Is Sauerkraut Good For You? – Sauerkraut is a Superfood

Have you ever heard anyone tell you to eat more SAUERKRAUT to improve your health? Guess what? Sauerkraut is considered by many to be a super food. Get past thinking of sauerkraut as a garnish for a fatty sandwich, hot dog or for bratwurst. Start thinking about how you can include this more in some healthy meals that you never considered before.

So what exactly is sauerkraut?

What is sauerkraut?

Believe it or not, sauerkraut is chopped cabbage that has been pickled in brine and allowed to ferment until sour.Sauerkraut

Does that not make your mouth water? Ha, not for most of us.

Would you be surprised that sauerkraut did not originate in Germany. The Chinese were the first ones to develop it. Sauerkraut became a staple of the German diet in the 1600s and soon made it’s way to North America.

Sauerkraut is traditionally served with pork, sausage, steamed potatoes or dumplings.

How is sauerkraut a potential super food when it is typically served with fattening foods?

Sauerkraut is a super food – No Matter What it is Served With

Sauerkraut is still good for you even though most people think of having it with less than healthy foods. Here is why sauerkraut is considered a super food by many. An article by AARP sums up why sauerkraut can be so beneficial and I will only list some of the reasons here:

  1. Sauerkraut contains many vitamins
    1. Vitamin C
    2. Vitamin K
    3. Calcium
    4. Potassium
    5. Phosphorus
    6. The fermentation process makes the nutrients easier for you body to absorb.
  2. Sauerkraut boost you digestive system
    1. It contains probiotics, especially when made at home (or not cooked)
      1. Has been shown to lessen gas (not sure about that claim), bloating, diarrhea and constipation.Weight Loss
  3. Sauerkraut may help you lose weight
    1. It is a low calorie food
    2. It contains a lot of fiber
  4. Sauerkraut may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s
    1. Probiotics has been shown to affect people’s memory
  5. Sauerkraut is good for your heart
    1. It can reduce cholesterol
    2. It can reduce triglyceride levels
    3. The fiber in sauerkraut may get rid of the cholesterol on the walls of arteries and blood vessels.

One note of caution is that sauerkraut is fermented with salt which makes it high in sodium. Look for sauerkraut with low sodium or find a recipe that will have less sodium that you can make at home.

So, how can we make sauerkraut even more healthy for us by not serving it with hot dogs and bratwurst?

Healthy Meals with Sauerkraut

I have recovered from a stroke and I am doing my best to eat healthy and exercise more so the idea of benefiting from Bowl of sauerkrautsauerkraut is interesting but I need to find more healthy things to serve it with.

I learned right away in several diet programs that skinless chicken breast was one of the “go to” proteins. There are many healthy proteins but this is one of my favorites. One of the things I like to keep around the house is healthy foods and snacks for when hunger hits. I also remove most of the unhealthy items so I am less tempted. I have a family so I am not allowed to remove all unhealthy foods.

Every week or twice a week I will bake four skinless chicken breasts and place them in a sealed container. I keep some of my favorite sauerkraut on hand plus some fruits and vegetable. It never fails that life happens and nothing healthy is planned for dinner or I get a late night craving. When this happens I choose a healthier option than processed foods or a quick trip to the local fast food drive thru. Here’s the simple thing I do:Chicken Breast

  • Cut up one cooked chicken breast into bite size pieces.
  • Place approximately 1 cup of sauerkraut over the chicken.
  • Microwave the meal for 2.5 minutes

Presto, I have a healthy meal that keeps me satisfied for hours.
I won’t go into all the foods to eat with sauerkraut but here are a few websites with healthy sauerkraut recipes:

Please don’t blindly start chowing down on sauerkraut.

Be Careful with Sauerkraut

Maybe you have read this far and now you’re ready to get big plate of sauerkraut with some other healthy foods. Stop and read the rest of this first.

Sauerkraut has some side effects and other things you should be aware of. Here is a short list:

  • 1st, sauerkraut will lose many of it’s health benefits if you cook it or buy it in the store. It may be best to find your local health food store and look for a low sodium and uncooked sauerkraut that still has probiotics.
  • 2nd, sauerkraut is usually high in sodium so just be aware of this.
  • 3rd, there are some initial side effects you need to know so it’s best to introduce smaller portions of sauerkraut initially and then build up when your body is used to it. Some information below is referenced from an article at Livestrong.:
    • Intestinal gas and bloating
    • diarrhea and abdominal cramps
    • dietary imbalance

PainI can attest to some of these side effects. I took off at a sprint and dumped a huge amount of sauerkraut on my grilled chicken breast. Oh my! What a mistake! Remember that sauerkraut is also high in fiber so that is part of the problem when you’re not used to a lot of fiber in your diet. I remember the first week of eating a significant amount of sauerkraut. I was bloated, had a lot of gas and was constantly sitting on the toilet begging for mercy. All I was thinking was, “who needs an intestinal flush or a cleanser when all you have to do is eat sauerkraut!”

Wow! I’m lucky those days are gone as my body has adjusted to the sauerkraut. Please keep this in mind and start off with a small amount of sauerkraut and build up to more.

