Cabbage is cultivated plant eaten as a vegetable. This leafy vegetable belongs to the Brassica family and it is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. People from all around the world use cabbage almost every day: they prepare salads and eat it fresh, use it for cooking and medicinal purposes, as well. Some people even prepare it and store it in form of sauerkraut and thus prolong its shelf life.
Sauerkraut is finely cut cabbage which is fermented by lactic acid bacteria (most commonly Leuconostoc, Lactobacillus and Pedicocuccus). As a result of the fermentation process, cabbage gets unique and distinctive sour taste and smell. It is important to mention that sauerkraut offers numerous healthy benefits that will improve your overall health. Below we are going to present you the health benefits of sauerkraut:
- Stimulates Weight Loss
Cabbage is low in calories, but is high in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Cabbage contains dietary fiber which is particularly beneficial for reducing weight as it makes you feel full for a longer period of time and thus prevents food cravings. That means that by eating cabbage you will provide your body with nutrients and you will avoid consummation of unhealthy food which leads to obesity.
- Prevents Cancer
Many experts believe that free radicals are major contributors for development of cancer. Due to the strong antioxidant properties, cabbage is able to impede and prevent damage caused by free radicals and thus to prevent cancer. In addition to that, cabbage contains lupeol, sinigrin and sulforaphane which are incredibly powerful anti-cancer agents and have the ability to regulate enzyme activity and hamper the growth of cancer cells.
- Promotes Heart Health
Sauerkraut is incredibly beneficial for the health of your heart. Due to its abundance in fiber, it will keep your heart in perfect condition. There are studies which have proved that it protects from cardiovascular issues as it prevents artery damage caused by high cholesterol levels. Additionally, the potassium contained in cabbage reduces the risk of a heart attack or stroke, due to the ability to lower high blood pressure. Namely, potassium is natural vasodilator which has the ability to open the blood vessels and thus to stimulate proper blood flow.
- Strengthens the Bones
Sauerkraut and cabbage, in general are great for strengthening of the bones. This is due to the high vitamin K content, which stimulates production of a protein that is in charge for control mineralization of bones. Additionally, this vitamin is prevents osteoporosis. Calcium, potassium, and magnesium are some other nutrients that protect the bones from degeneration and also are vital for bone strength.
- Improves Eye and Skin Health
Sauerkraut is abundant with vitamin A. This vitamin is essential for optimal vision and skin health. Vitamin A, along with beta-carotene contained in cabbage, prevents macular degeneration, but also promotes eye health and delay cataract formation.
Additionally, vitamin A possesses great antioxidant properties, vitamin C, anthocyanins and sulfur, which significantly slows down the aging process by impeding damage caused by free radicals. That is the reason why sauerkraut has the ability to reduce wrinkles, spots, skin discoloration, redness and other skin issues.