Are There Health Benefits To Fermented Foods
Even though there is no standard requirement for intake, fermented foods are essential for gut and immune health and this is why it is recommended to include them in your diet as much as possible. Often, its necessary to take supplements to obtain a sufficient amount, but FOOD should always be a priority.
These foods increase the availability of B vitamins and vitamin K. These are all crucial for supporting your energy levels, brain function, digestion, heart and bone health.
Improvement of gut health leads to lower inflammation all over your body. In fact, over 70% of your immunity comes from your gastrointestinal tract! Although you may see improvements in constipation, gas or bloating over time, improving your digestive health also leads to lowering your overall inflammation levels too.
How Probiotics Can Benefit Your Health
Research has shown that our gut microbes play a significant role in regulating our health, mental health, and weight.
And additional research has suggested a way we might mend this imbalance: by eating fermented foods full of probiotics
Studies have found natural probiotics can help alleviate IBS and IBD symptoms, anxiety symptoms, reduces risk of eczema in infants, and may help reduce seasonal allergy symptoms.
Another major benefit of probiotics is that they may help regulate weight. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that overweight women who were put on a calorie-restricted diet and given a probiotic supplement for 12 weeks showed significantly higher weight loss than those given a placebo.
A possible mechanism, described by a summary in the journal Gut, is that probiotic foods help rebalance your gut bugs by creating an environment where the good guys can regain strength. The A-lister usually mentioned is yogurt, but the probiotic foods were about to discuss go way beyond breakfast.
Food Sources Vs Supplements
While it is possible to obtain both prebiotics and probiotics through supplements, it is not necessary to take these supplements to be healthy. Its always best to lean on food sources first whenever possible.
The gut microbiome is still a new area of research. Until we fully understand what an ideal gut microbiome looks like or exactly what each bacterial strain does for our health, it is difficult to recommend a specific supplement and dosage with certainty that it will be efficacious for you.
Taking a probiotic supplement is not quite as simple as picking up a generic multivitamin at your local drugstore, as everyones gut microbiome is unique and responds differently. To help figure out if you may benefit from a probiotic supplement, check out the Alliance for Education on Probiotics website, where evidence-based probiotic guidelines for specific health conditions are listed.
When it comes to prebiotic supplements, those with certain GI conditions, diabetes, or high cholesterol may benefit, but if you are eating a healthy diet rich in a variety of plant-based foods, these may not be necessary.
As always, before beginning a new supplement, its best to speak with your healthcare provider to be sure that its appropriate and safe for you to do so.
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Is It Better To Take Probiotics Or Eat Fermented Foods
For one, fermented foods are far more potent than probiotic supplements. To give you an idea, 2 ounces of sauerkraut has more probiotics than 100 capsules. 4-6 ounces of fermented vegetables has around 10 trillion bacteria, compared to the average probiotic supplement that contains around 10 billion.
What To Do With Canned Sauerkraut
20 ways to eat plain sauerkraut with your meal. I know, not particularly exciting, but the most common and easiest way to eat it. Eat it like salsa. Replace the sauerkraut for the salsa with peppers like my cilantro jalapeño. Put it on the eggs. Add it to a burrito. It is delicious with avocado. Avocado toast. Use it in a dip. Vinaigrette.
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Things To Consider Before Purchasing The Best Sauerkraut For Probiotics
Did you know that you can make your sauerkraut at home? Yes, you can, and it is likely to be more efficient than the one you get from stores or buy online. This is because some sellers might add some chemical preservatives that you may know nothing about.
Over the long-term, this may be harmful to you, contrary to the purpose that you had in mind of improving your health and ensuring that your immune system can gun down infections and diseases. However, how you prepare, matters a lot.
The truth is that it could bear a minimal amount that is not enough to replace the probiotic supplements. The number of bacteria in not only home-made sauerkraut but also the one made for you is dependent on the method of fermentation used and the time taken to do it.
