History of Sauerkraut

A short history of Sauerkraut.

Ancient wisdom often fades into time, or is forgotten. For instance Sauerkraut and Kim Chee. In the days before chemical preservatives and refrigeration people had to preserve food for trips or for periods between harvests. This lead to two distinct behaviours. Either hunting or domesticating animals, and secondly, preserving food by fermentation, where produce could not be dehydrated. Who knows how far back the practice of preserving food actually goes!

The name “Sauerkraut” when used in English is misleading. Most people I have asked think it is “sour” tasting, but doesn’t have to be. Sauerkraut or its Korean cousin Kim Chee are not just sour vegetables. They are amazing foods and fantastic immune fortifiers. The mildly sour taste comes from the Lactic acid produced by the fermentation process of the natural good bacteria Lactobacilli Acidophiles.

Although most people associate sauerkraut with German cuisine, it did not originate in Germany. Instead in China at least eight thousand years ago. The earliest reference goes back to the Mogol period. However in China it was fermented using rice wine as the starter, much like natural vinegar is made. The method was brought to Europe by the Tatars, who improved on the original Chinese recipe by fermenting it with salt instead of the rice wine. It became popular in most of Europe. Later becoming popular in Russia and other countries including the Netherlands, where it is known as “zuurkool”. Whatever you choose to call it it remains an ancient method to naturally preserve food, especially cruciferous vegetables.

What is so important about Sauerkraut and Kim Chee?

In a previous article I discussed the “Gut Brain Axis“, and its importance in keeping us healthy. As we digest food by means of bacterial and enzyme deconstruction Lactobacilli becomes extremely important for good physical and mental health. Fermented vegetables supply fresh Lactobacilli to reinforce and replenish our gut flora(pro-biotic). The fermentation increases the concentration of Lactobacilli between 200 and 400 times of what was available in fresh raw cruciferous vegetables(pre-biotic). According to one researcher one teaspoon of Sauerkraut contains more pro-biotic than an entire box of commercially available “pro-biotic”!

You need to replenish your gut flora on a regular basis, particularly if your appendix has been removed. Below is a link to our site with sauerkraut recipes and so much more.

Stay healthy!

Nolan G

 

Gut Health May Be Related to Behavioral Issues in Children with Autism

A recent study suggests that medical conditions like seizures, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems may be connected to behavioural issues in children with autism. “The researchers” found that Children with gastrointestinal conditions are more likely to have sleep disorders or seizures than are those without gut problems. Sleep disorders also raise the chances of having gastrointestinal troubles. And so the circle and relationship between the gut and brain comes to the forefront yet again.

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