Sauerkraut is a delicious and versatile fermented food that can complement many meals or serve as a yummy snack by itself.
It’s also chock-full of essential nutrients (Vitamin C, Iron, Folate, etc.) and gut-boosting probiotics, making it one of the rare superfoods to offer mouthwatering flavor in addition to numerous potential health benefits.
To understand more about a few of the powerful probiotic strains that can make sauerkraut so beneficial, read on for our Cleveland Kitchen Guide to Probiotics in Sauerkraut:
Before we dive into the role and benefits of specific probiotic strains, let’s explain what probiotics are, how they help your body, and why sauerkraut contains so many.
What Are Probiotics?
In simple terms, probiotics are an essential kind of healthful bacteria that protect your immune system and keep your bodily functions in tip-top shape.
Probiotics primarily thrive in your gut microbiome, in addition to other areas of the body directly affected by external forces (such as your diet and environment):
How Can Probiotics Benefit Humans?
Unlike harmful bacteria, which produce toxins that disrupt bodily function, probiotics can protect your body and promote better physical, mental, and emotional health.
If you consume healthy levels of probiotics -- 10-20 billion colony-forming units/day for adults and 5-10 billion for children -- you open your body up to many potential benefits, including:
Why Are There So Many Probiotics in Sauerkraut?
Originally used to preserve foods during long, cold winters, fermentation -- the chemical breakdown of a substance by microorganisms -- combines ancient traditions with modern science to increase the abundance of healthy probiotics in sauerkraut.
World-class fermentation (like the kind we use at Cleveland Kitchen) creates krauts with enough beneficial bacteria to help you easily reach your daily probiotic requirements in a few yummy bites.
Bonus Tip: If you’re looking for delicious and nutritious probiotic sources beyond sauerkraut, check out our classic kimchi for another flavorful way to boost your microbiome.
Prevalent Probiotics in Sauerkraut
Leuconostoc mesenteroides (AKA L. mesenteroides) is a unique but highly potent bacterial strain found in sauerkraut, making it the perfect place to start our list:
This probiotic plays a pivotal role in the early stages of fermentation, as it protects healthy microorganisms from spoilage and allows members of the Lactobacillus genus — which we’ll discuss later in this list — to successfully perform their many positive functions.
In short, L. mesenteroides is the ultimate team player: it singlehandedly boosts the essential fermentation process and helps other probiotics be at their best.
Daily servings of this beneficial bacteria in sauerkraut offer critical benefits to humans, such as:
Next, we’ll move to the aforementioned Lactobacillus genus — possibly the most famous in the world of sauerkraut — and check out Lactobacillus brevis (AKA L. brevis).
As a lactic acid bacteria with a strong presence in sauerkraut, this probiotic’s main responsibility is to directly increase and support the population of healthy microorganisms in the microbiome.
In completing this vital task, L. brevis benefits your gut and GI tract, immune system, and natural defense against harmful biological invaders through:
- Strengthened Protection Against Foodborne Pathogens: L. brevis can have a profoundly positive effect on your GI tract’s ability to fight pathogens like E. coli
- Improved Immune Defense: L. brevis can help increase the presence and efficacy of white blood cells, making it easier for your body to fight off viruses
- Increased Antioxidant Levels: L. brevis can offer a plentiful supply of antioxidants that help protect your body from harmful free radicals
Last but not least, the third-most plentiful probiotic in sauerkraut is Lactobacillus plantarum (AKA L. plantarum), another essential member of the Lactobacillus genus.
This probiotic’s primary obligations are to aid the entire fermentation process — which can be susceptible to interference from exterior forces — and directly increase the body’s healthy population of microorganisms.
According to research from the National Institute of Health (NIH), L. plantarum also offers a number of potential health benefits, including:
- Enhanced Immune Health: L. plantarum can help increase the presence of beneficial bacteria in your microbiome, making it easier for your body to fight off possible infections
- Improved Digestion: L. plantarum can help clear the digestive tract of harmful bacteria populations, making it easier for you to process and digest food successfully
- Alleviated Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Distress: L. plantarum can help minimize bloating, stomach pain, difficult bowel movements, and other symptoms of an upset stomach.
Cleveland Kitchen’s Krauts
Now that you know more about the beneficial probiotics found in fermented cabbage, it’s time to check out Cleveland Kitchen’s delicious, nutritious, and gut-boosting selection of sauerkraut.
Made with local, thoughtfully sourced ingredients and an emphasis on culinary excellence, our krauts feature the perfect mix of gut-boosting probiotics, essential nutrients, and fresh, delicious flavors.
Whether you’re new to fermented foods or a bonafide expert in the tasty art of fermentation, our five mouthwatering krauts are sure to leave your tastebuds and microbiome wanting more:
Plus, if you’re looking for fun, easy, and nutritious ways to add more probiotics to your diet, we also offer a diverse and delicious recipe selection utilizing our krauts, kimchi, and dressings in meals that suit standard, vegetarian, vegan, keto, paleo, and Whole 30 meal plans.
Medical Disclaimer: All information, content, and material of this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.