Sunday Health Hack No. 4 – Sauerkraut your gut!

Next to Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), Sauerkraut should become an “evergreen” in your diet staple.

Sunday Health Hack No. 4 – Have a couple of forks of (raw) Sauerkraut before every lunch and dinner.

As mentioned in my ACV health hack (No. 3) “prevention” and a “happy, healthy lifestyle” starts with your “gut health”, and I talked about the importance of “fermented foods” for the gut.

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It’s a “pre-biotic”, feeding the gut-bacteria with yummy fibres, and it’s a “pro-biotic” as well, adding “good bacteria” to your gut-lining.

Probiotics are bacteria that provide powerful health benefits as they act as the first line of defence against toxins and harmful bacteria.
Your gut is said to contain over 100 trillion microorganisms or “gut flora,” which is more than 10 times the total number of cells in your body.
Regular Probiotic supplements may contain anywhere from 1–50 billion colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose. As does just 10 grams of sauerkraut (1-2 forks).

Sauerkraut is also a great “gut cleaner”. Meaning it cleans the gut-linings from all the waste, non-digested food left-overs, toxins, pathogens and other “unfriendly” microbes. This increases your gut’s ability to (finally) absorb nutrients like vitamins or minerals much better. Additionally, Sauerkraut contains a variety of enzymes itself and also kickstarts the pancreas to release further enzymes, which help break down nutrients into even smaller, more easily digestible molecules.

All this goes along with a better bowl movement and increased digestive juice production, which also offers a much quicker satiation and prevents bloatedness (and over-eating).

Sidenote: Antibiotics destroy or at least disturb your gut flora. So just in case you had to or will have to take antibiotics in the future, get some extra XL servings of Sauerkraut the days after. The Probiotics in sauerkraut will profoundly help you to re-balance your messed-up gut-flora.

Sauerkraut also comes along with a good amount of Vitamin C and Vitamin K2, and a long (long) list of minerals. All, again, an additional great booster for your immune system.

A word regarding the importance of Vitamin K2 – Most certainly you’ve read that you need to drink more milk and eat more dairy products for your sufficient “Calcium” intake and healthy bones.
Wrong. Simply put – dairy products put your body in an “acid” state. To balance this out the body needs for a rather complicated chemical process much more Calcium than it got from the dairy source. And worst case, your body sucks the Calcium out of your bones to provide for this vital acid-base balance.

Apparently with a “normal” diet your Calcium intake is actually sufficient. The problem is that the Calcium is often going to the wrong places, even potentially clogging your arteries if it doesn’t find a place where it’s needed. That’s where Vitamin K comes into play which functions as sort of a “Calcium commando bridge” or “regulator”, getting the Calcium to all the places within your body where it is needed most.

Sunday Health Hack No. 4 – Have a couple of forks of (raw) Sauerkraut before every lunch and dinner.

Most probably you are familiar with the salad side-dish before lunch and/or dinner. Now swap this with Sauerkraut. At least at home.
But even when I go to a restaurant or when I travel I always take along a little box (500ml) of Sauerkraut. The good bacteria in your gut are very sensitive and prone to stress. Traveling is always in some way stressful to your body. Not to mention the “un-clean” food choices at airports, train stations, hotels, street restaurants etc. which play havoc with your digestive system (Thus, Traveling “health choices” will be a topic of a future Health Hack for sure).

And until today no restaurant waiter or waitress has refused to allow me picking a bit of Sauerkraut from my box before the meal. Quite the opposite.

Extra-Tipp: Next time you go to a restaurant with a client, offer him/her some of your Sauerkraut before the meal. Following and benefiting from the Golden Rule – Happy gut, happy customer! 🙂

Raw not cooked – Quality matters again!

First, don’t cook Sauerkraut or buy Sauerkraut which has been pasteurized, and don’t eat boiled Sauerkraut in a restaurant etc.. Heat destroys all the above mentioned benefits of Sauerkraut.

It’s got to be “raw” but because of the long fermentation process it’s quite “munchy”, and not “crispy” (hard to chew on) like the regular iceberg lettuce or coleslaw.

Of course, again, the more “organic” the better. “Raw” Sauerkraut in the supermarket is most often pasteurised. But you will find Sauerkraut on almost every farmer’s market and health food store in “honest”, fresh quality. And also again, it’s cheap. So no excuse not to dive into Sauerkraut regularly, for profiting from its multiple (gut and overall health) benefits.

Sauer & Gut,  Andreas

Always trust your gut! Your brain might play tricks, your heart may be blind, but your gut is always right.

Let’s create a “Hotel Paradiso” for your good bacteria in your gut with Sauerkraut. Offering its host (you) much appreciation and “amore”. By the way, “Cinema Paradiso” is also a lovely movie to watch again on one of these still dark, cold, wet “couch” Sundays.