Fermented foods have become all the rage lately, and for a good reason! Our ancestors were fully aware of their healing properties and consumed them for centuries to reap their benefits.
According to Jillian Levy, CHHC:
“Sauerkraut, a form of fermented cabbage, has been popular throughout Central Europe for hundreds of years. Sauerkraut combines one of the healthiest foods there is (cabbage) with one of the most beneficial and time-honored food preparation methods ever used (fermentation).
According to the Institute for Integrative Medicine at the University of Witten in Germany, sauerkraut is one of the most common and oldest forms of preserving cabbage and can be traced back as an important food source to the fourth century B.C.
Fermentation simply refers to an ancient technique and perseveration method that naturally alters the chemistry of foods. Similar to cultured dairy products like yogurt and kefir, sauerkraut’s fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics that are now linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function.”
As mentioned above, sauerkraut is fermented cabbage, produced in a process called lacto-fermentation. It is a method of preserving foods which dates back over 2,000 years. During this process, beneficial probiotics are produced, the live bacteria that give sauerkraut its health benefits.
They are important for digestive health, although further research is needed to determine the exact types of bacteria found in fermented foods. There is mounting evidence suggesting that probiotics help to reduce digestive symptoms like constipation, bloating, and gas.
Interestingly, there is increasing research on the importance of beneficial gut bacteria in promoting overall health, including how probiotics from sauerkraut and other cultured foods may lower the risk of conditions like Alzheimer`s and depression.
In addition to probiotics, sauerkraut is also packed with dietary fiber as well as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and vitamins C and K.
But, store-bought sauerkraut is pasteurized and treated with chemicals, meaning that it doesn’t provide the same benefits and most of its nutrients are stripped during the pasteurization process. Why don’t you make your own sauerkraut instead? Here is how to make it and boost your intake of probiotics naturally:
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
- 6 pounds cabbage
- 3 tablespoons sea salt
- Remove the outer leaves and shred the inner part of the cabbage. Mix it will salt in a large bowl in order to release the juices. Preferably, massage it with your hands for a few minutes
- Transfer the mixture to a larger container and pound it down. Cover with a plate, leaving about two inches of space at the top of the container
- Put a heavy glass jar with water over the plate to force the water out of it
- Keep the container at room temperature covered with a towel, preferably in a dark place
- The fermentation process will take about a month
- Store the sauerkraut in a fridge afterwards and consume it daily