Fermented foods, which have been widely used for centuries, are abundant in health-promoting probiotics. Sauerkraut is the best among all fermented foods and is considered as the superior source of LIVE probiotics and enzymes. What`s more, these nutrients have high bioavailability due to the pre-digested state brought on by the fermentation process.
According to Dr. Mercola, who sent a sample of his sauerkraut to a lab, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”
This analysis shows that only two ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than a bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. Amazingly, a 16 oz jar of sauerkraut equals about 8 bottles probiotics.
Fermented foods provide numerous health benefits and have been a staple of the human diet for a long time now. Although it is mostly used as a traditional topping for a hot dog, sauerkraut is much more than this! Chinese laborers ate shredded cabbage fermented in rice wine more than 2000 years ago while in the 18th century sailors used to eat sauerkraut on long voyages to prevent scurvy.
Sauerkraut is obtained from pickling cabbage in a process called lacto-fermentation. It is an excellent source of enzymes which promote nutrient assimilation and improve digestion. Regular consumption of sauerkraut improves body`s ability to digest foods and it boosts the absorption of nutrients.
Nutrients Found in Sauerkraut
- Dietary fiber
- Antioxidants and phytonutrients
- Manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron
- Vitamin B1, B6, B9, C and K
It is worth mentioning that not all sauerkraut is equal. Most store bought sauerkraut is heavily treated and pasteurized, meaning that its bacteria are lost along with most of its benefits. To ensure you are getting enough probiotics, make your own homemade sauerkraut.
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe
- 5 pounds cabbage
- 3 tbsp. sea salt
- First, remove the outer leaves from the cabbage and set them aside
- Core and grate the cabbage
- Mix it with sea salt in a bowl
- Massage it with your hands for about 10 minutes so that its juices are released
- Place the cabbage in a fermentation container and pound down so that the juices come up
- Cover the cabbage, leaving about two inches of space at the top
- Cover the sauerkraut with a plate and then place something heavier on the plate to press it down
- Keep it in a cool place at a room temperature that is consistently 64-70 degrees
- After about three weeks the fermentation process will end
- At this point you can transfer it to the fridge