Sauerkraut is a fermented form of cabbage that is used in a number of European dishes. With German and Polish heritage, I regularly enjoy a nice warm bigos (especially around Christmas) which includes large amounts of Sauerkraut along with sausage, chorizo and all kinds of alcohol.
Sauerkraut gives you serious gas and is mainly used to bulk up dishes on the cheap. But as it happens, it also has a few additional tricks up its sleeve when it comes to weight loss and general health benefits.
Why Sauerkraut Is Perfect for Losing Weight
What makes sauerkraut so beneficial for weight loss isn’t some magic property but simply the fact that it’s very low in calories while being bulky and filling. In fact, two thirds of a cup of sauerkraut contains only 15 calories, making it the perfect food to chow down on. Forget fad diets – eating fewer calories than you burn off is the number one way to shed fat and to get into better shape.
That said, sauerkraut does also have some pretty magical properties if you’re looking for them! That’s because sauerkraut is a fermented food, which means it happens to be high in the good type of bacteria.
Our ‘microbiome’ is something that has been getting a lot of attention lately when it comes to our health. That’s because our bodies are literally teaming with bacteria – in fact there are more bacteria in our body than human cells… ten times more! It’s a good thing that most of them are ‘friendly’ bacteria rather than the disease-causing kind.
As you might imagine then, these microbes are pretty crucial to our health. Not only does balancing the microbiome help to improve the immune system, it also aids with our digestion, improves gastrointestinal health and even supports proper brain function and mood. Friendly bacteria actually produce some key vitamins and other nutrients for our body to use as well.
A lot of this helps with weight loss when the balance of bacteria is right. At the same time, it also helps to support our health in all the ways mentioned above.
We can help to improve our microbiome by eating natural probiotics. Forget expensive yogurts – good old, bland sauerkraut and other fermented foods are some of the best sources! How do we know that sauerkraut is high in friendly bacteria? Simple: it’s the bacteria that cause the fermentation process. Specifically, it’s Lactobacillus, Leuconostoc and Pediococcus. They may have strange names, but these little guys are your friends when it comes to your health!