Everything you need to know about how to make Sauerkraut and why it’s important for healthy hormones.
What’s so special about Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is fermented shredded cabbage. It has a distinctive tangy sour taste. It’s easy to make and has a long shelf life which makes it a great kitchen staple. And the best thing about it is, because it is fermented, it is full of probiotics goodness. Topping up your good bacteria daily is essential to maintaining a healthy microbiome. And in turn, a healthy microbiome is key in the health of your hormones.
Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria which, when consumed, help to promote a healthy balance of bacterias inside your body. Every body hosts a huge amount of bacteria. Collectively, these are reffered to as your microbiome, which can be considered to be an organ in it’s own right. These bacteria live symbiotically within us. The speicific make up of bacteria within each body is as unique as a fingerprint, and can contain strains of both good and bad bacterias. By consuming the good bacterias which are found in fermented foods we are encouraging our microbiome to move in positive direction.
Some of the bacteria in your body collect around the openings to the body, and in the bladder. Their function here is to fight off any external germs that want to enter. If you experience episodes of UTIs or vaginal thrush these can often be an indication that you need to tend to your microbiome.
The majority of bacteria in your body is found in the gut. Their function here is to help with the digestion of foods. They consume prebiotic foods, a range of vegetable, in the colon. An over population of bad bacteria in the gut can contribute to unwanted food cravings and symptoms of poor digestion.
Consuming a wide range of fermented foods is an ideal way to keep your microbiome happy. The health and resilience of your microbiome comes from the range of bacteria that are present. Each food will have a range of bacteria in it depending on the ingredients, where it was grown, how it was stored etc. If you multiply that range up by consuming a few different fermented foods you’ll be getting a great range of bacteria’s. In contrast, in probiotic supplements you get around 7 to 14 different strains of bacteria. If you use these as your sole source of probiotics, you end up with a less broad profile of bacteria. Which is why I am a fermented food fanatic. And no, beer doesn’t count 😉
How does a healthy microbiome help your hormones?
Having a healthy microbiome means that you are better able to fight off germs and possible infections. In the gut, a healthy microbiome is essential to good digestion and proper metabolism of hormones, particularly oestrogens. Oestrogens that have been used by the body, get processed, and essentially neutralised, by the liver. They are then excreted into the colon ready to be eliminated with a bowel movement. However, there is a certain type of bad bacteria which, if present in the gut, releases an enzyme which reinitiates used oestrogens, causing them to be reabsorbed by the body. This process causes major havoc with the delicate balance of hormones in the body.
How to make Sauerkraut