Sauerkraut is a unique food that is popular around the globe. It is bursting with nutrition, and it has an addictive tangy flavor that works well within all different cuisines.
But, is sauerkraut keto or low-carb? To find out, take a look at the info-packed article below. It covers everything you need to know so you can make the most informed dietary choices.
Check it out.
Sauerkraut is a kind of fermented cabbage that is thought to have originated over 2000 years ago in China.
At that time, many different types of food were fermented to keep them from spoiling quickly, but in the years since, sauerkraut has become a staple across the world.
The name ‘sauerkraut’ comes from Germany, where this dish is especially appreciated today. It translated literally to ‘sour cabbage’, eluding to the tangy flavor produced by the fermentation process.
The popularity of sauerkraut, in part, stems from its unique and bold flavor that brings many different types of dishes to life.
However, it is also, in part, a consequence of the wide array of health benefits associated with it. To learn more, take a look at the sections below.
How To Make Sauerkraut
To make sauerkraut, the cabbage needs to undergo a type of pickling called lactic acid fermentation. This is a similar process to the one that produces kimchi and pickled cucumbers.
You can purchase ready-made sauerkraut from the store. However, you can also make it yourself with just a few simple steps.
First, you combine thinly sliced cabbage with salt in an air-tight jar. Leave the jar in a cool room and wait for your cabbage to ferment!
Sauerkraut Nutritional Information
As mentioned above, sauerkraut is an incredibly nutritious food. It boasts many different health benefits as a consequence of the fermentation process that it undergoes.
In fact, the nutrition provided by sauerkraut goes far beyond that of just cabbage! To learn more about the nutritional value of sauerkraut, take a look at the table below. It describes the nutritional value of one cup of sauerkraut.
|Sodium||41% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin C||23% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin K1||15% of Daily Value|
|Iron||12% of Daily Value|
|Manganese||9% of Daily Value|
|Vitamin B6||11% of Daily Value|
|Folate||9% of Daily Value|
|Copper||15% of Daily Value|
|Potassium||5% of Daily Value|
Sauerkraut boasts this impressive nutritional profile thanks to its fermentation process.
The process creates the optimal conditions for the growth of beneficial probiotics, which provide powerful health benefits. They also help your body digest food and absorb nutrients more easily.
However, it is important to note that different versions of sauerkraut may have more unhealthy ingredients than others (e.g. sugar or salt).
Most versions of sauerkraut are high in sodium, so if you need to keep an eye on your salt intake, sauerkraut may not be the best option for you.
Sauerkraut Health Benefits
So, what are these incredible health benefits associated with consuming sauerkraut? Let’s find out! Take a look at some of the most impressive health benefits below.
Aids With Digestion
As previously mentioned, unpasteurized sauerkraut contains a number of probiotics. These work to protect against toxins and bacteria that may be harmful. They also work to improve your digestive processes.
Research has shown that the probiotics in sauerkraut can help to rebalance the bacteria in your gut after it has been thrown off due to the use of antibiotics. As such, sauerkraut is a great food to eat after you’ve experienced an infection.
Other studies have concluded that sauerkraut helps to reduce gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and other symptoms associated with issues pertaining to the gut and bowels.
It also ensures that nutrients are broken down small enough to be more easily absorbed.
Maintains Healthy Immune System
Thanks to the presence of probiotics and a huge number of nutrients, sauerkraut is understood to boost the immune system.
The gut tends to have a very strong influence on the immune system, and as we’ve just discussed, sauerkraut has a great effect on the gut.
Specifically, studies have confirmed that maintaining healthy gut flora may boost the production of antibodies.
This is supported by research that has concluded consuming food like sauerkraut may reduce your risk of developing infections, from the common cold to UTIs!
As such, if you struggle with infections often, consuming sauerkraut and other probiotic-rich foods may help you to fight off illnesses and recover faster. Sauerkraut is also high in vitamin C which has a protective function.
Aids With Weight Management
It has been found that regularly consuming sauerkraut may help you lose weight and maintain it. In part, this is because sauerkraut has a low calorie content and a high fiber content, which helps you feel fuller for longer.
It is also thought that, thanks to its probiotic content, sauerkraut may work to trim the waistline.
More research is needed to confirm this, however, many scientists believe that sauerkraut may reduce the amount of fat that your body absorbs from your diet.
However, more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of sauerkraut-specific probiotics on weight loss.
Although, considering there are very few negative effects of consuming sauerkraut, we think that it’s worth a try!
Helps To Reduce Stress
Believe it or not, sauerkraut may actually work to reduce your stress levels and help to maintain the health of your brain. This is because, in recent years, scientists have found a number of links between gut health and brain health.
Specifically, healthy gut flora is associated with lower stress levels and a healthier brain.
Additionally, probiotics have been found to help to improve memory and reduce symptoms of common mental illnesses such as anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
It is also estimated that sauerkraut may also help to maintain brain health by increasing the number of nutrients that your gut is able to absorb. Increased absorption of magnesium and zinc, in particular, has been shown to provide these benefits.
Reduce Risk Of Cancer
Cabbage contains a number of antioxidants that are thought to potentially reduce the risk of certain cancers. Many scientists believe that the fermentation process may also encourage the growth of certain plant compounds that help to prevent cell mutations.
Two recent studies found that both cabbage and sauerkraut juice can help to reduce the risk of cancer. They do this by reducing the expression of genes that are associated with the development of cancer.
Another study found that women consuming over 3 servings of sauerkraut each week had a 72% lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate less than 1.5 servings per week. Similar results have been found concerning men and prostate cancer.
Promotes Heart Health
Thanks to the probiotic and fiber content in sauerkraut, it is thought to help to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. In turn, it is thought that this process works to ensure that the heart remains healthy.
In fact, it has been found that consuming such probiotics may reduce blood pressure in people with hypertension.
Vitamin K2, which is present in sauerkraut, is also believed to reduce the risk of heart disease by ensuring the arteries remain clear.
Is Sauerkraut Keto-Friendly?
Now that you’re fully convinced of the wonderful health benefits of sauerkraut, you’re likely wondering, but… is it keto-friendly?
Well, you’ll be pleased to find out that it is! It is low in carbs and calories which means that it can be consumed on pretty much any diet – including super strict keto diets!
In 100g of sauerkraut, there are just 29 calories and 4.2 grams of carbohydrates – 2.8 of which are fiber. As such, if you’re on a keto diet, we highly recommend incorporating this nutrient-dense food into your diet!
Keto-Friendly Recipes With Sauerkraut
If you’re looking for some recipe inspiration, check out our favorite keto-friendly recipes that include sauerkraut below.
If you’re craving the big, indulgent flavors associated with a goulash, you need to check out this keto version. It is built a little bit differently, but it is delicious and bursting with incredibly healthy ingredients.
If you’re in need of a quick, low-carb dinner that will satisfy even the pickiest eaters around the table, this creamy keto kielbasa and sauerkraut recipe is perfect. It is packed with flavor but leaves you feeling light and full of energy.
Finally, if you are struggling with the lack of snack food or appetizers on the keto diet, then you’ll love these keto sausage sauerkraut balls. They are perfect to pick on or to serve at a casual get-together.
Following the keto diet can be tricky. However, it’s a great opportunity to learn about foods you otherwise wouldn’t have eaten. We hope that this article has inspired you to incorporate sauerkraut into your diet.