I was probably only a few years old when I first tasted sauerkraut. Like most people, my first taste also involved a hot dog and mustard. But I immediately loved its unique sour and tart flavor. Later in life I began experimenting with many sauerkraut combinations, including my favorite one, which is made with cabbage, apples, and juniper berries. I also love garlic and chili sauerkraut and have included recipes for both of these types in my new book The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out.
Sauerkraut isn’t just for sausages and hot dogs anymore. This German staple made of fermented cabbage, though other ingredients are often added to it, offers many impressive health benefits in addition to the obvious delicious taste. New and exciting research demonstrates the many healing properties of eating naturally fermented sauerkraut on a regular basis, including antibacterial properties, anti-Candida (a commonly occurring fungus), allergy reduction, improving muscle and exercise recovery in athletes, lowering cholesterol and triglycerides, and regulating certain hormones and reducing hormonally linked cancer growth as well as directly affecting cancer.
Research shows that the beneficial microbes that form during the process of fermenting cabbage kill E. coli bacteria that were artificially implanted into the sauerkraut and would otherwise cause food poisoning. In the study researchers found that the probiotics Lactobacillus plantarum and L. mesenteroides that are naturally formed during the fermentation process fought off the E. coli until it was no longer present in the sauerkraut.
L. plantarum has also been found to have anti-viral activity thereby making it a potentially valuable ally in cold, flu, ebola, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, and other viral conditions.
To learn how sauerkraut can help you balance hormones, fight Candida infections, boost athletic recovery, improve heart health, and even fight cancer, check out my new book The Probiotic Promise: Simple Steps to Heal Your Body from the Inside Out. You’ll also find step-by-step instructions on how to make sauerkraut (it’s much easier than you think!), as well as recipes for “Simple Sauerkraut,” “Apple-Cabbage Kraut,” and other delicious and nutritious veggie ferments.
If you’re thinking of making your own sauerkraut, the only special equipment you’ll need is a crock with a plate that fits inside of it, food-safe non-metallic weights, some sea salt (iodized kills beneficial bacteria), a wooden spoon or tamper, some pure water (preferably unchlorinated water since chlorine also kills probiotics), and cabbage, of course. If you’re looking for an inexpensive water purifier Santevia makes some excellent options.
You can also supplement with some of the probiotics found in sauerkraut. Most probiotic supplements do NOT contain either of these beneficial probiotics. One of my preferred probiotic supplements that DOES contain L. plantarum is Metagenics’ Ultra Flora Spectrum. Follow package instructions.
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is the international best-selling author of the books The Probiotic Promise, 60 Seconds to Slim, and Weekend Wonder Detox, a registered nutritionist, and a board-certified doctor of natural medicine. Subscribe to my free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow my blog on my sites HealthySurvivalist.com and DrMichelleCook.com, and Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook. Copyright Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD.