Sauerkraut, used for cooking over thousands of years, is an ancient dish made by fermenting and pickling cabbage. It is very good for health. Sauerkraut word was derived from the German language and it means sour plants. Sauerkraut has been used for many years in China and European places. As of date sauerkraut is popularly used in European cooking and Chinese dishes. The Korean version of sauerkraut is referred to as Kimchee.
Originally making sauerkraut was a way of preserving vegetables, especially cabbage, to store them without refrigeration.
What exactly is sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is simply chopped cabbage fermented in cabbage juice and pickled with salt. Other vegetables as well as spices are sometimes added for taste and variety. Fermenting the cabbage for three to seven days makes it soft, sweet, tangy and delicious. Sauerkraut is usually used for garnishing meat dishes and it is also added to salads and sandwiches. Sauerkraut is now sold commercially in the markets, however, you can even make it at home.
Preparing and Canning Sauerkraut at Home
Health Benefits of Sauerkraut
Sauerkraut, when in raw form, is extremely good for health. It is a very good source of vitamins and several other nutrients. Raw sauerkraut has more lactobacilli than that present in yogurt. Before refrigerators were invented sauerkraut proved to be a good way of preserving food for harsh winters. Sea captains used to take sauerkraut on their voyages as it was good for health and is also a good cure against scurvy.
1. May be helpful in fighting cancer:
Definite research is yet to be conducted to establish the connection between sauerkraut and slow cancer growth. However, many diet experts have expressed their opinion that sauerkraut can be extremely beneficial in curing cancerous growth. Fermentation of cabbage produces a substance called isothiocyanates which can help avoid the growth of any kind of cancerous tumours. Sauerkraut is rich in isothiocyanates. Women who eat raw sauerkraut on daily basis have less incidence of breast cancer as compared to women who do not eat sauerkraut.
2. Helps prevent diarrhoea:
Diarrhoea is caused due to an extremely upset digestion, and it is very tiring for the patient. Sauerkraut is made with cabbage and it is extremely rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is essential for proper health of the digestive system. Sauerkraut is rich in lactic acid, which is good for digestion. Lactic acid improves the health of bowels and intestines thus helping in treating diarrhoea fast.
3. Good bacteria:
Yogurt beats all food for the presence of good bacteria in it; however, the good news is that Sauerkraut also has those good bacteria in very good number. The main function of the good bacteria is to enhance the functioning of intestines and bowels and make them healthy. Healthy bowels and intestines results in a good digestive system which helps avoid many digestion disorders. Having Sauerkraut on daily basis will help you keep many digestion related disorders like IBS or constipation away.
4. Vitamin C:
Sauerkraut is rich in many nutrients, but the most prominent one of all is vitamin C. Vitamin C improves immunity and helps avoid many infections. Have sauerkraut everyday and you will be blessed with a super cool immunity which will keep you fit and always on the move.