Why You Should Eat Sauerkraut
By Drew Canole
Almost all cultures include fermented foods in their diet. Fermented foods provide probiotics (beneficial bacteria), vitamins and enzymes that help keep your digestive system healthy and free of illness and disease. Overuse of antibiotics, antibacterials and a lack of raw food in the diet literally stripes our digestive system of these vital microorganisms and nutrients.
Eating fermented food helps to replenish the good bacteria. Animal studies have shown that consuming fermented food actually kills several types of cancerous tumors. For the sake of your gut, make fermented foods a staple in your diet!
Today I want to share one of my favorite fermented foods and also an easy recipe of how you can make it yourself. This is a FANTASTIC staple to add to your family’s diet! If your kids (and/or partner) are turned off to the idea of eating fermented foods, try sneaking it into other recipes. Before you know it they’ll be asking for it!
Probiotics, vitamin C, U, K, fiber, iron manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium
Sauerkraut is German for “sour cabbage”, although it wasn’t invented by the Germans. Chinese laborers ate it while building the Great Wall of China over 2,000 years ago. It is believed Genghis Khan broughts it to Europe years later. Soon afterwards Dutch and French seaman began using it to prevent scurvy. The Polish people have a proverb that says “Where there is beet soup and sauerkraut, there is plenty.” It was eventually brought to America and became a new year’s tradition for good luck.
Sauerkraut is rich in probiotics and is an excellent way to rebuild healthy gut bacteria levels. And if you’ve been following FitLIfe for long, you know we’re CRAZY about gut bacteria and keeping it balanced!
Dr Mercola actually sent off his sauerkraut to a lab once to find out just how many probiotics it contained.
“We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”
European countries use it to treat and prevent peptic ulcers. Because it targets the gut, it can help alleviate symptoms of IBS, leaky gut syndrome, acne, skin disorders, coughs and colds, allergies, vision, heart health, digestive upset, bloatedness, acid reflux, bone strength, etc. for many people.
Your gut is the core of your body and thus your health and energy!
Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties: The phytonutrient antioxidants in sauerkraut can double as anti-inflammatories, helping to reduce pain and discomfort in muscles, joints, and other inflamed areas.
How to eat it:
Only use raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut. Others do not contain all the health benefits. Making your own is simple and cheap, just check out the recipe below. If you find it at the store, make sure it wasn’t made with vinegar. I love putting a handful of purple-cabbage sauerkraut on top of salads. You can also eat it plain or use it as a side dish.
Old Fashioned Lacto-Fermented Sauerkraut
- 5 pounds cabbage (about two heads, preferably organic, my favorite is purple)
- 3 ½ tablespoons coarse sea salt (unrefined)
- Mason jar
- You will need a crock or a large non-reactive bowl (glass), a plate that fits snugly inside and something to weigh the plate down. A food grade plastic bucket, a mason jar, or a jug are all options.
- Shred the cabbage and place in the bowl or crock you will be fermenting in. Toss with the salt and cover with some kitchen towels. Leave for 15 minutes to an hour to allow the salt to draw out the juices of the cabbage.
- Using a mallet, or whatever you have on hand gently pound the cabbage down so that it’s tight fitting in the bowl. Place the clean plate on top and weigh it down with whatever you are using for the purpose. Press down gently, but firmly. The liquid from the cabbage should rise to the top. You will want the liquid to cover the plate with room to spare within in 12-24 hours. If it hasn’t risen above the plate by that point, make up some salt water by mixing one cup of filtered water with one teaspoon of sea salt and use as much as you need. Cover with kitchen towels or a clean pillowcase to protect it from flies and dust.
- Each day you will remove the plate, and rinse it. If there is any “scum” on the surface of the water, remove as you much of it as you can with a spoon. Start tasting the sauerkraut after a few days. It will start to sour within a few days and will continue to “ripen” as the days go on. How quickly it ferments will depend on the temperature of your house. We like it after about ten days.The lovely thing is that you can stop the fermentation process when it tastes good to you.
- When it’s fermented enough for your taste, Bottle it up in clean mason jars, and place in the refrigerator where it will keep for a long time.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
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