Been there. I used to get it on a Seattle Dog (hotdog, cream cheese, sautéed onions + kraut) after hitting up the bars on Friday and Saturday night in my 20’s. Other than that? Nope! Too tangy.
But over the last handful of years my love for sauerkraut has blossomed and I truly struggle without it when I’m on trips.
Why? Because of how it supports my gut and digestion.
A quick refresher-
Our gut often struggles with digestion and running properly because of the lack of bacteria- both prebiotic (fiber) and probiotic (fermented foods and supps). The more lush and diverse the bacteria is in our gut, the clearer our skin will be, the healthier our organs will be, the lower our chances are of chronic diseases, and our digestion will work better.
We need prebiotic bacteria to feed the probiotic bacteria so they are happy, thriving, and give off postbiotics, or short chain fatty acids. I get into it more here, but just know we need fiber and fermented foods daily to help our digestion.
So many fermented food sources have additional ingredients we don’t want (kombucha w/ tons of sugar, greek yogurt w/ lots of additives, etc.) but kraut is just straight up cabbage (a super food in itself), salt, and other herbs and spices, if you make sure you are sourcing the raw kind (the kind that needs to be refrigerated).
All of the dense probiotic bacteria! Again, we want our gut to have billions of bacteria, and when kraut is fermented, it takes the already abundant bacteria from the cabbage and multiplies it exponentially. This new bacteria enters your gut and starts to make sure all systems are a go, and that includes digestion.
However, if you aren’t used to getting a good amount of fiber in or any fermented foods in, it takes a sec for your gut to adjust. You might experience a few days of gas and bloating as it settles in, but should subside after a week of consistent intake.
And once it starts feeling normal, that’s when the magical healing properties take shape, and your digestion will start to improve!
Obviously I don’t suggest eating a hotdog every day. And I know at first, many people aren’t used to the tanginess of it, so I would start slow. Start with a teaspoon a day and get your tastebuds used to it and gradually start to increase your intake until you are craving your kraut!
And again, quality of sauerkraut is key. If you are buying it, you want to find it in the refrigerator section, not on the shelf. The stuff that needs to be refrigerated has the most living, healthy bacteria in it.
Or, you can always make it yourself! It’s so easy and inexpensive, anyone can do it!
I hold virtual Fermented Food Workshops quarterly so make sure you are subscribed to my email list so you know when the next one is coming up! Or take a peek at this blog post that walks you through the process.
I hope you are ready to give sauerkraut a go! It’s so good for your gut and one of the best foods you can consume to support digestion.