Food and Beverages


From Cabbage to Culture: Decoding the Potential Benefits of Sauerkraut

Author : Aparna | September 5, 2023

Sauerkraut is the fermented form of cabbage, which has several health advantages.

It is packed with the goodness of vitamins and probiotics, and therefore, improves immunity, aids digestion, and offers other health advantages.

According to PubMed, the idea of fermenting cabbage might have originated in China about 2,000 years ago. Fermentation was one of the techniques employed back then to prevent food from rotting quickly. What was once used as a technique to prevent rotting quickly became everyone’s favorite.

In numerous civilizations, sauerkraut has endured the test of time and grown in popularity as a side dish and condiment.

The nutritional and health advantages sauerkraut provides go considerably beyond those of fresh cabbage because of the fermenting process it goes through. In this blog, we study its major benefits in detail.

Firstly, is Sauerkraut Nutritious?

To answer this, let’s go through how it is made. The natural sugars present in the cabbage are digested by microbes, which then turn them into carbon dioxide and organic acids.

When naturally occurring yeast and bacteria come into touch with the sugars in the cabbage, fermentation occurs.

Hence, the fermentation of sauerkraut fosters the creation of probiotics – beneficial microorganisms with significant health advantages. Additionally, probiotics aid in food digestion, improving your gut's capacity to absorb the vitamins and minerals they contain.

Sauerkraut has a high salt content, unlike cabbage. If you're trying to limit your salt intake, bear this in mind.

Sauerkraut contains several important nutrients needed for optimal health. One cup (142 grams) is equivalent to:

  • Calories: 27
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Carbs: 6.1 grams
  • Fiber: 4.1 grams
  • Protein: 1.3 grams

The nutritious properties of sauerkrauts are the reason behind their massive acceptance and growth. According to Kings Research, the Global Sauerkrauts Market is projected to reach USD 16,346.6 million by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 5.37% from 2023 to 2030.

Top 4 Benefits of Sauerkraut

Now that we have a fair idea about sauerkraut’s nutritional content, let’s dive into the multiple benefits it offers.

1. Aids in Digestion

Over 38 trillion bacteria, or "gut flora", are believed to thrive in your gut, which is greater than the total amount of human cells in your body. These microorganisms are crucial to your digestion.

Sauerkraut encourages the growth of healthy gut flora, just like several other fermented meals. Unpasteurized sauerkraut's probiotic bacteria can serve as a first line of defense against pathogens and toxins.

Though data is limited, probiotics, like those found in sauerkraut, may reduce or prevent antibiotic-related diarrhea and digestive symptoms related to inflammatory bowel disease.

Notably, the benefits of various probiotic strains may differ. An earlier study found that up to 28 different bacterial strains may be present in one dish of sauerkraut. You might get a wider range of health advantages by consuming this diverse assortment of strains.

Sauerkraut, like the majority of other fermented foods, has several enzymes that aid in the breakdown of nutrients into more easily absorbed molecules.

2. Improves Immune system

Sauerkrauts are abundant in probiotics, nutrients, vitamin C, and iron, which aid in improving the immune system.

To begin with, the bacteria in your gut can significantly impact your immune system. The probiotics in sauerkraut may help balance your gut bacteria, preserving the health of your gut lining.

An immune reaction from foreign chemicals "leaking" into your body is less likely to occur if your gut lining is stronger.

In addition to preventing the development of dangerous bacteria, maintaining a healthy gut flora may potentially increase the creation of natural antibodies.

You may lower your risk of getting infections like the common cold and urinary tract infections by regularly eating probiotic foods like sauerkraut. Additionally, it might hasten your recovery.

3. Maintains a Healthy Brain and Reduces Stress

Stress is probably one of the biggest villains almost everyone faces nowadays. 74% of adults reported feeling too stressed to function over the past year.

Your mood and cognitive performance may also be enhanced by healthy gut flora. Your gut and brain are intimately connected, which is the root cause of this. Your brain's ability to receive and process messages from your gut microbes may have an impact on how you think and experience the world.

A healthy gut flora is created by fermented, probiotic foods like sauerkraut, which may help lower stress and promote brain function, according to a study. Several studies demonstrate that probiotics help reduce the signs of anxiety, depression, autism, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They can also enhance mood and memory.

Previous research indicates that fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, may enhance mood by improving your gut's absorption of mood-regulating nutrients, such as magnesium and zinc.

However, some studies have expressed concern that certain components of sauerkraut may interact with monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), a class of drugs used to treat Parkinson's disease, anxiety disorders, and depression. Before including sauerkraut in their diet, those taking certain medications should consult with a medical professional.

4. Supports Weight loss

Regularly ingesting sauerkraut may aid with weight loss and maintenance. That's in part because sauerkraut, like the majority of vegetables, is high in fiber and low in calories.

High-fiber diets help you feel fuller for longer, which may help you burn off extra calories throughout the day.

The probiotics in sauerkraut might also help you lose weight.

Scientists speculate that some probiotics may be able to reduce the amount of fat your body absorbs from your food, however, the exact mechanisms are yet unclear.

The benefit of probiotic strains unique to sauerkraut on weight loss, however, needs more investigation.

To Sum Up

Sauerkraut is a popular fermented food made from raw cabbage that has been finely cut and fermented by lactic acid bacteria. It is well known for its tart and sour flavor, which makes it a useful addition to many different cuisines. Apart from its distinctive flavor, sauerkraut is prized for its potential health advantages. It contains advantageous probiotics that support balanced gut flora and facilitate digestion because it is a fermented food.

Additionally, sauerkraut is a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and other vitamins and minerals. It is a nutritious addition to one's diet due to its nutrient profile and its immune-boosting qualities. Sauerkraut offers a distinctive culinary experience as well as potential health benefits, It can be consumed as a side dish, condiment, or recipe ingredient. Give this wonder food a try. It might just be what your palate and immune system need!

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