Homemade Sauerkraut More Beneficial Than Probiotic Capsules

Reposted from www.livingtraditionally.com

Raw, fermented foods packed with health-promoting probiotics have been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Sauerkraut is the probiotic king. It is the superior source of LIVE probiotics and enzymes, and due to its pre-digested state brought on by the fermentation process, these nutrients are highly bioavailable to the body.

Dr. Joseph Mercola sent a sample of his homemade sauerkraut off to a lab and reported the findings of probiotics saying, “We had it analyzed. We found in a 4-6 ounce serving of the fermented vegetables there were literally ten trillion bacteria.”

This incredible discovery means that just 2 ounces of homemade sauerkraut has more probiotics than a whole bottle of 100 count probiotic capsules. One 16 oz jar of sauerkraut is equivalent to about 8 bottles of probiotics!

The numerous benefits of fermented foods are undeniable. They’ve been a staple of the human diet for centuries. Many people know sauerkraut as a traditional topping for a hot dog. But it is so much more than that.  Did you know that in the 18th century, sailors ate sauerkraut on long voyages to prevent scurvy, a disease caused by vitamin C deficiency? Also, Chinese laborers building the Great Wall of China (more than 2000 years ago) ate shredded cabbage fermented in rice wine.

Sauerkraut is made by pickling cabbage in a process called lacto-fermentation. It’s rich in enzymes that aid digestion and promote nutrient assimilation. If you consume sauerkraut, it will help to boost your body’s ability to digest foods properly and also aids in the absorption of nutrients.
Some of the nutritive benefits of sauerkraut include:
• Vitamin B1, B6, B9, C and K
• Manganese, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron
• A great source of dietary fiber
• An excellent source of antioxidants and phytonutrients
• Rich in indole-3-carbinol
However, not all sauerkraut is equal. Most conventional store bought sauerkraut does not have the same benefits as homemade does. This is because it is heavily treated and pasteurized, thus destroying the fragile bacteria that sauerkraut is known for.  Making your own sauerkraut is a great way to make sure you are getting enough probiotics.
Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds cabbage
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt

Directions

  • Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and set aside.
  • Core and shred cabbage.
  • In a bowl, mix cabbage with sea salt.
  • Massage with your hands for about ten minutes. Juices will be released.
  • Put the cabbage in a suitable fermentation container and pound down until juices come up and cover the cabbage, leave about 2 inches of space at the top.
  • Cover the sauerkraut with a plate. Place a glass jug filled with water on the plate to press it down.
  • Press down to add pressure to the cabbage and help force water out of it.
  • Keep it at room temperature (covered with a towel).  Fermentation will begin within a day, depending upon the room temperature. It will ferment best in a cool, dark place at a temperature that is consistently 64 to 70 degrees.
  • Fermentation can take up to 3 weeks to a month. After fermenting, you can transfer it to the refrigerator.

There are so many different “lacto-fermented” vegetables and sauces that you can make at home. Use the same basic procedure. Salt is the magic ingredient. You don’t need or even want to use vinegar.

A wonderful resource that I use quite a bit is Cultures For Health. You can find dozens of recipes for lacto-fermentation on this website. They will open your mind to all kinds of different cultured food that are so good for your health. Some of the ones I like are fermented green beans and fermented bell peppers.

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