Whether you suffer from gastrointestinal issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or just want to improve your overall gut health, you should strongly consider adding sauerkraut to your diet. The health benefits of sauerkraut have been receiving a significant amount of attention, and gut health is one area where sauerkraut shines. Sauerkraut can help improve gut health by increasing the diversity of the bacteria living in your colon and ensuring that they're well-fed. Read on to learn more about the gut health benefits of sauerkraut and how it can improve your digestion.
Sauerkraut's Bacteria Make It a Probiotic Food
Sauerkraut is a fermented food, which means that it contains numerous amounts of live bacteria. Sauerkraut is kept in a jar filled with a brine for several weeks, which allows the bacteria naturally found on cabbage to multiply. The bacteria produce lactic acid as they multiply and eat the cabbage, which is what gives sauerkraut its distinctive sour flavor. Because of the numerous bacteria contained in sauerkraut, it's considered a probiotic food.
When you eat sauerkraut, some of the live bacteria contained in it will make it all the way through your digestive tract and end up in your colon, where they'll reside. For good gut health, you'll need a diverse colony of bacteria living in your colon. The bacteria living in your colon break down food and produce helpful compounds like short-chain fatty acids, which have a protective effect on the lining of your colon. By eating sauerkraut, you'll introduce new bacteria to your gut and help improve its diversity.
Sauerkraut's High Fiber Content Provides Ample Sustenance for Your Gut Bacteria
Probiotics can help introduce new bacteria to your gut, but they won't do much good unless you also provide the bacteria with something to eat. If you don't feed them, the bacteria will simply die off. Thankfully, sauerkraut is also an excellent source of fiber. Fiber is a starch that can't be broken down by the human body, so it travels to your colon undigested when you eat it. Once it arrives in your colon, the bacteria living there will begin to consume it and multiply. By eating fiber-filled sauerkraut regularly, you'll provide your gut bacteria with the fiber that they need to thrive.
Overall, sauerkraut can significantly improve the health of your gut by introducing new bacteria to your colon and ensuring that they have enough food to survive. If you suffer from gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome or constipation, adding small amounts of sauerkraut to your diet can help alleviate your symptoms by helping your gut function more effectively. Sauerkraut is inexpensive, and you don't need to eat very much in order to introduce substantial amounts of helpful bacteria to your colon.
As a final note, one thing you should keep in mind is that most sauerkraut in the store has been pasteurized in order to improve its shelf life. The pasteurization process kills all of the bacteria in the sauerkraut, so you won't receive any probiotic benefits from sauerkraut that's been pasteurized. If you want to maximize the gut health benefits of sauerkraut, make sure that you're purchasing unpasteurized sauerkraut. Look for a company like Fermentools that provides sauerkraut to learn more.