The good thing about doing it by yourself is that you can influence its taste. Regarding taste, everyone will have a different opinion as to which is the best. That is why what tastes impressive to you may be average or even very disgusting to your friend.
And if you just do it right, two tablespoons of sauerkraut should be equivalent to approximately one million colony-forming units. The good news is that you can take it with your usual dish and even in hot dogs and hamburgers. The list is endless.
How To Add Sauerkraut To Your Meal Plan
My favorite way to eat sauerkraut is as a brine-y, pickled bite to a sandwich wrap, burger, or a salad. Think of anything you like to add a salty, brined bite to! If you are eating sauerkraut in a medicinal way, such as if you are on the GAPS protocol, sometimes its just best to eat a tablespoon or so before you eat your meal to get the digestive enzymes in your gut to help you digest your meal and to get it over with if you dont particularly care for the taste. I have to admit, not growing up on sauerkraut, it took me some time to get used to. I ate it because I knew I needed it, and over time I have grown to love it!
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Might Enable You To Drop Some Weight
Repeatedly consuming sauerkraut could enable you to drop some weight and preserve it off. Thats partly as a result of sauerkraut, like most greens, is low in energy and excessive in fiber. Excessive fiber diets preserve you fuller for longer, which can enable you to naturally scale back the variety of energy you eat every day . Sauerkrauts probiotic content material might also contribute to a trimmer waistline. The precise causes arent but totally understood, however scientists imagine that sure probiotics could have the power to cut back the quantity of fats your physique absorbs out of your food regimen Numerous research report that individuals given probiotic-rich meals or dietary supplements misplaced extra weight than these given a placebo . A latest examine even studies that purposely overfed individuals given probiotics gained about 50% much less physique fats than overfed individuals given a placebo. This implies probiotic-rich food regimen could even assist forestall weight acquire . Nevertheless, these outcomes will not be common. In addition, completely different probiotic strains could have various results. Thus, extra analysis is required to find out the effectiveness of sauerkraut-specific probiotic strains on weight reduction . SUMMARY Sauerkrauts low calorie, excessive fiber, and excessive probiotic content material could assist forestall weight acquire and promote the lack of undesirable physique fats.
How To Shop For Sauerkraut
You can find sauerkraut easily in most supermarkets, but not all types youll come across will be the same.
To ensure you get the most out of store-bought sauerkraut, try to keep these simple tips in mind:
- Avoid pasteurized varieties. Off-the-shelf sauerkraut is typically pasteurized, a process that kills the beneficial probiotics. Refrigerated varieties are less likely to be pasteurized, but check the label to be sure.
- Avoid preservatives. Many store-bought sauerkraut brands contain preservatives, which may lower the probiotic count.
- Avoid added sugars. Sauerkraut should only contain two basic ingredients: cabbage and salt. Some varieties may also add extra vegetables, but avoid those that add sugar or anything else to the mix.
Alternatively, to make sure you get all the health benefits of sauerkraut, you can make it yourself.
You will get the most benefits out of store-bought sauerkraut by opting for non-pasteurized varieties that dont contain added sugars or preservatives.
Making sauerkraut is easy, simple and inexpensive. Heres how:
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Homemade Sauerkraut: Natural Probiotics
Are you intimidated by the challenge of making homemade sauerkraut? I was. And not just intimidated. I was full-on Gloria Gaynor: afraid and petrified.
I thought to myself, What if I give us botulism? What if I kill us all?!? But then I reminded myself that, give or take a century, fermenting food has been around for thousands of years. Homemade sauerkraut is not just a condiment its a primal chapter of the collective human experience. So, I needed to grow a pair and get over my fear. And boy, am I happy I did!
