Sauerkraut—probiotic and prebiotic

Sauerkraut, if traditionally fermented, is a powerful probiotic. Dr Mercola had his home-made sauerkraut analysed and found that it had ten trillion bacteria, which is more than in most probiotics. In fact one bottle of sauerkraut contains the equivalent bacteria of around eight bottles of probiotics. One tablespoon will not only add some friendly bacteria to our diet, but will also provide friendly bacteria a food source (prebiotic). Unfortunately, most store bought sauerkraut does not have the same probiotic properties; it has to be traditionally fermented.

Gutsy-logo-with-ACOFortunately, there are small companies out there who are traditionally fermenting sauerkraut. A few brands available in Australia include Byron Bay Peace and Love Super Kraut and Gutsy Sauerkraut. If you can’t get these particular products, you can make your own. There are plenty of recipes on the internet. Or shop around, and find a smaller producer who traditionally cultures the cabbage.

Not only is sauerkraut a powerful probiotic, it is also a prebiotic, which is a certain type of fibrous carbohydrate that provides food that good bacteria thrive on.

The foods that contain the most prebiotics, and are part of LCHF, include:

  • Asparagus
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cabbage (hence the sauerkraut)
  • Artichokes
  • Leeks
  • Dandelion greens
  • Apples (avoid these in initial phase)
  • Root vegetables (avoid these in initial phase).

Prebiotics don’t need to be eaten in huge amounts. For example, a tablespoon of sauerkraut daily is usually very beneficial, but they are a very helpful addition to the diet.