Sauerkraut is delicious on a hotdog or even plain, but can it possibly have health benefits as well? The word itself means “sour cabbage” and the process of fermentation is what sours the cabbage. When we think of sauerkraut we often refer to the canned cabbage along with vinegar but here we are referring to a healthier kind of sauerkraut. This is because in order to gain benefits from sauerkraut it can’t be canned at all.
The canning process is what kills any sort of nutrients or enzymes found within the cabbage. Here, when we talk about sauerkraut we are are talking about homemade kind which we will go over how to make. This is because it is fermented which is what you want. In the meantime, let’s understand how it can possible be so good for us!
Those Nasty Foods
There is no question that we all eat too many foods that are either packaged or purchased at a fast food “restaurant”. With this comes along indigestion that is painful, excess gas, burping, feelings of nausea, and all around nothing but bad things. Temporarily relief from these things includes using antacids or medications that are acid suppressing but the keyword being “temporary.” These solutions also suppress the digestive acids that are bodies actually need so they aren’t very good for us.
The Acid We Need!
We need acid! Hydrochloric acids help in the breakdown of our food so that it can move onto the next step and be digested. Also known as HCL, it also kills things that your body does not want such as parasites and bacteria. It is bad enough that as we age the amounts of HCL in our bodies will decrease. This happens because of things like stress, various illnesses, and just plain old age progression. It is at this point that we should try to give our bodies a break and by doing so, we should eat foods that are lighter. Instead, most of us will continue to eat those nasty foods causing acid reflux.
The Right Kind of Cabbage
The best way to work on restoring your system back to its natural digestion so that you don’t need to deal with acid reflux, burping, and so on, is by eating lactic acid fermented cabbage. This is because it has a ton of vitamin C as well as digestive enzymes which positively impacts the stomach. It helps to maintain even levels of HCL bringing harmony within your stomach! It will help to increase acidity when it is low and help to decrease acidity when it is up.
How Often Should You Consume Sauerkraut?
If you are seeking to gain these benefits from sauerkraut you should consume a little before each meal or with every meal, even more so when you eat heavy meals. If you would like, you may also drink a few tablespoons of the sauerkraut juice and it will actually help your stomach to feel better almost instantly. When it comes to drinking it, stay around 3 to 5 tablespoons per day.
Easy Sauerkraut Recipe
To make a very basic sauerkraut recipe you are going to need:
- 1 cabbage about medium size
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- Glass jar with lid
- 4 tablespoons of Kefir whey (unless you plan to use sauerkraut that is already fermented)
- 1 tablespoon of either chopped dill or caraway seed
Step 1: Using a knife, slice the cabbage or you can grate it if you like.
Step 2: Add in the salt and Kefir whey.
Step 3: Pound the mixture using either a pounder or a mallot. You will do this until there are juices visible.
Step 4: Add in the rest of the ingredients (chopped dill or caraway seed)
Step 5: Place in the glass jar, cover, and store for 3 to 5 days.
Note: You can store it in a cabinet or on the counter versus the refrigerator. After a few weeks, you can eat the sauerkraut but if you wait up to a month or longer, the flavor will be at its best!
There are several ways to make sauerkraut with this being just one of them! If you have a recipe to share with everyone, let us know! We would also like to know of anyone that has included sauerkraut (and not the canned kind) into their daily diet and if they have benefited from it. Perhaps you had issues with acid reflux or any of the other symptoms that indicated your stomachs acid levels were off. Don’t forget that you can incorporate the sauerkraut into your meal such as with salads, salsas, stir-fry’s, and much more! If you have any ideas on how to add it to your meal, we would love for you to share!