Image: Shutterstock/Dani Vincek

If you hear the word sauerkraut, you’re probably thinking of bratwursts and German food. While it’s easy to turn up your nose at this funky food, you’ll be surprised to find that it has a high nutritional content that helps to keep you healthy and fit. But what other benefits does it have and how can you use it as something other than a topping on your hot dog? Let’s take a look.

About sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is cabbage that is fermented in its own juices. It is made by rubbing sliced cabbage with salt and allowing to ferment for a certain length of time in a jar or container. The end result is a sour-tasting, slightly crunchy product that is usually high in lactic acid.

Boosts immune system

While it’s easy to see cabbage as a boring vegetable, it contains large amounts of phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins that help your body keep away illnesses. In fact, even one serving of sauerkraut has 35% of your recommended intake of vitamin C that helps the body produce white blood cells. Plus, the lactic acid adds a healthy amount of intestinal flora that helps to protect the body from harmful bacteria.

Provides energy

Ward off energy-draining anemia by eating sauerkraut. The high iron content of sauerkraut increases blood circulation and metabolism. Plus, including more vegetables in your diet means that you’ll feel better and have more energy.

Helps with digestion

Sauerkraut contains large amounts of probiotic bacteria that help to maintain a healthy and clean digestive tract. This helps to prevent disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is also full of fiber, which helps keep you regular too.

Radiant skin

Everyone knows that eating a healthy diet is great for your skin. But fermented foods pack an additional punch because of probiotics. The probiotics in sauerkraut not only keep your gut healthy, but they can make your face look fabulous too. In fact, recent research has demonstrated that having healthy bacteria in the digestion tract helps to heal inflamed skin. It allows for more efficient delivery of nutrients to the skin too.

Prevents wrinkles

One important vitamin to include in your diet that slows down the development of wrinkles is vitamin A. Because there is tons of vitamin A in cabbage, eating this food on a regular basis helps to maintain beautiful and youthful skin.

Clear acne

Making a habit of eating one-half cup of cabbage a day can help to keep acne issues at bay. The cabbage has a high sulfur content that is beneficial for the skin.

Are you wondering how you can incorporate sauerkraut into your diet? Try adding it to brown rice, fried potatoes or on rye bread with Swiss cheese. Sauerkraut is an easy thing to make on your own, but it’s even easier to purchase from the store. Make sure you are buying the refrigerated kind because the probiotics need to be chilled. Even though it is not too common of a food, give sauerkraut a try to enhance your beauty from the inside out.