We feel that it's important to understand why certain things are good for us. While more research on fermented foods is being conducted each and every year, there are still questions as to the exact benefits offered by them. Below you can find some studies that can help us all make more conscious food choices.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice, this is merely a compilation of available scientific literature on the topic of fermented foods. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor.
Fermented Foods & Digestion
There is a growing body of evidence indicating that fermented foods provide health benefits that go beyond the nutritional value of their raw ingredients. This is primarily due to the bioactive compounds generated by lactic acid bacteria.
Probiotic supplements can have a varying amount of colony-forming units (CFUs) per dose, ranging from 1 to 50 billion. On the other hand, 1 gram of sauerkraut can contain 100,000 to 100 million CFUs. That's between 5.6 million and 560 million CFU of probiotics per 2oz serving.
Sauerkraut that has not undergone pasteurization contains probiotics - beneficial bacteria that play a vital role as the initial defense against harmful toxins and bacteria. Additionally, these probiotics have the potential to enhance digestion and promote overall wellness.
Probiotics present in sauerkraut have the potential to restore bacterial equilibrium in the gut after it has been disrupted by antibiotics, which can aid in decreasing or preventing diarrhea caused by the use of antibiotics.
Studies demonstrate that probiotics have the potential to alleviate symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and those associated with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Having a variety of probiotic strains can offer more health benefits, and sauerkraut could be advantageous as it may contain up to 28 different strains in a single serving.
Fermented foods are comprised of a range of enzymes that facilitate the breakdown of nutrients into smaller, more readily absorbable molecules during digestion.
Fermented Foods & Immune System
Sustaining a healthy balance of gut bacteria not only discourages the proliferation of harmful bacteria but may also enhance the production of natural antibodies.
Additionally, consuming probiotic-rich foods like sauerkraut on a regular basis could potentially lower the chances of contracting infections, such as the common cold and urinary tract infections.
A reinforced gut lining can aid in blocking the entry of unwanted substances into the body, thereby reducing the likelihood of an immune response.
In the event of illness, consuming probiotic-rich foods on a regular basis might potentially hasten the recovery process.