Sour cabbage is also known as sauerkraut. There are many health benefits of this vegetable, most of which have been proven. Most importantly, it can be beneficial in preventing heart attack, stroke and cancer. It can also help in improving your digestion.
Benefits Of Vitamin C In Sauerkraut
Sailors of the old days made sure that they always carried sauerkraut with them because of its high vitamin C content. It was an essential part of every cruise. It was an effective prevention against scurvy that has long been known to be caused due to deficiency of the vitamin.
Sauerkraut Is A Probiotic
Sauerkraut gets its probiotic benefits due to the process of souring. Natural fermentation of these veggies helps in providing good bacteria to your digestive system. It is always recommended to take it after you have taken antibiotics. This will help in restoring the healthy bacteria in the intestines.
Protection Against Cancer
Sour cabbage is one the best foods that can help you prevent the development of cancer. This is because of three ingredients:
- Isothiocyanate – The vegetable is rich in isothiocyanate, which is known for its powerful anti-cancer benefits.
- Glucosinolate – This substance in sauerkraut helps in activating the natural antioxidant enzymes in your body.
- Flavonoids – The vegetable also contains flavonoids that help in protecting your arteries against damages or from narrowing down.
Healthier & Stronger Heart
Sauerkraut is loaded with fibers, which help in improving digestion. This further helps in improving the health of brain and heart. Other health benefits of the fiber include:
- Controlling bad (LDL) cholesterol levels
- Reducing chances of heart attack or stroke
- Reducing likeliness of arteriosclerosis
Sauerkraut For Stronger Bones
The vegetable is also rich in minerals which are beneficial for your bones. They help in preventing the development of osteoporosis. The vitamin K content helps in keeping your bones healthier. This vitamin works by regulating the production of proteins. These proteins are required for maintaining mineralization in the bones.
So make sure to include sauerkraut in your regular diet!
Sauerkraut for weight loss
According to this study eating fermented foods, like sauerkraut, is proven to promote weight loss –especially in the waist-hip area! Consuming fermented foods had a very positive effect on metabolism. The results of the study suggest that the fermentation of the cabbage in particular may affect obesity, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory processes.
Make your own Sauerkraut
Food pasteurization laws as well as the canning process means that most sauerkraut on store shelves has been heated to the point where its beneficial bacteria is killed off. The good news is, making your own sauerkraut is actually quite simple –not to mention budget friendly!
Serves: 1 gallon
Prep time: 20 minutes
Fermentation time: ~1 – 6 months
- a couple large, green cabbages
- 2 Tbs unrefined sea salt
- Core your cabbages and shred the rest. A food processor is great for this!
- In a large bowl, toss the cabbage and salt together. You will need to “knead” them together with your hands to break up the cellular structure of the cabbage.
- The cabbage will begin to release its juices and become limp. This is when you will need to pack it as tightly as possible into a sauerkraut crock or vegetable fermenter. If you don’t have one, you can simply pack it tightly into a large glass jar, pounding it down with a wooden spoon.
- Continue pounding until the cabbage becomes submersed in liquid. This is very important as real key to preparing any fermented food, is that the solid materials rest below the liquid. Fermentation is an anaerobic process and to expose your ferments to air increases the likelihood that they’ll become contaminated by stray microbes, yeasts and molds.
- Cover loosely and let your ‘kraut sit at room temperature to begin its fermentation process. It can sit for at least 1 month and up to 6, depending on how you like it.
- Test the sauerkraut every few days, and once it’s to your liking transfer it to the fridge where it will keep for at least 6 months. If scum appears on the top, simply spoon off the top what you can.