Sauerkraut Health Benefits, Nutrients, Side Effects, Recipes, and More

sauerkraut-health-benefits-nutrients-recipes
Sauerkraut Health Benefits, Nutrients, Side Effects, Recipes, and More

Sauerkraut is finely sliced fermented cabbage. It is one of Germany’s national meals. It gets its name from the German term sauerkraut, which means “sour” and “kraut” means “cabbage.”

Sauerkraut is prepared using a unique Lacto-fermentation technique, which contributes to its long shelf life and sour flavour. Slaves working on the Great Wall of China subsisted exclusively on cabbage and rice around 2000 years ago. As a result, they used to preserve the finely sliced cabbage with rice vine in order to continue working even in the most adverse conditions.

Tartars later carried sauerkraut to Europe, where Europeans modified the original recipe. They ferment the cabbage with salt rather than in the rice vine. As a result, when the bacteria act on the sugar in cabbage, it turns to lactic acid.

According to data, Americans consume around 387 pounds of sauerkraut each year, or 1.5 pounds per person.

Sauerkraut is high in fibre, probiotics, minerals, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, and many other nutrients. It aids digestion, boosts the immune system, improves skin health, and many other benefits.

How Do You Make Sauerkraut?

The pickling technique is used to make sauerkraut. By anaerobic fermentation in brine (a highly concentrated solution of salt in water) and vinegar, it helps preserve and extend the shelf life of food. Lacto fermentation is the pickling process used to make sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut is made by coarsely slicing cabbage (excluding the outer covering) and layering it with salt. To accurately support the fermentation process, the cabbage must be completely covered with salt. [1]

The amount of salt used in the process is neither too little nor too much. This is due to the fact that it will impede the desired product outcome. If you use less salt, the cabbage will soften and the sauerkraut will lose its flavour. A high salt level, on the other hand, will result in a harsh taste, deeper colour, and the growth of pink yeast.

After combining both ingredients, it is stored in an airtight container at 15 degrees Celsius for several months.

Anaerobic bacteria (leuconostoc species) work on the cabbage at first, producing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. When the bacteria is unable to cope with the very acidic environment, it dies.

Lactobacillus species take the place of those bacterial species in order to better control the high acidity state. As a result, sauerkraut has more lactobacillus bacteria than yoghurt. It continues to ferment the residual sugar in the cabbage, producing more lactic acid.

The process is repeated until the mixture reaches a pH of about 3. When the fermenting process is complete, the sauerkraut is ready to be stored.

Sauerkraut Nutritional Value

Sauerkraut includes the following nutrients in 100 g:

  • 24 kilocalories
  • 0 gramme of fat
  • Carbohydrates — 4 g
  • 2.5 g fibre
  • 1.6 g protein

A forkful of Sauerkraut with your supper or salad will provide you with all of its wonderful elements. It will help with digestion as well as providing other health benefits. But first, give it a brief rinse to remove any extra salt.

Rather than utilising the pasteurised version, try the unpasteurised version. Pasteurisation eliminates all of the bacteria present in sauerkraut, including the probiotics.

Sauerkraut Health Benefits

sauerkraut-health-benefits
Sauerkraut Health Benefits

Sauerkraut is packed with great health advantages that our bodies require in this day and age.

People today confront major health challenges as a result of bad lifestyles, excessive eating, and snacking on harmful foods. Sauerkraut, on the other hand, is a nutrient-dense side dish that improves your diet.

Let’s take a look at all of the unexpected benefits of sauerkraut.

Aids in Inflammation Control

Sauerkraut is high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which assist to reduce oxidative stress. As a result, it shields the body from free radicals.

It also contains phytochemicals, which aid in the healing of any inflammation in the body. Resveratrol, anthocyanins, and curcumin are components of phytochemicals that inhibit prostaglandin synthesis. The fundamental cause of inflammation is prostaglandin synthesis.

Sauerkraut also contains enzymes, vitamins, beneficial bacteria, and lactic acid, all of which help to maintain the gut healthy and inflammation-free.

Increases energy and immunity

Sauerkraut’s iron concentration boosts metabolic rate and blood circulation. As a result, it provides a lot of energy and a strong immune system. Furthermore, the fermentation procedure for sauerkraut production is crucial in keeping a higher level of iron. As a result, sauerkraut is an iron-rich food. It aids our bodies in absorbing as much iron as possible.

It keeps the gut flora healthy, which enhances the immune system by limiting the formation of dangerous germs. As a result, ingesting a forkful of sauerkraut everyday can help prevent infections such as UTIs, common colds, and so on.

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Maintains heart health

Sauerkraut’s probiotics, vitamin K, and fibre levels aid to maintain the cardiovascular system healthy. It aids in the regulation and reduction of LDL cholesterol levels. Vitamin K is essential for calcium regulation in the body as well as blood clotting.

According to study, sauerkraut is one of the few plants that contain menaquinone in vitamin K2. As a result, it helps to keep the heart healthy by preventing calcium deposits from collecting in the arteries.

