Did you know that you carry trillions of bacteria in your mouth, intestines, skin, and hair? Rather than cause infection, the vast majority of these bacteria are actually friendly and play an extremely important role in our health and well-being. From preventing infection to regulating how much fat we burn, modern science is now discovering just how essential these bacteria are.
Why Make Homemade Sauerkraut?
Many of us are suffering from a lack of healthy gut bacteria (probiotics) due to over-use of antibiotics, prescription drugs, heavy metal intake, processed foods and a lack of fresh, organic produce. This damages your digestive system, but also causes many other health problems, include allergies, asthma, eczema, frequent infections, obesity, colon cancer, depression, anxiety, hormonal imbalances, autoimmune disorders, and more. Eating probiotic-rich foods can replenish these healthy bacteria and do wonders for your heath. You can read more about Our Bacterial Friends here.
Sauerkraut is a delicious and easy to make dish you can prepare at home, which is packed with gut-friendly bacteria. Just 1 spoon of raw sauerkraut contains billions of beneficial microbes, with a mixture of over 13 different species!
I’ll be honest, it took me a little while to get used to the sour taste of sauerkraut. Our modern, sugar-laden diets are lacking in such traditional fermented foods, and it may initially shock your taste buds. But once I got used to the taste, sauerkraut quickly became an absolute favorite of mine. I love eating it with meat, vegetables, mixed into soups and curries, on burgers and sandwiches, or just by itself as a late-night snack.
People who have a large amount of bad gut bacteria may experience “die-off symptoms” when first consuming probiotic foods. The probiotic bacteria reach your digestive system and start killing off harmful bacteria and yeast. When these bad bacteria die off, they release toxins which can briefly give you symptoms such as diarrhea, rash, cold or flu-like symptoms.
It is recommended to start off with one teaspoon of sauerkraut and observe for die-off symptoms. Then you can gradually increase the amount daily or weekly depending on what your body tolerates. No one in my family experienced a die-off reaction when starting probiotic foods, but everyone is different and it’s important to keep this in mind.