Sauerkraut: A Probiotic Superfood
Ryan Paul Orgeron II, Angela Corbin, Brigett Scott
Background: Sauerkraut could potentially be a probiotic superfood. Sauerkraut does not require the use of a starter culture to cultivate these beneficial bacteria. All that is needed is a measure of salt and the cabbage. Naturally made, unprocessed sauerkraut contains probiotic microorganisms called Lactic Acid Bacteria . LAB is one of the most significant organisms and has established benefits. For example, Lactic Acid Bacteria has established benefits with the treatment of diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, infections . LAB have also been shown to enhance immune system function to help prevent various illnesses and promote lactose digestion. Nevertheless, there is very little conclusive evidence on how much LAB is in sauerkraut and if there is enough present to confer benefits.
Purpose: Determine if various serving sizes of homemade sauerkraut meets the recommended CFU range in comparison to a control .
Results: The results were calculated as the mean of CFUs recorded from the 3 trials for both the control and the sauerkraut. The control group was calculated as a mean of 4.3×107 CFUs with a Relative Standard Deviation of 3.5% CFUs. The sauerkraut averages were calculated for each of the serving sizes. The 2 Tbsp. serving has a mean of 1.5×106 , the 12 cup has a mean of 5.9×106 , and the 1 cup serving has a mean of 1.2×107 .
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Which Sauerkraut Has The Most Probiotics
Sauerkraut is a traditional German specialty dish that doesnt only taste great but can have surprisingly beneficial side-effects on your gut. One of the many benefits is the wide range of good bacteria it adds to your gut flora.
But how do you know if your sauerkraut is really probiotic-rich? And which sauerkraut has the most probiotics?
The most probiotics can be found in sauerkraut that has been fermented for at least 3 weeks and has not been processed. The fermentation that occurs when sauerkraut is left at room temperature allows for the growth of beneficial bacteria . The longer the sauerkraut is left to ferment, the more probiotic cultures can form.
Sauerkraut that has been processed in any way will have fewer probiotics. Cooking completely destroys the bacteria and even adding vinegar to your sauerkraut may reduce its probiotic content.
E Coli Salmonella C Botulinum And Other Pathogenic Bacteria
The beauty of fermentation lies in the ability of lactic acid, which forms during fermentation, to create an environment inhospitable to pathogenic bacteria.
Lactic acid bacteria are world-class athletes when it comes to consuming the sugars in vegetables and converting them to lactic acid. This lactic acid is more effective than other types of acid at destroying pathogenic bacteria, including Salmonella and E. coli. Its a combination of the acids ability to kill bacteria and the low pH created by fermentation that makes fermented foods so safe.
Testing the pH of fermented vegetables is a great way to ensure food safety, especially if you are new to fermentation or you are experimenting with your own recipes.
Many new to fermentation especially those with experience in hot-water-bath canning are especially concerned about botulism. Botulism is an illness that causes varying degrees of paralysis in the body from a toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. Just like the bacteria responsible for fermentation, C. botulinum is practically everywhere. Its only when conditions are right that it grows and makes the toxin responsible for botulism. The germination and growth and production of the botulinum toxin is prevented in acidified foods.
Hopefully, you are now more than ever motivated to eat some scrumptious sauerkraut. There are so many delicious ways to add sauerkraut to a meal.
Check here if you need to know how much sauerkraut to eat daily.
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Desirable Fermentation Temperature Ranges
The USDA Complete Guide says,
For obtaining a good quality sauerkraut at home, the USDA recommendation is to store at 70º to 75ºF while fermenting. At temperatures between 70º and 75ºF , kraut will be fully fermented in about 3 to 4 weeks at 60º to 65ºF , fermentation may take 5 to 6 weeks. At temperatures lower than 60ºF , kraut may not ferment. Above 75ºF , kraut may become soft. USDA Complete Guide. 2015. Page 6-8.
Linda Ziedrich says, Set the container out of direct sunlight at cool room temperature, no higher than 75º F . Sauerkraut that ferments at cooler temperatures 65º F or lower has the best flavour and colour and highest vitamin C levels. The Joy of Pickling. 2016. Page 217 and 221.