One cup of sauerkraut provides 6.6 micrograms of vitamin K2. According to the findings of the study, ingesting ten milligrammes of Vitamin K2 daily reduces the risk of heart disease by 9%.

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Helps with Weight Loss

Including sauerkraut in your daily diet can assist you in both maintaining and losing weight. Sauerkraut is strong in probiotics, fibre, and has a low calorie count. As a result, even with a decreased calorie intake, it keeps you satiated for longer. Soluble fibre also aids in appetite suppression and the maintenance of healthy gut bacteria.

According to another research, some bacteria found in sauerkraut assist lower fat absorption through your diet. As a result, it aids in weight loss. Significantly, probiotics are a lifesaver for folks who desire to shed weight without sacrificing essential nutritional value.

Health of the Brain

You may not believe it, but what you eat has a direct impact on how you feel. So feeding your stomach with nutritious foods will help you stay stress-free and happy. Fermented foods, such as Sauerkraut, which are high in probiotics, may help you manage stress and preserve healthy brain function.

Probiotics can help prevent melancholy, stress, anxiety, autism, and even some diseases such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). It also contains mood-regulating elements like zinc and magnesium, which aid with brain health.

Magnesium and zinc are important components that create high levels of serotonin and dopamine (happy hormones), which keep you joyful.

Anticancer Properties

Sauerkraut lowers the risk of cancer. Sauerkraut’s major ingredient, cabbage, includes antioxidants and other substances that lower the risk of cancer by neutralising the harmful effects of free radicals in the body.

Compounds found in cabbage assist to reduce cell damage. Tumors can occur as a result of cell mutation, uncontrolled cell proliferation, and DNA damage. Consumption of sauerkraut aids in the suppression of precancerous cell growth.

According to one study, women who consume three servings of sauerkraut each week have a 72% lower cancer risk than other women.

Bones that are strong

Sauerkraut contains vitamin K2, which helps to keep bones strong. Vitamin K2 stimulates the activity of two calcium-binding proteins. As a result, it promotes bone health and strength in the long run. It aids in the activation and mineralization of proteins involved in bone growth.

According to one study, postmenopausal women who took vitamin K2 had lower bone mineral density loss and fracture rates.

Skin That Is Healthy

Vitamins C, K, and A keep your skin firm and glowing. Vitamin C promotes healthy, supple skin by promoting collagen formation. It protects the body from free radicals. Vitamin A protects against UV damage by preventing collagen breakdown.

Sauerkraut contains a lot of sulphur, which is great for avoiding skin inflammation. This is due to its antibacterial characteristics as well as its ability to increase cell turnover.

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Healthy Sauerkraut Recipes

Sauerkraut cooked from scratch

8 servings Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1 medium cabbage – 1 tbsp Kosher salt – 112 tbsp Caraway seeds – 1 tbsp (optional for flavour)

Method

  • Cut the cabbage into eight wedges and thinly slice it crosswise.
  • Place the thinly sliced cabbage in a bowl and season with salt.
  • Rub the salt into the cabbage for 5-10 minutes before adding the caraway seeds.
  • Fill a clean jar halfway with the mixture, cover with a towel, and secure with a rubber band.
  • Keep the jar in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight.
  • Every 24 hours, check it and press it downwards. Place a tiny mason jar on top to weigh it down.
  • After that, add 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon salt (if desired).
  • Allow it to sit for 3 to 10 days at 65°F to 75°F.
  • After three days, taste the sauerkraut to see if it’s to your liking. If not, leave it to ferment for a few more days.

Salad with Low-Carb Sauerkraut

3 servings
Time to prepare – 50 minutes

Ingredients

2 chicken breasts – 2 sauerkraut – 34 kg Greek yoghurt – 1 tablespoon Onion – 1 medium-sized Coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  • Get a pan and heat it up. 1 tablespoon oil
  • Place the onions in the hot oil, cut into tiny pieces.
  • When the onion has turned golden brown, add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 minutes.
  • When the chicken is halfway done, add the sauerkraut to the pan and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  • When the chicken and sauerkraut are soft and cooked, remove from the heat and stir in a tbsp of Greek yoghurt.
  • Serve immediately.

Chicken and Sauerkraut Casserole

4 servings
Preparation time: 2 hours and 40 minutes

Ingredients

3 chicken drumsticks 12 medium-sized onions
4-5 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
2 pieces bay leaf
HALF CUP CARROT
2 medium-sized potatoes
a 1⁄2 cup of mushrooms
13 cup prunes
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Method

  • 1 tbsp oil in a pan, cooked in an oven preheated to 170 C. Cook for 3 minutes after adding the garlic, onion, bay leaves, and caraway seeds.
  • Remove the onion mixture and cook the chicken drumsticks for 3 minutes on all sides.
  • Cook for 3 minutes after adding the other veggies, prunes, and sauerkraut to the saucepan.
  • Bake for 2.5 hours with the lid on. In between cooking times, stir.
  • Remove the saucepan from the heat, place the stew on a platter, and separate the meat from the bone.
  • Return it to the pot, stir thoroughly, and serve.

