Sauerkraut is a popular dish that goes back centuries in many countries. But how healthy is it, and what exactly does it do for your body? Learn about some of the health benefits of sauerkraut here.
The Basics of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut is German for sour cabbage. The dish gains its distinctive sour taste due to the lactic acid formed during the process of fermentation. Fermented cabbage may not be at the top of everyone’s list of favorite foods, but there are two big reasons why sauerkraut has remained a popular dish throughout its history.
First, sauerkraut has a long shelf life. Fermentation has been used for a long time as a method to preserve food, and sauerkraut offered an easy way for people to store extra food in case of a time of need.
Second, sauerkraut is full of all the nutrients cabbage contains and then some. In combination with how long people can safely keep it, the nutritional value of sauerkraut enabled people to add a good vegetable to their diet during the winter or to avoid scurvy during long sea voyages.
While we may not desperately need sauerkraut as a source of essential nutrition nowadays, this sour food can still boost your overall health and well-being.
What Sauerkraut Can Do for You
Sauerkraut can help you in the following ways:
- Increased vitamins: Sauerkraut contains essential vitamins and minerals — like Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Vitamin K, iron, potassium, and manganese, to name a few.
- Improved digestion: The fermentation process makes sauerkraut a great source of probiotics — helpful bacteria that improve digestive function. Probiotics make food more digestible and reduce indigestion and symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
- Improved immune health: Most of your immune system is found in your digestive tract, so when your guts are healthy, your immune system gets a boost. Your immune system also benefits from the Vitamin C in sauerkraut.
- Reduced inflammation: Healthy guts and a strong immune system can reduce inflammation throughout the body.
- Weight management: Sauerkraut is low in calories and high in fiber, which can help you feel fuller and reduce your overall calorie intake.
All told, sauerkraut can help you get more nutrients, fight infection and disease more effectively, and improve your overall wellness. And while sauerkraut does contain a lot of salt, these natural salts in small amounts are also a health benefit of sauerkraut.
If you’re interested in adding more sauerkraut to your diet, learn how to make your own right here at Fermentools. We’ll give you the tools and recipes you need to enjoy all the benefits of fermented foods.