Fermented cabbage is called Sauerkraut. Primary ingredients used to make sauerkraut are cabbage and salt or spices. It is considered good for health because fermentation results in the production of good bacterias or probiotics which exert many health benefits. It is a good source of dietary fibre, and nutrients like calcium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin C and K.
Sauerkraut is good for our digestive health. Good bacteria present in it improves the digestion, prevents inflammation, alleviates issues like acidity, bloating, gas formation, constipation and heartburn. It also contains digestive enzymes, which aid in better digestion and absorption of nutrients from the food we eat.
The high dietary fibre content of sauerkraut supports weight loss as well. Its fibre content keeps us full for longer, prevents food cravings, insulin spikes and manages blood lipid levels. It boosts metabolic rate, which helps in managing weight and reduces the risk of metabolic issues like diabetes or obesity.
Intake of sauerkraut supports our immune health. Good bacteria present in sauerkraut preserve and protect the lining of our digestive system, which acts as a barrier against the harmful toxins and pathogens, thereby boosting immunity. The entry of harmful bacteria, viruses and other foreign bodies may cause infections and diseases but probiotics in Sauerkraut provides a shield against them. This supports our immune health and enhances the ability to fight illnesses.
Sauerkraut being rich in vitamin K strengthens our bones and heart health. Vitamin K plays an essential role in blood clotting and bone health by influencing osteoblasts. It keeps our heart and blood vessels healthy and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Sauerkraut acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory food due to the presence of vitamin A. Presence of vitamin A makes it good for our eye and vision health. It protects our healthy cells and tissues from free radical damage and oxidative stress. This, in turn, additionally reduces cancer risk.
Some studies have indicated that including Sauerkraut in the diet also has a potential benefit on our cognitive health. It supports mental health, boosts memory, learning, diminishes the effect of stress and anxiety. All of this contributes to the smooth functioning of our brain.
Sauerkraut reduces signs of ageing as it contains anti-oxidant and some anti-ageing compounds like polyamides, putrescine, spermine, and spermidine. This keeps our skin healthy, along with other nutrients providing a natural glow. Researches have shown that sauerkraut may also be beneficial in treating skin conditions like dermatitis, acne, wound healing and eczema.
To conclude, Sauerkraut is one of the healthiest probiotic sources we have. It is packed with nutrients like dietary fibre, folate, iron and B-vitamins. It boosts overall health and improves organ functioning. Despite multiple health benefits, excess consumption of Sauerkraut should be avoided as it is high in salt or sodium. It is important to keep an eye on the intake, so that overall sodium intake is within the prescribed allowance. Always opt for unpasteurised Sauerkraut without any added vinegar.