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.