Sauerkraut is one of the oldest and most popular fermented foods. It can be found here in Jackson at grocery stores such as Lucky’s Market and the Jackson Whole Grocer, as well as at weekly farmer’s markets around town (like tonight’s People’s Market). However, there does seem to be some mystery surrounding this superfood. Maybe it has something to do with the process of making sauerkraut, which most people assume is a labor of love, or possibly the fact that its appearance doesn’t necessarily scream “eat me!”. Regardless, I am here to tell you two things: 1. You should be eating sauerkraut. 2. It is incredibly easy to make!
Sauerkraut has numerous benefits for your microbiome, and impacts every system in your body: from your immunity to your metabolism.
Sauerkraut is rich in live probiotics that support your whole-body health, such as Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, Pediococcus pentosaceus and Lactobacillus brevis. The more diverse the bacteria in your gut, the healthier your body, which is why consuming fermented foods is an excellent addition to supporting the health of your microbiome.
The probiotics, vitamin C, iron and hundreds of phytonutrients in sauerkraut enhance your immune system. 80 percent of your immunity resides in your gut, so the bacteria that live there can either dampen or enhance your immune system. This is because they maintain the integrity of the intestinal wall. Leaky gut is a perfect example of a condition where the microbes are not doing their job and the tight junctions in the gut have become loose, letting food molecules and other bacteria in – this when the immune system gets compromised.
Cabbage is considered a cancer prevention superfood because it contains phytonutrients that enhance detoxification of certain carcinogenic enzymes and are toxic to many types of cancer cells. In fact, the consumption of cruciferous veggies has been linked with inhibiting the development of breast cancer.
Pick up a head of cabbage at tonight’s People’s Market, and make your own at home with the following recipe: