Top 5 Benefits of Sauerkraut (#4 is sure to surprise you!)
Your gut– the key to your body's ability to thrive!
As science begins to deepen its understanding of the body, the gut has become a major topic in the world of health and nutrition. Recent discoveries have shown that nearly 70% of our bodies immune system lies in the gut. (1) We are beginning to understand that increasing our gut health is a way we can drastically decrease our bodies susceptibility to diseases. The symptoms of today's most common diseases such as auto-immune disease, skin issues (acne, psoriasis, eczema) and digestion issues (IBS, bloating, gas) can be mitigated and even reduced drastically by increasing gut health . Moreover science has also found increasing links to the and even mental conditions such as depression, stress, and anxiety. Eating fermented foods like sauerkraut is one great way to help increase the beneficial gut bacteria which plays a crucial role in our overall gut health. Here are the top 5 benefits of sauerkraut.
1.) Strengthens the Immune System
Because sauerkraut is a natural probiotic, it helps to diversify the healthy bacteria located in your gut.
Why is healthy gut bacteria important?
We have over 400 different species of bacteria in the gut. These bacteria help us digest and assimilate the nutrients we need in order to continue to regenerate our bodies systems. You can think of your gut bacteria as the internal army which helps fight disease, protect against pathogens and eliminate free radicals which cause distress and harm to the body. (2)
Vitamin C anyone? 1 cup of sauerkraut has over 30% of your DV (3).
2.) Improves Digestion
Sauerkraut is full of soluble fiber which is necessary for good elimination. Having regular bowel movements is the key way your body eliminates TOXINS. Toxic build up can create many imbalances and disturbances in the body such as; headaches, joint pain, brain fog, constant fatigue and more.
Struggling with constipation, IBS or an irregular digestion?
Add 1 cup of pasteurized (pasteurization/heat kills beneficial bacteria) sauerkraut to your diet daily to help regulate the bowels and prevent colon cancer.
3.) Increased Energy
Do you find yourself lacking the energy to help get you through the day?
Improving your digestion helps to enhance your bodies ability to assimilate and absorb nutrients providing for increased energy production. Not only does sauerkraut enhance digestion, it also is loaded with vitamins C, K, iron and lactic acid which helps with nutrient absorption.
4.) Helps to Improve Mood
Did you know some of the neurotransmitters responsible for producing happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin are largely produced in the gut? It's estimated that up to 90% of your bodies serotonin is produced in the digestive tract. (4)
The role that gut health has when it comes to modulating feelings such as stress, anxiety and depression is becoming more evident as scientists begin to better understand the gut-brain axis and its effects on our moods, health and well-being. (5)
5.) Lowers the risk of Dis-ease
Recent studies have shown that inflammation is the root cause of most diseases. (6) Diseases such as auto-immune, neurological (Parkinsons, M.S.), IBS and many more are often triggered after prolonged periods of dealing with systemic inflammation. Pre & probiotic rich foods such as sauerkraut and other fermented foods help lower inflammation, therefore reducing the risk of disease.
Your health is largely determined by your actions.
Taking preventative measures when it comes to your health makes a difference. What you put into your body largely determines what you get out of it. If the foods you eat fuel your body's systems instead of challenge it, then you are going to gain energy by decreasing the load on the digestion system. A great example is choosing to eat foods that are antioxidant rich and nutrient dense, over foods loaded with toxins such as artificial flavors and preservatives.
A great example of healthy snacking is choosing sauerkraut which is full of vitamins, minerals and healthy bacteria, instead potato chips which have little to no nutritional value and include elements that take away from your health such as high omega 6's oils and other preservatives which create toxic build up in the body.
The modern day model of medicine is to focus on the symptom, not the cause.
“Are you over weight? Try this diet pill. Do you have allergies? Take this allergy medicine.”
Functional medicine does the opposite. The first approach is to take preventative measures in order to stop problems before they occur. If problems to occur, our first instinct is to seek out the root.
Asking questions like; “What are the possible triggers that could be causing the weight/allergies/disease?” From there, we discover the best way to tackle the issue. While this practice requires more patience and may take longer than your over the counter quick fix, you are more likely to get long term relief and achieve an elevated level of being.
The beautiful journey of health and vitality is the fact regardless of how good or bad you feel today, there is usually an opportunity to feel even better tomorrow.
Two years ago if someone would have asked me how I felt my health was, without even questioning I would have said great. I was at the peak of my fitness, teaching and taking yoga 1-2 times a day and finishing up school for nutrition; my food choices were better than they ever had been. I would never questioned my ability to feel better physically, mentally and emotionally.
Fast forward to today, and I can honestly say I had no idea that my level of health and vitality could reach this level. As I consistently make conscious choices when it comes to my mental, physical and emotional health I feel more connected to my body in ways I never thought possible. As my mental clarity increases, my energy levels are much less dependent on outside circumstances such as (stimulants, sleep, stress & emotions) and my ability to connect spiritually has also strengthened 10 fold.
Your ability to wake up everyday feeling refreshed, awake and alive is not only possible it's in your nature. When you commit to honoring the very vessel that allows you to have this experience the reward will be far greater than you could ever imagine.
Commit to you, for when you commit to you, you honor everything and everyone else around you.
Love & Light,
Recipes on Sauerkraut coming out in next week's blog!