Is Sauerkraut a Wonder Food?

Image Kraut

Yes! And in more ways than one, because when people experience the many healthy benefits of home-made, lacto-fermented sauerkraut, they wonder why it took them so long to try it!

The cookbook, “A Passion for Sauerkraut”, written by Samuel Hofer, details some other reasons why sauerkraut is a “wonder” food:

  • Strengthens acidity of stomach
  • Prevents Constipation
  • Stimulates Peristaltic movement intestines
  • Re-establishes healthy intestinal flora after antibiotics
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Helps cleanse the blood
  • Supports natural resistance against infections
  • Strengthens body’s immune system
  • Rids body of parasites
  • Lowers sugar in blood and urine
  • Controls craving for sweets, and finally –
  • Alleviates morning sickness in pregnant women

On-going research confirms the health-giving properties of sauerkraut, a recent Finnish study revealing sauerkraut contains strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties.

Finnish researchers reported that fermenting cabbage produces compounds known as isothiocyanates, shown in laboratory studies to prevent the growth of cancer. Fermentation or curing of the cabbage actually enhances its protective effects. Glucosinolates in sauerkraut activate the body’s antioxidant enzymes, and flavonoids protect artery walls from oxidative damage.

“We are finding that fermented cabbage could be healthier than raw or cooked cabbage, especially for fighting cancer,” says Eeva-Liisa Ryhanen, Ph.D., research manager of MTT Agrifood Research Finland, located in Jokioinen, Finland.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a minimum of five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, especially those rich in naturally occurring substances, including antioxidants, flavonoids and vitamins.

Sauerkraut is Rich in Nutrition

In addition to the very important isothiocyanates, mentioned in the Finnish study, lacto-fermented sauerkraut offers a wide-range of lactobacilli probiotics, and nutrients including manganese, Vitamin B6, folate, and Vitamin C.

Seafaring explorers, fearing the debilitating effects of scurvy, relied on sauerkraut’s Vitamin C, finding kraut much more shelf-stable than fragile, perishable citrus fruit. Our youngest, who deals with some ever-decreasing Autism-Spectrum issues, is vulnerable to mold and fungus allergies, so we avoid oranges or orange juice because they’re known to carry fungus. Sauerkraut is our food-of-choice when it comes to providing natural Vitamin C!

Have Fun & Experiment!

Making your own sauerkraut not only gives you a far superior product, but you can have fun experimenting with different flavors!

Add shredded carrots, beets, or mix varieties of cabbage, including the standard “white” along with red cabbage. Garlic, onions and apples, and caraway seeds (great digestive aids!) are some our favorites.

Fall was traditionally when pork went to market, so grilling smoked pork chops, and serving them with a side of flavorful sauerkraut is a long-running family tradition – one more way of creating good food and good family memories for our own children!

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Comments on Finnish Sauerkraut Study

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