Sauerkraut Health Benefits

What is sauerkraut? Simply put, it is pickled cabbage. The leafy green vegetable is salted and then kept in a de-oxygenated atmosphere for 4 – 6 weeks to ferment. Through osmosis, the salt draws the water out forming brine that surrounds and protects the cabbage. Vinegar is often used in modern recipes. However, with the traditional process, only salt is used and water is added occasionally during the process to increase the volume of the brine. During the fermenting process, the cabbage transforms into sauerkraut.

What Makes Sauerkraut Beneficial for You

What many people don't know is there are several sauerkraut health benefits. The root of its benefits stems from the fermentation process. Somewhat like kefir and yogurt, the process of making sauerkraut leads to the production of probiotics. These ingestible microorganisms have been connected to improved endocrine, immune, digestive and cognitive functions.

Fermentation has been used for thousands of years as a way to preserve food. Before refrigerators, people had to find a way to store food without it spoiling. The technique alters food so that it can last for long periods. The process essentially turns carbohydrates and sugars into organic acid or alcohols. The resulting healthy bacteria microorganisms keep your gut running right.

When lactic acid fermentation occurs, bad bacteria cannot grow. Health benefits of sauerkraut are possible because of this type of metabolic process. It is a natural way to stop the growth of harmful bacteria, allowing for promotion of probiotics.

Sauerkraut Health Benefits

Health benefits of sauerkraut attribute largely to its great nutrients content. Sauerkraut is rich in dietary fiber, vitamin A, C, K and B, manganese, iron, sodium, copper, magnesium, and calcium. In addition, it also contains moderate amount of protein.

1.      It Boosts Your Energy Level

Sauerkraut can help to boost your energy level due to its high iron content. Iron improves your blood circulation, increases your blood flow and increases metabolism. All of these actions increase your energy production by oxygenating cells and organs, as well as combating fatigue. The increase in blood flow makes RBC, a key component of iron. When your body's level of iron is high, it prevents cognitive impairment and headaches due to anemia.

2.      It Promotes Digestive Health

Because of its high fiber content, sauerkraut is beneficial for your digestive system. Fiber helps regulate your digestive system, thus combating constipation, undue gas and bloating. Assisting your body by helping it move your food along its route also helps prevent cramping and excess flatulence. Having good digestive health is a key element to thwarting off ailments like colon cancer and gastric ulcers.

3.      It Boosts Your Immune System

How can this be one of the Sauerkraut health benefits? One serving of sauerkraut contains 35 percent of your vitamin C recommended daily intake. Vitamin C increases cellular renewal and repair, promotes collagen formation and increases white blood cell production. Collagen is a key component to a large amount of body parts, which includes your skin, organs, muscles, hair, bone and blood vessels. Vitamin C is essential to our overall good health.

4.      It Helps Keep Your Heart Healthy

Because sauerkraut is high in fiber, it also promotes heart health. When food and fiber can easily move through your system, they can scrape away bad cholesterol and flush it out of your system. Less cholesterol in your bloodstream and lower levels in your body equates to a lowered risk of stroke, heart attack and atherosclerosis, as well as many other cardiovascular diseases and conditions.

5.      It Improves Your Skin and Helps Your Eyes Stay Healthy

This pickled cabbage is full of vitamin A and antioxidants, which can help to get rid of free radicals from your body. The byproducts from the free radicals can damage healthy cells by making them mutate. Studies have shown evidence that the absorption of vitamin A eliminates blemishes, improves overall eye health and combats wrinkles. Since sauerkraut is full of this nutrient, it helps maintain skin and eye health.

6.      It Promotes Bone Health

Another one of the Sauerkraut health benefits is bone health promotion. Strong bones are made of lots of minerals, several of which are in sauerkraut. One such nutrient is vitamin K, which is essential to healthy bones and osteoporosis prevention. Sauerkraut contains over 20% of the recommended daily intake of this rare nutrient that is key to protein production and the mineralization of your bones.

7.      It Helps Reduce Inflammation

Sauerkraut contains a multitude of anti-inflammatory agents. Full of phytonutrient antioxidants derived from organic compounds, the pickled cabbage reduces joint discomfort, pain and muscle aches. Inflamed areas of the body find relief from its inflammatory fighting abilities.

8.      It Is Probiotic Rich

Good bacterial microorganisms assist with digestion and promote a healthy gut. Eating sauerkraut full of probiotics helps your body fight infections and restores good bacteria that may have been eliminated by medications. The consumption of probiotics lower your chances of suffering from depression, food allergies, mental illness, digestive diseases, obesity, asthma, diabetes, anxiety, cancer and autoimmune diseases. It achieves this through probiotics' abilities to assist in digestion, prevent excessive inflammation, increase immunity, body detoxification, assist in nutrient absorption and manage stress.

9.      It Lowers the Risk of Many Ailments

Sauerkraut health benefits span across many of the regions of the body. Because of its high content of nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you have a decreased chance of suffering from depression, anxiety, food allergies, mental illness, IBS, diabetes, ulcerative colitis, hormonal imbalance, obesity, brain disorders and autoimmune diseases. In addition, it helps improve brain function, stress management, cognitive health, immunity, all while detoxing your system.

10.      It Helps Fight Cancer

Due to the isothiocyanate compounds it contains, eating sauerkraut helps combat cancer. The compound promotes detoxification and assists in the fight against carcinogens. While studies have shown eating it reduces your cancer risk, more research still needs to be done but the outlook is positive.

WARNING

Even though sauerkraut health benefits are many, it is important to note that it has very high sodium content. If you have certain renal or cardiovascular diseases, you should discuss your dietary options with your doctors.

 
 
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