Superfood: Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is fermented and pickled cabbage that is quite popular as a condiment to hot dogs, sausage, corn beef, and other meat dishes. Sauerkraut is made by a process of pickling called lacto-fermentation and if properly made and air-sealed does not require refrigeration until once opened. The German method of making sauerkraut uses Juniper berries.

There are many great health benefits to eating fermented foods. Some of the awesome benefits of sauerkraut include:

1. Immune Booster – The naturally occurring phytochemical by-products of sauerkraut help boost the immune system which leads to a decrease in a number of health problems. The common cold, skin problems, and even weight gain are all aided by a healthy functioning immune system.

2. Cancer Fighter – The results of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that the fermentation of cabbage produced a substance called isothiocynates, which prevents cancer growth, particularly in the breast, colon, lung, and liver. A recent study by the American Center for Cancer Research found that the lack of consuming sauerkraut, a traditional part of the Polish diet has a profound effect among Polish women in the United States who have much higher breast cancer rates due to the “Americanizing” of their diets. This dietary change was especially significant while they were in still in adolescence.

3. Digestive Aid – Sauerkraut is one of the few foods that contain the bacterium Lactobacilli plantarum. L. planatarum is a very dominant strain of healthful bacteria which helps your digestive system in the following ways: boost the immune system by increasing antibodies that fight infectious disease help inhibit pathogenic organisms including E.coli, salmonella, and unhealthy overgrowth of candida (yeast). It also creates antioxidants (glutathione and superoxide dismutase) that scavenge free radicals which are a cancer precursor. Sauerkraut transforms hard-to-digest lactose from milk to the more easily digested lactic acid. It neutralizes the antinutrients found in many foods including the phytic acid found in all grains.

4. Constipation reliever – A long standing folk remedy to keep the intestines clean and regular leading to an overall feeling of well-being. The fermentation process increases the nutrient value of cabbage, particularly the vitamin C levels. It also assists the breakdown and assimilation of proteins.

Interested in making your own sauerkraut? Alton Brown has an easy recipe that we love.

Try substituting sauerkraut as a side for any protein based meal particularly pork.

Try adding it to your regular grilled cheese sandwich. Try it in the morning alongside scrambled eggs with a piece of your favourite grain bread.

Superfoods: Organic Raspberries

Raspberries are low in calories and saturated fats, but a rich source of dietary fibre and anti-oxidants.

Scientific studies show that the antioxidant compounds found in these berries have potential health benefits against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neuro-degenerative diseases.

Fresh raspberries are an excellent source of vitamin-C, which is also a powerful natural anti-oxidant. Consuming fruits rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infection, counter inflammation, and scavenge harmful free radicals.

Raspberries contain the well known anti-oxidant vitamins vitamin A and vitamin E.

The raspberry has an ORAC value (oxygen radical absorbance capacity) of about 4900 per 100 grams, crediting it among the top-ranked ORAC fruits. Proper intake of high ORAC foods is necessary in protecting against several chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cancer, Alzheimer, Parkinson’s, and heart disease.

Raspberries contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps to control heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.

And finally, the little red gems are rich in the B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. They contain very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid. These vitamins are function as co-factors and help body in the metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.

The best way to have organic raspberries is raw. Include them in your breakfast, smoothie, or as an excellent go-to snack during the day.

Nature’s offer as a great daily supplement!