Sauerkraut is often praised for its health benefits. Many of these benefits come from the fact that it is a fermented food packed with probiotics. However, sauerkraut also contains a number of nutrients that are good for your health.
Here's a look at some of those key nutrients and the health benefits they offer.
Folate, or folic acid, is a B vitamin found in sauerkraut. This nutrient is really important for pregnant women as it plays a role in proper spinal development of the baby. Getting enough folate during pregnancy reduces the risk of birth defects, and sauerkraut can be a good source of that folate. Even if you're not pregnant, folate is an important nutrient to make sure you're getting enough of. It can help keep your heart healthy, guard against dementia, and even help ward off depression.
Vitamin A is another nutrient responsible for the health benefits of sauerkraut. This complex vitamin helps keep the skin healthy; getting more can help clear up acne. Vitamin A is also important for bone health and a strong immune system. Eat sauerkraut more often, and you may find you get sick less often. That's partially due to the probiotic bacteria, but vitamin A plays a role, too.
Potassium is a mineral that acts like an electrolyte in the body. Many people do not get enough potassium, as it is not found in too many foods. Sauerkraut, however, is a great source. Getting more potassium from sauerkraut may help you avoid muscle cramps, especially after exercise. Potassium is also essential for bone and tooth health. Getting a little more in your diet may reduce your risk of fractures and help you avoid dental cavities as you age.
Magnesium is another mineral needed in the diet, but people are often deficient. Getting more magnesium can help promote a more stable mood. Magnesium is also good for your bones; it helps keep them strong as you age. Additionally, like potassium, it plays a role in muscle contractions and can stop cramping, including menstrual cramps. And you get all of these benefits from the occasional helping of sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut may be a niche food, but it is one worth exploring and eating more often. Add it to sandwiches, put some on top of soups, or just eat it out of the jar. The health benefits of sauerkraut will be worth it.