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Super Ingredient: Sauerkraut

By abbey on September 5, 2013

Hey Everyone!  My pal Lauren is back, toting the benefits of eating sauerkraut.  Head on over to her site to hear about my experience making my own.  (Hint: it made dating… interesting)

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Super Ingredient: Sauerkraut

Studies have shown that the health of your gut impacts our metabolism, nutrient absorption, immune strength, even potentially gene expression. We have all been taught to fear bacteria, as seen with the rampant use/overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial everything. Antibiotics kill off not just bad bacteria, but also the good bacteria, which make us susceptible to other pathogens like yeast and fungal infections. The maintenance of healthy gut flora is key to optimal health.

Diet and lifestyle can also negatively impact gut health; stress and the consumption highly processed, high sugar foods can also damage gut flora. So what do you think the odds are that your average American has an unhappy gut?

Probiotics are key to helping our body to maintain that delicate balance of gut flora. Although you can take probiotic supplements, it is far more effective (not to mention cheaper) to add foods that contain probiotics to your diet as a way to nurture your gut and ensure it stays in fighting shape!! Would you rather walk down a dark alley with a poodle in your arms or a pack of Rottweilers with you? Personally I want the Rottweiler of good bacteria in my gut making sure those other nasty critters stay in check!  Adding fermented foods to your diet will naturally provide your body with a healthy dose of probiotics.

Now we have all seen the yogurt commercials discussing their probiotic benefits, however there are plenty of other foods that also contain probiotics, such as kombucha tea, kefir, kimchi, miso and tempeh…many of which are not all that familiar to a lot of people. However, Sauerkraut (yes the stuff we slather all over our hot dogs at ball games) is also a fermented food!! Now I am not advocating the eating of more hotdogs..the processed nature of these dogs sort of negates some of the healthy benefits gleaned from the sauerkraut, however here is a delicious new way for you to add this fantastic food to your diet. Your gut will definitely thank you!!

**Note: Sauerkraut is best if homemade, however there are some good store bought brands that are naturally fermented without any vinegar or artificial preservatives. My favorite is Bubbies!

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