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Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. This may bring forth images in your mind of sweaty old foodstuff, like my dear old mum who exclaimed 'that means off dunnit!? why would I eat that!' Errr no, it is not off!-it's not exactly fresh but it's most definitely not past its use by date, in fact fermentation prolongs the shelf life of fresh produce. Sadly this is a somewhat lost art that now has been associated with rotting food by people who don't know anything about it, which is a pretty sad thing as it would be to the benefit of such people like my old ma and to the benefit of pretty much everyone else to. Believe it or not, you are most likely eating fermented food and drink unbeknown to yourself! Cheese, wine, beer, vinegar crème fraîche, yogurt and so on. However, there is a wealth of fermented foods that you can make yourself that you wouldn't typically come across in your common supermarkets, namely fermented veggies like Sauerkraut.
Fermented food has been eaten by people all over the world dating as far back as 7000–6600 BCE-in the Neolithic Chinese village of Jiahu! A long time folks-must be something about it that's worth doing. It is reckoned that fermenting was most likely discovered by accident or that it happened in the wild and humans discovered that it seems to keep food safely edible for longer-bonus for farmers that wanted to stop their harvest or milk from spoiling before modern preservation tricks were born.
Not only does fermentation preserve the food, it detoxifies it and makes it safer to eat than if it was raw. It also enhances the flavour and makes the food richer in proteins, nutrients and amino and fatty acids again bonus for people back in the day before fridge/freezers for gaining nutrition in the winter months when fresh produce was scarce.
The process of fermented foods goes something like this-the food has undergone a metabolic process (a step by step process where one chemical is changed into another via a biological organism), whereby the carbohydrates have been anaerobically broken down by microorganisms to create either alcohol or acids. Anaerobic just means the process happens in an environment where oxygen is not present. The alcohol or acid that is produced helps to preserve the food as conditions are created where harmful bacteria, fungus, and mould can't survive. I'm sure that there are lots more scientific things going on but that's the basic gist.
You may ask, so how is this good bacteria beneficial for me?
Well, there has been a wealth of studies and still ongoing research that points to the fact that we live in symbiosis with billions of bacteria called the microbiome that plays a large part in our overall health. 'microbes are 10 times the total number of human cells and 100 times the total size of the human genome. Most of these microbes participate in metabolic activities that interact with the habitat they are growing in' gotta say, that makes for a strange visualization-makes me envision us as a bit like something out of a Rick and Morty episode! ?
Anyhow, the gut microbiome has been attributed to many health benefits such as a stronger immune system and help with digestive problems such as Crohn's disease, IBS, ulcerative colitis etc. It even affects how our brains work! probiotic-rich diets show positive effects on stress relief, depression, anxiety, and memory enhancement. It is said that the good bacteria can have neuroprotective properties that help fight against neurotoxic substances that can enter our bodies via the gut- several studies have provided evidence that neurotransmitter systems are affected by the gut microbiota. this also has a positive effect on conditions such as ADHD and autism.
For me, Sauerkraut is one of the kings of ferments as it is dairy free-not that I'm dairy free but it's good for those who are. It is fermented for a good 3-4 weeks which gives it a good chance to get the optimum amount of good bacteria growth and it's the sort of food I can accompany with anything, especially stodgy foods like pies and pasties. It's even good on a cheese butty! (butty= sandwich) Not only is it tasty and versatile, it turns a humble cabbage into a super nutritious accompaniment that is high in fibre and will help fill you up for longer. Some studies have shown that the probiotic element helps with weight loss and management as the microbes stop your body absorbing as much fat from the food you eat 
42gms (a cup) of Sauerkraut provides the following nutritional value: (%=daily allowance)
I would definitely conclude that Sauerkraut and any other fermented food or drink is a good addition to your diet. Be aware, however, Sauerkraut is quite high in sodium so if you are watching your salt intake, milk based ferments would probably be better. Also, Sauerkraut has high levels of histamine which for people that suffer from allergies such as hayfever, may have an effect on their allergy. The food itself is not an allergen but the histamine produced can just add to the already higher count of histamine in allergy sensitive people.
Henceforth and procure cabbage, salt, and some jars and make Sauerkraut!?
Please be aware that I, the author of this blog post, do not have any nutritional training or a health care expertise. The content of this blog post has not been evaluated by the (FDA)My tips and guides are based on experience and plenty of research. Please do not undertake any dietry changes without consulting a health care professional.