[ image via Wicked Spatula ]
I tried to make my own sauerkraut once. It didn’t go too well. I wound up throwing it out because it looked and smelled so gross that I thought for sure I’d poison myself by eating it.
But, I’d been hearing for years how I should be eating it to improve my gut health so I finally decided to grow up and buy some.
You see, I’ve always had some form of I.B.S., though I didn’t realize it until I went to nutrition school. My grandma just used to say I had a “funny tummy”.
But as I learned more about how this wasn’t necessarily normal or healthy, I started looking for ways to improve the situation. Tummy aches, bloating and all other forms of unpleasant digestive distress that I won’t go into, have been plaguing me for years, even when my diet has been top notch.
Enter: the ‘kraut.
To be sure, I don’t really love the taste of it. Especially this uber potent turmeric blend I recently picked up from the food co-op. My friend Blair served it at lunch, and I’d been meaning to step up my turmeric game anyway so, I figured two birds, one, smelly stone, ya know? And I went and bought some myself.
So why am I forcing myself to eat sauerkraut anyway, if I don’t like it?
Well, because sometimes we just have to be the adult in our own lives. We have make ourselves do the things we don’t really want to do that we know are good for us – like brush our teeth, pay our bills and exercise.
I mean, if I had it my way I’d be eating Cookie Crisp two meals a day and then Ben & Jerry’s Tonight Dough Ice Cream for the third. I’d also stay up late, sleep until 11, and never workout.
Anyway, there are heaps of supposed health benefits from eating this fermented cabbage concoction including:
- Improved digestive health
- Boosted circulation and immune function
- Heart protection
- Stronger bones
- Reduce cholesterol levels and inflammation
- And vision and skin support
I’ve been most concerned with gut health lately though, so the other benefits are just a bonus.
So why does it help with gut health?
Well first, it’s cabbage.
And cabbage is as healthy as food comes. It’s from the cruciferous group of veggies which are all nutritional powerhouses. It includes lots of fiber, which is super important for sound digestion. It contains a decent amount of vitamins A, C, K and B. And it’s a good source of iron, manganese, copper, sodium, magnesium and calcium – all healthy trace minerals.
And second, it’s fermented.
Fermented foods help ease digestive discomfort as they help regulate the production of hydrochloric, or stomach, acid. They also increase movement in the bowel, relieving constipation, and help regulate any harmful bacteria by providing a healthy dose of probiotics (the good guys).
All top notch, in my humble opinion.
So yes, I’ve started eating about a half a cup of sauerkraut each day before lunch and I can already feel an improvement in my ‘funny tummy’. Just wish it tasted better but, what are you gonna do?
Ever tried the ‘kraut yourself? Any tips on making it taste better or making non-toxic homemade batches? Leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.
And if you’re interested in some other ways to boost your health, you can download our totally free 3-Day guide, The Simple Cleanse below. Just pop your email in and we’ll send it over.
Also published on Medium.