Sauerkraut combines the anti-carcinogenic properties of cabbage with the benefits of lactic acid fermentation. A study conducted at MTT Agrifood Research Finland, which was published in the October 2002 issue of the Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry, confirmed the cancer-fighting properties of sauerkraut.
Also noteworthy is sauerkraut’s high content of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, both associated with preserving ocular health. Other nutrients in sauerkraut include calcium, potassium, magnesium, and vitamins C and K.
To reap the benefits of sauerkraut, it’s not necessary to eat a lot of it. A few tablespoons daily, taken as a side dish with meals or added to salads, are easy to incorporate into the diet. Raw and unpasteurized sauerkraut, available in the refrigerated section in health food stores, is preferable to the pasteurized variety because heat pasteurization destroys enzymes and water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C.
Unpasteurized sauerkraut is high in digestive enzymes. Enzyme rich foods help support the pancreas and increase digestive strength. It is also one of the best ways to establish various beneficial lactobacilli cultures in the digestive tract. Sauerkraut is very high in naturally occurring lactic acid which helps maintain a healthy acidity in the large intestine, thus creating an environment that is hostile to parasites and yeast but comfortable for good bacteria.
Among its other attributes, unpasteurized sauerkraut:
- is very high in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant;
- helps to maintain the acid/base balance of the body – especially useful for toxic, acidic conditions;
- highly recommended for healing candidiasis (Candida Yeast overgrowth);
- high in acetylcholine, a compound known to regulate the bowels, calm the nervous system, improve sleep patterns, and lower blood pressure.
- contains dithiothiones, indoles and sulfur, all of which are recommended by the National Cancer Institute for cancer prevention;
- supplies the body with easily assimilated, predigested nutrients. Most people who ordinarily experience difficulty digesting cabbage or other raw vegetables, have no trouble eating small amounts of unpasteurized sauerkraut;
- helps to regulate blood sugar levels making it useful for hypoglycemics and diabetics.
A new product on the market, Karthein’s Organic Sauerkraut, has been created through the natural process of fermentation that yields beneficial probiotic bacteria. Natural probiotics are also added during the fermenting process for added health effects and to avoid re-fermentation.
The exceptional quality of Karthein’s Sauerkraut is due to the fact that it contains no vinegar or preservatives, and undergoes no destructive heat processing. The product is made with certified organic cabbage and unrefined grey sea salt. It comes in 375 ml and 750 ml glass jars, and ranges in price from $6.50 to $10.55.
The product is now available at health food and specialty food stores across the GTA, distributed by Beland Organic Foods based in Quebec (418) 661-5106.