I like Sauerkraut because of its sourness, saltiness, and it gives me a feeling of satisfaction that I am getting lots of fiber (thin sliced cabbage). It gives a nice flavor and goes with anything: in a sandwich, as a side dish, and even in a smoothie!
Sauerkraut is a typical dish in Germany and means “sour cabbage”. I didn’t know about this dish until I actually went to Germany about twenty years ago. I remember Sauerkraut was always served with sausages and I thought it was just okay, take it or leave it. It was nothing special to me … until I learned of the many health benefits of this sour cabbage.
It is not just thin sliced cabbage in a jar, it is fermented. Which means that it contains active cultures of good bacteria and must be stored in a fridge. You can find sauerkraut in a can or a jar at a grocery store, because they are the most common forms. I used to buy jars at a store and was always wondering if a jar of sauerkraut contains any active bacteria cultures, because the label didn’t say anything about it.
Unfortunately, if they are not refrigerated at a store, then they have been pasteurized to preserve for long shelf life and therefore have no bacteria cultures. Commercial kinds may also have added preservatives and extra salt. Moreover, through the process of pasteurization, vitamin C is lost as well as the good bacteria and enzymes.
Here are some health benefits of actual sauerkraut:
- Source of vitamin C
- Contains plenty of vitamins and minerals for optimal gut function
- Helps the digestion of the other foods in a meal
Homemade sauerkraut may be a good idea, because it is fairly easy to make and is economical. It is also important to consume fermented foods daily, because they contain good bacteria and they have to be ingested to maintain healthy gut function.
All is well and all the best!