Wisconsin Extension says if the temperature gets too cold, all is not lost: If the temperature drops below freezing, fermentation will stop, but will start again when the temperature rises into a favourable range. Make your own sauerkraut. Page 3
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What Are Probiotics In Sauerkraut
Essentially, probiotics in sauerkraut are tiny microorganisms that form in the process of fermentation. Sauerkraut ferments because it contains plenty of lactic acid bacteria that ferment the cabbage at around 18 degrees Celcius or 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
The fermentation process has a very specific purpose in sauerkraut: to rapidly proliferate lactic acid-producing bacteria, primarily Lactobacilli, through the food. These Lactobacilli cause the pH to decrease, rendering the environment acidic and inappropriate for the development of unwanted bacteria.
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What Are The Best Ways To Eat Sauerkraut
A lot of people top a hotdog with sauerkraut, use it when making Reuben sandwiches. There are a ton of other ways to eat it, too. Its pretty versatile really, when you consider its made from the simple cabbage! Making your own sauerkraut is the best idea, and then you can enjoy it these ways:
- Add to a bowl of slightly cooled soup
- Eat it as a simple side condiment
- Top poached eggs
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Possibly Rich In Iron
The possibly high iron content in sauerkraut helps boost energy as it increases metabolism and blood circulation. More significantly, a study published in the European Journal of Nutrition found that the fermentation process in its preparation increases the bioavailability of iron. In other words, your body absorbs a higher amount of iron from sauerkraut than many other iron-rich foods.
Sauerkraut is finely cut raw cabbage that has been fermented. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
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Might Promote Coronary Heart Well Being
Sauerkraut could contribute to a more healthy coronary heart. Thats as a result of it incorporates a very good quantity of fiber and probiotics, each of which can assist scale back levels of cholesterol . Probiotics reminiscent of these present in sauerkraut might also assist decrease blood strain barely in individuals with hypertension. Individuals appear to attain the perfect outcomes once they take a minimum of 10 million CFUs per day for longer than 8 weeks . Furthermore, sauerkraut is without doubt one of the uncommon plant sources of menaquinone, extra generally generally known as vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is believed to assist scale back the danger of coronary heart illness by stopping calcium deposits from accumulating within the arteries . In one examine, common consumption of vitamin-K2-rich meals was linked to a 57% decrease danger of dying from coronary heart illness over the 710 12 months examine interval . In one other, girls decreased their danger of coronary heart illness by 9% for each 10 mcg of vitamin K2 they consumed per day . For reference, 1 cup of sauerkraut incorporates about 6.6 mcg of vitamin K2 . SUMMARY The fiber, probiotic, and vitamin K2 contents of sauerkraut could contribute to decrease levels of cholesterol, slight enhancements in blood strain, and a decrease danger of coronary heart illness.
Where To Find Oligofructose
Inulin is present in high concentrations in chicory root, agave, and even dandelions. It is present to a lesser extent in bananas, wheat, onions, asparagus, rye, and barley. Indeed, it has been found in over 36,000 plants around the world. Oligofructose, also present in these foods, is a similar fiber. Very surprisingly, Americans get only about 2 grams/day of these fibers, 70% from wheat and 20% from onions. Europeans eat three times this amount. Somehow our food industries and our eating habits have simply bypassed this remarkable fiber. These soluble prebiotic fibers have by far the most science behind them. Much of the research in the scientific literature, in fact, has been done with a combination of inulin and oligofructose.
The mixture of these two fibers is called oligofructose-enriched inulin. It seems to provide a synergy whereby the mixture of the two has been found to be more effective in producing beneficial results than either one by itself. It is also a full-spectrum lower gut health solution because it acts in all areas of the colon, not just one localized site. The laboratory, animal and human studies reported in the medical literature are impressive and it is only just beginning. The benefits of these prebiotic fibers include better digestive health, improved immunity to disease, better appetite control, reduced anxiety, improved mineral absorption, stronger bones and more.
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