Sauerkraut is not just for the ballpark

Reading an article on sauerkraut may have been the last thing you imagined reading today. The thing is, there are so many healthy foods that many of us don’t consider eating. It’s good to read and research new things. If you want to improve your health by eating better and exercising more, it’s best to just take one thing at a time.

You may find that sauerkraut is not something you ever want to eat and that’s fine; but keep your eyes open and look for new things to incorporate into your life that may bring incredible health benefits.

Beauty

 

 

 

 

14 Comments on “Is Sauerkraut Good For You? – Sauerkraut is a Superfood”

    1. It would be a good thing. The only thing I can add for you is to try all of sauerkrauts you can find and make your decision on what you like after that but make sure to try some that you may only be able to find in health food stores that say “Probiotic.” That is important to know if you want the full health benefits of sauerkraut.

  1. I love sauerkraut! It is an amazingly beneficial food and easy to can and ferment at home. I am a leaky gut sufferer with huge food allergies and rely on sauerkraut as a staple of my diet. The gut balancing effect along with daily kefir keeps my body humming along. I agree with your word of caution that you should slowly introduce this superfood into your diet as it can cause a gassy reaction.

    1. Thank you for the feedback. It’s amazing how eating more healthy foods and foods that are great at helping with a particular health issue. I always use to thing that food was only designed to keep you alive and it didn’t matter if it was a cheese burger or fruits and vegetables. Well, we do have to grow up sometimes and learn the truth. Thank you again for your experience with sauerkraut.

  2. I would never have though sauerkraut would have so many health benefits, this is really surprising. I have always had a bit of a love hate relationship with sauerkraut, I think mainly because of the high salt content. So it is good to know that you can buy it with a lower amount of sodium. I will search this out and add to my diet! Thank you

    1. The salt content is an issue for me also but I found the low sodium content one that still had the probiotics. I found it at a store called farmers market. It cost a little more but it’s worth it because it has the health benefits with the probiotics and low sodium. I have also been thinking about making my own.  I’m not sure I ready to do that yet but it’s been on my mind.

  3. Great info about sauerkraut. I had no idea that sauerkraut can reduce the risk of Alzheimer. If consume too much Sauerkraut would also cause side negative. Thank you for filling me up about sauerkraut. I will keep your post updated and mark in my bookmark. Keep it up. Cheers!

    Regards
    Jaden

    1. As long as you add sauerkraut “reasonably” to your diet, you shouldn’t see any negative side effects. The side effects will come if you add too much too quickly and these will most likely be bloating, gas, and lot’s of trips to the bathroom. However, from my experience, those side effects will go away after a week or two.

  4. Hi Rick
    Thank you for introducing me to sauerkraut as a superfood. I know about it as a food generally as my brother in law is German and makes a great version at Christmas. I didn’t know about all the health benefits however and I appreciate your putting in the warnings too.
    I am not very good at cooking anything so I tend to buy things that I can reheat (not at all healthy I know) but you are inspiring me to start looking at my eating habits in much more detail and make the changes necessary to prevent illness later on. Thank you for all your work on this. Gail

    1. Here’s what I truly love about this site and learning about such in important health problem. As I research and learn, I get to share things with everyone which can help others while also helping me. I have found that the more I put what I learn to paper (or the internet these days) the more I actually retain and actually make it a part of my life. I am so glad you were able to get something from this.

  5. I’d never think of sauerkraut as a super food. Who knew? Honestly, I just use it with hot dogs and other food at a bbq. The heart healthy part of it is a surprise to me…a pleasant one, albeit. Do you have any links to research that talks about the benefits? I’m very interested in learning about how the experiments were conducted…

    1. I just answered another similar question so I will leave the same general information below:

      “Fermented foods like sauerkraut are packed with good bacteria, the kind that transform fiber into a fatty acid known as butyrate. According to Dr. Roberto Berni Canani, MD, PhD, of the European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases, butyrate is a powerful weapon in the anti-cancer arsenal.”

      “A study published in the medical journal, Food and Function, showed that the probiotic content was a powerful heart health protector. Sauerkraut was found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while at the same time increasing heart-healthy antioxidants.”

      Here is An AARP article that talks about sauerkraut being a superfood.

      Here is a scholarly article talking about how sauerkraut could potentially a superfood.

      Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood

      This is just a preview of some of the research I began with that indicates sauerkraut may be a superfood. I am not qualified to weigh in on the discussion but this is a start that I hope helps answer your question.

    1. Yes, many health professional believe sauerkraut is a super food. Here are some examples:

      “Fermented foods like sauerkraut are packed with good bacteria, the kind that transform fiber into a fatty acid known as butyrate. According to Dr. Roberto Berni Canani, MD, PhD, of the European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases, butyrate is a powerful weapon in the anti-cancer arsenal.”

      “A study published in the medical journal, Food and Function, showed that the probiotic content was a powerful heart health protector. Sauerkraut was found to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels, while at the same time increasing heart-healthy antioxidants.”

      Here is an AARP article talks about sauerkraut being a superfood.

      Here is a scholarly article talking about how sauerkraut could potentially a superfood.

      Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood

      I hope this helps. Please don’t hesitate to ask additional questions.

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