Author: Jennifer Schell • Date: January 17, 2019 • Appears in:
Cabbage has enjoyed a long and popular life in the culinary world for both is versatility, price point and many health benefits. Recently this leafy ball of goodness hit an all-new Super Food status in its fermented form sauerkraut, consistently making top food trend lists.
Sauerkraut, along with other fermented foods, are now leading their own health movement for their probiotic powers. Probiotics are strains of good bacteria, which help the digestive system work more efficiently. The process of lactic acid fermentation is used to transform salt and cabbage into sauerkraut. This process also increases vitamin levels, particularly vitamin C and B vitamins and food enzymes. Sauerkraut is rich in beneficial bacteria, which are those friendly microorganisms that help to colonize the stomach, train the immune system and manufacture vitamins in the digestive tract.
In fermented form, cabbage is hailed as a remedy for good digestion, ensuring good tummy health. Some say that because of antibiotic use, and modern diets, the healthy bacteria in our systems are depleted making naturally fermented foods such as sauerkraut is an excellent way to rebuild healthy gut bacteria levels.
Not that this should be breaking news; sauerkraut and its fermented comrades have been used for centuries as both a necessary form of food preservation and survival. Cheap and cheerful, cabbages come in many varieties and are wonderfully available at farmers markets year round because of their hardiness and ability to store so you can ferment up a storm any time of the year. This process of fermentation is already used in many of the foods we eat, it just seems new because of the spotlight on its benefits, ie. bread, vinegar, chocolate, beer, wine, yogurt, cheese of all kinds are all on the list of ferments.
A list of probiotic foods: http://www.rd.com/slideshows/13-probiotic-filled-foods/
"The gut is the largest part of our immune system," explains Drew Ramsey, M.D., author of The Happiness Diet and 50 Shades of Kale. So it matters what you put in it. "Sugar and refined carbohydrates cause damage, while fermented foods heal.”
Want to make sauerkraut at home? Cabbage, salt and time – is all you need to make delicious homemade sauerkraut!
Want to learn more about fermenting? Buy this book: The Art of Fermentation: An In-Depth Exploration of Essential Concepts and Processes from Around the World
by Sandor Ellix Katz, Foreword by Michael Pollan