show probiotics are healthy for the gut. Naturally, we have thousands of bacteria that live in our bodies. The probiotics that sauerkraut produced can help you fight against toxins and harmful bacteria.
Aside from the probiotics that sauerkraut can give, it is also rich in fiber. Because of this, it helps you have a regular and smooth bowel movement.
Sauerkraut also helps you avoid having constipation and excessive gas on your abdomen.
Can Help You Have A Healthier Heart
Research shows that probiotics can help in lowering the LDL or the “bad” cholesterol in our body. Since Sauerkraut has lots of probiotics, it can help you have balanced cholesterol. Therefore, preventing you from having heart ailments such as heart attacks.
Moreover, vitamin K2 is also found in Sauerkraut. Vitamin K2 prevents calcium deposits to accumulate in the arteries. Thus, it aids in reducing heart diseases.
Also, some study shows that eating food rich in vitamin K2 lowers the risk of dying from heart disease.
Beneficial to Eye and Skin
Aside from fiber, Sauerkraut also contains carotenes and vitamin A.
Both carotene and Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant and helps to remove toxins from the body.
With this, it helps your skin to slow down the appearance of wrinkles and blemishes. Thus, keeping your skin looking young and healthy.
Moreover, eating Sauerkraut keeps your eye healthier and undamaged. Study shows that people who eat Sauerkraut has a lower chance of cataract formation.
Beneficial to Brain and Mental Health
There’s still a debate between the fascinating relation of the gut and the brain. Researchers believe that your digestion can affect your nervous system functions and moods.
Research shows that probiotics can be also used as natural remedies for mood problems. Because of the probiotics, Sauerkraut can help alleviate your anxiety and depression.
However, enzymes in Sauerkraut may interact with some medicines used to treat depression. So, it’s still best to ask your doctor first if adding sauerkraut to your diet is allowed while taking your prescribed medications.
Can Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin C can also be found in sauerkraut. In fact, sauerkraut is very rich in Vitamin C, which is essential to a healthy and strong immune system.
Vitamin C helps in producing white blood cells that are needed to boost your immune system. It also aids in cellular repair and regeneration that makes you recover faster when you get sick.
Moreover, the probiotics that sauerkraut contains help prevent allergies and infections.
Has Anti-inflammatory Properties
Sauerkraut also has certain organic compounds that work as anti-inflammatory agents. An example of this is the phytonutrient antioxidant found in Sauerkraut.
This antioxidant acts as an anti-inflammatory agent that reduce the pain of joints, muscles, and other inflamed areas.
Can Lower Your Risk of Having Cancer
Researchers also believe that sauerkraut can prevent cancer. Study shows that its enzymes prevent developing and spreading of cancer cells.
This is because cabbages contain antioxidants that reduce the risk of certain cancers.
Although there are a few studies that show sauerkraut has anti-cancer properties, further research is still a must.
Are There Side Effects to Eating Sauerkraut?
Generally, Sauerkraut has many health benefits. However, despite all these, sauerkraut has a very high sodium content.
This can be dangerous especially for those who have cardiovascular and renal problems.
It’s better to seek medical advice about an appropriate level of sauerkraut consumption to avoid health problems in the future.
About The Author
As a nurse, Franchette Agatha Jardin wants to spread to the world the ways on how to achieve a healthy body through probiotics. If she recommends something-or anything!-it’s because she already tried it!