specialty food baskets for gifts

Why Is Sauerkraut Becoming More Popular?

by Jeffery Howard

Sauerkraut is not new, but like many "superfoods," it's having a moment. The cabbage-based condiment is very healthy and nutritious — remember that a superfood is really just an extremely nutritious food — and you don't have to eat bowls full of the stuff to experience its benefits. And those benefits are many, making this a truly good addition to your daily diet. The humble mix of salt and cabbage can be used in everything from New York-style hot dogs to wraps to even a salad topping, giving you an array of ways to improve your health.

Low-Calorie but Filling Due to Bulk and Fiber

Sauerkraut has nothing in it but cabbage, salt, and occasionally spices, and despite looking fairly soggy at times, it's a stellar source of fiber. True, if you're eating only a tablespoon or two, you might not get a lot of fiber as a whole, but the amount you do get is better given the portion you're eating than you'd see in a lot of other foods. The cabbage also makes the sauerkraut bulky, so it's filling, and the salt can add to the satiety factor. Add in the fact that since it's cabbage, it is already very low-calorie, and you have a good dietary addition if you're trying to cut calories.

Probiotics for Immune and Gut Health

During the fermentation process, which is what happens when the cabbage sits in salt in a jar and a room-temperature spot, the sauerkraut develops probiotics that help make your gut more healthy (increasing the good flora) and that help your immune system stay good. The increase in good gut flora may also influence your overall sense of well-being, both physical and mental.

Extremely Nutritious

Cabbage itself is already pretty nutritious, but the fermentation process may increase the number of nutrients. Concentration — the cabbage shrinking down while the nutrients are preserved — can also increase the number of nutrients you get per spoonful of sauerkraut. You get vitamins C, K, and a couple of Bs, plus iron, manganese, copper, and potassium all in a small amount of food.

While sauerkraut alone won't make you extremely healthy, it is a great food to add to recipes. You can make it at home or buy it, have a basic cabbage-and-salt recipe, or find one where you add ginger and other spices. Either way, you end up with a long-lasting, nutritious condiment that adds a lot of flavor to any dish.

To begin eating this nutritious food, contact a specialty food supplier such as Fermentools.