Stuffing with apples and sauerkraut

10 servings
Time required for preparation – 112 hours

Ingredients

10 cups cubed seeded rye bread
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups chopped apples
2 cloves minced garlic
a half cup chopped parsley
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2-3 cups low sodium broth
12 cup shredded cheese
12 cup sauerkraut
12 tsp dry pepper

Method

  • Bake the bread for about 30 minutes on a rimmed baking sheet in a preheated oven at 275 degrees F. Place it in a plate.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Then, in a big skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
  • After that, add the onions and apples and simmer for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for another 3-5 minutes, then add the garlic and parsley and cook for another minute.
  • Remove the mixture from the oven and spread it on the bread. Then stir in the melted butter.
  • Mix in the other ingredients, including the sauerkraut, broth, pepper, and cheese.
  • Coat a baking dish with cooking spray and pour in the mixture.
  • Wrap it in aluminium foil ( spray one side of the foil).
  • Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
  • Serve immediately.

Sauerkraut side effects: Precautions and Things to Keep in Mind

Sauerkraut is extremely advantageous to one’s health. However, if not ingested properly, everything can have negative side effects. Excessive eating of sauerkraut, for example, may result in constipation, gas, and bloating. Sauerkraut can cause diarrhoea because it contains a high concentration of raffinose in the stool.

One tablespoon of sauerkraut per day is the recommended daily intake. To avoid overconsumption, consume it with your meal. You can even have it first thing in the morning with your breakfast, which is the best time to eat sauerkraut.

People with sensitive stomachs should avoid eating it in big amounts as it can cause abdominal pains.

Sauerkraut’s high salt content might cause high blood pressure and kidney difficulties. As a result, you should see your doctor before beginning to consume sauerkraut. You may also make it your own by using less salt to avoid problems like high blood pressure.

Conclusion

Sauerkraut is a nutritious food that provides our bodies with essential nutrients. You can benefit from it by incorporating a modest bit of sauerkraut into your diet.

It is high in nutrients like as Vitamin C, K, B6, manganese, iron, zinc, folate, protein, and fibre while also being low in calories, which can help you achieve your ideal body size. Furthermore, it possesses anti-cancer qualities as well as health benefits such as immune boosting. It also aids in the maintenance of good brain and heart health.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q.What are the advantages of consuming sauerkraut?

A. Sauerkraut is good for your brain and heart. It boosts the immune system and aids in weight loss.

Q.How should sauerkraut be consumed?

A. You can eat a forkful of sauerkraut as part of your diet, or you can try the recipes listed in the article.

Q. What is the process of making sauerkraut?

A. The fermentation process is used in the production of sauerkraut. It is a raw chopped cabbage that has been fermented with lactic acid bacteria.

Q. Does sauerkraut spoil?

A. If refrigerated, it will keep for up to 4-6 months. However, if it stinks and has a foul odour, the sauerkraut has gone bad.

Q. What are the disadvantages of sauerkraut?

A. Excessive sauerkraut eating can cause constipation, bloating, diarrhoea, and high blood pressure.

Q. How frequently should I consume sauerkraut?

A. You can have a spoonful of sauerkraut per day. Overconsumption, on the other hand, may have certain unintended consequences.

Q: Is it safe to consume sauerkraut juice?

A. You can consume sauerkraut juice. It also has numerous health benefits.

Q. Is it safe to consume sauerkraut on a daily basis?

A. It is safe to consume one tablespoon of sauerkraut every day.

Q. How can I eat sauerkraut in the healthiest way possible?

A. You can eat it as a side dish alongside your main course.

Q. What is the use of sauerkraut for?

A. Sauerkraut is beneficial to both brain and heart health. It aids in weight loss as well as inflammation repair.

Q. A dish of sauerkraut contains how many calories?

A cup of sauerkraut (142 grammes) contains 27 calories.

Q. Does sauerkraut have any nutritional value?

A. Sauerkraut is incredibly high in nutrients. It is high in vitamins C, K, and B6. Furthermore, it is high in sodium, iron, manganese, and potassium.

Q. Is sauerkraut high in carbohydrates?

A. No, sauerkraut does not have a high carbohydrate content. One serving of sauerkraut has only 6 grammes of carbs and is therefore safe to ingest.

Q. When is the ideal time to eat sauerkraut?

A. You should have 1-2 forkfuls of sauerkraut with your breakfast every day. That is the ideal time to consume sauerkraut.

Q. Is sauerkraut good for losing weight?

A. It has a low calorie count and is high in fibre. It aids in the maintenance of a healthy weight as well as the loss of weight.

Q. What happens if you consume a lot of sauerkraut?

A. Excessive consumption of sauerkraut can result in diarrhoea, high blood pressure, constipation, and other problems.

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