Today I want to introduce you to one of the most amazing foods, one which not only provides a unique flavor on the side of your meals, but one that also has numerous benefits. From improving immunity to reducing inflammation sauerkraut is one of the few foods available that can be termed complete.
Why consume fermented foods?
Sauerkraut, is an ancient food, originating from Europe and is made by fermenting cabbages. The principle behind fermented foods is to provide friendly microbes a friendly environment for growth and multiplication and consuming such foods aids to the health of the human gut. The importance of gut health is often ignored but a healthy gut may keep the person away from depression, auto immune, candida, colitis, atherosclerosis, cholesterol, disorders of the skin, to name a few. Such fermented foods (probiotics) should compulsorily be part of the modern healthy diet. Sauerkraut as a probiotic, stands at top in addition to the milk kefir. You can find out more about gut health and milk kefir in my blog here.
How to make sauerkraut?
One can make sauerkraut by finding the right ingredients and the right environmental conditions. While many companies use brine and colors (pink of the beetroot for example), the real sauerkraut has the color of a cabbage and should form its own brine for preservation. The fresh, minty undertone comes from the caraway seeds which also play a unique role in a key step of the fermentation process.
What are the benefits of sauerkraut?
Obesity and sugar cravings: A large part of obesity can be attributed to sugar and the damages it causes to the gut and inflammation to the body. Sauerkraut helps in management of sugar withdrawal symptoms in two ways – killing candida which drives the urge to eat sugar and by ensuring faster and improved absorption of nutrients (and thus, generating energy) which means the person is not drawn to eating sugars every now and then. Thus, for weight loss, reversing obesity, and curbing the urge to eat sugars, sauerkraut acts as a perfect supplement.
Constipation and IBS: Because sauerkraut comes with tonnes of friendly bacteria that help in food digestion, it helps in constipation and fixes the leaky gut, thereby helping with the irritable bowel syndrome. For constipation and IBS, sauerkraut works like a miracle and is a must have. Unlike yogurt, sauerkraut comes with virtually zero sugar and multiple times more friendly bacteria and stands out as a winner for correcting stomach issues.
Liver cleanser: Sauerkraut is made from cabbage, a cruciferous vegetable. Cruciferous vegetables are known for their liver cleansing functions. Liver is the most important organ of the body, with over 5000 functions ranging from protein absorption, detoxification, preventing aging and sleep. Consuming sauerkraut with meals helps directly in processes associated with liver by improving liver functionality.
Reduced inflammation: Inflammation is the root cause of disorders such as arthritis, colitis, cancer, high cholesterol, skin disorders. Consuming sauerkraut with a healthy diet helps in managing all of these.
Nutrient absorption: Vitamins A, D, E and K (fat soluble vitamins) are primarily absorbed from the gut. A weak gut will mean depletion of the above. Sauerkraut helps in better absorption of the above. In presence of adequate vitamin D3 levels, the human body absorbs calcium better. Consuming sauerkraut aids in better D3 absorption, hence better calcium absorption leading to stronger bones and arteries.
Depression: It is established that gut health has a major role to play in maintaining cognition, mood and happiness. A large part of this has to do with adequate vitamin D3 absorption that help in functioning of happiness hormones along with the signals from the digestive tract to the brain (this part of the body is called the entero(=intestine) nervous system). Consuming sauerkraut on a regular basis helps with the moods, depression and cognition.
Arterial health and cholesterol: The vitamin C from sauerkraut helps make the arteries more flexible, preventing them from damage coming from inflammation, high sugars and stress. If the arteries are more protected, the cholesterol (which is a band aid to heal damaged arteries) comes down.
Adrenal relaxant and blood pressure: As sauerkraut aids in better digestion and reduces inflammation and arterial damage, it makes the body move towards a rest and digest stage (as opposed to fight and flight), thus relaxing the adrenal glands, improving immunity and managing blood pressure better (both low and high)
Food allergies: Improper digestion and absorption from the gut can cause allergy towards certain foods. Over time, this can lead to allergic disorders such as hives or urticaria and asthma. While it seems surprising, but a lot of allergies can be reversed by fixing the gut (the other lot fixes by correcting the adrenals). Consuming sauerkraut helps in managing food allergies.
Because of these benefits, sauerkraut remains one of the best superfoods in the fermented foods category. Its a must have supplement for the modern mankind. Depending on the condition, the usage varies but as a good measure, two tablespoons at lunch and two at dinner will be good for most people if they are suffering from more than one of the above.
Looking for sauerkraut in India?
You can get organic sauerkraut in India using the highest quality ingredients available. To know more, text with your query to Ms. Rashi on 8879697681. Rashi is based out of Mumbai and has a wide and unique range of fermented foods and zero carb foods to offer.
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