11 Evidence-Based Raw Sauerkraut Health Benefits - Jenna Volpe - Whole-istic Living

11 Evidence-Based Raw Sauerkraut Health Benefits (2024)

Sauerkraut, an ancient staple and modern-day “superfood” (aka “functional food”), is peaking the interest of IBS sufferers and health enthusiasts in recent years… for lots of reasons! (As it turns out, there’s a plethora of little-known raw sauerkraut health benefits, backed by research.)

From gut health and immunity to heart health, bone health and detoxification, to mood, mental health, hormone balance, cancer risk reduction, and more – to say the research on sauerkraut health benefits is “promising” would be an understatement!

(Still, one size never fits all – and there’s no such thing as an “end-all-be-all” food.)

Plus, not all sauerkraut is created equal, and sauerkraut in general is not always the best fit or even safe for some folks, due to bio-individuality.

In this article I’ll reveal 11 evidence-based health benefits of raw sauerkraut based on my experience and training as an integrative, functional, and holistic gut health dietitian nutritionist.

We’ll also cover which sauerkraut options are best, how to seamlessly incorporate this functional food into your regular routine, and finally the risks and contraindications of sauerkraut – so you’ll know when to pass and opt for a more you-friendly alternative.

Let’s dive in!

Disclaimer:  This article was written for general educational purposes, not to replace medical or nutritional advice. Make sure to consult with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) to receive custom guidance and recommendations tailored to your individual needs!

Affiliate disclosure:  This article contains several affiliate links*.  As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission on qualifying purchases.

Table of Contents

What is sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a sour, salty, lacto-fermented food and condiment (whose name literally translates to“sour cabbage” in German).

It has been a staple for our ancestors around the world (mostly in Germany and ancient China) for thousands of years.

What are the benefits of sauerkraut?

Science is just beginning to uncover all the perks of what ancient wisdom has known for millenia.

11 research-backed potential benefits of raw sauerkraut include, but aren’t limited to…

1: Rich in prebiotics 

The state of your gut microbes can make-or-break the state of your gut health and overall wellbeing.

While it’s pretty well established that traditionally-made raw fermented sauerkraut is a probiotic food, most people aren’t aware that sauerkraut is also a prebiotic food!

This was revealed in a 2018 study, which compared the effects of raw versus pasteurized sauerkraut for participants with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

  • While the raw (unpasteurized) sauerkraut led to greater symptom improvement among IBS participants, both groups saw improvements in IBS symptoms and in their gut microbiomes.
    • The verdict was that pasteurized sauerkraut still served as a prebiotic, essentially feeding certain beneficial probiotic strains in the gut – even though it didn’t contain any probiotics! (1)

Takeaway:  Sauerkraut contains prebiotic constituents which feed and promote the growth of the probiotic microbes in your gut.

(Read more about the key differences between prebiotics versus probiotics here.)

2: Abundant food source of probiotics 

Probiotics (healthy, beneficial microbes) play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy gut!

Since sauerkraut is a lacto-fermented food, each spoonful of raw (unpasteurized) sauerkraut is naturally loaded with probiotic strains (specifically Leuconostoc mesenteroides (L. mesenteroides), L. plantarum, Lactobacillus brevis, Pediococcus pentosaceus, and Enterococcus) which promote healthy digestion and lots more. (2, 3)

(Keep in mind: when sauerkraut is pasteurized and/or made with vinegar, it does not offer this specific benefit.  Check out my round-up of all the best sauerkraut options for probiotics here!)

3: Can help optimize immune system function

A strong immune system is essential for fighting off infections and diseases. 

(On the other hand, an imbalanced, overactive immune system means more allergies, food sensitivities, and autoimmunity, combined with reduced resilience.)

Boatloads of research studies are also correlating a healthy gut microbiome with a more balanced immune system and stronger gut barrier. (4, 5, 6, 7)

Since ~70% of our immune system is synced up with our intestines and gut microbes, it makes sense that raw sauerkraut (as a prebiotic and probiotic food) can help to strengthen, balance, and optimize our immune system! 

Gut microbial benefits aside, raw unpasteurized sauerkraut is also a great source of vitamin C, so this is another reason why sauerkraut can enhance immunity and reduce our risk of illness. (8)

4:  May aid in detoxification 

You may already know that both red and green types cabbage (the key ingredients in sauerkraut) are members of the Brassica family, along with broccoli, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, and bok choy.  

But most people aren’t aware that all of these “cruciferous” veggies (and sauerkraut) are very high in a special sulfur-derived phytochemical called sulforaphane. (9)

Sulforaphane in cruciferous veggies and in sauerkraut helps promote healthy detoxification by activating special enzymes, opening detox pathways and even turning on certain beneficial genes that promote detoxification in the body. (10, 11)

(I don’t know about you, but when I learned this about sauerkraut, my understanding of “food as medicine” upgraded to a whole new level!)

5:  Antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory

Antioxidants play a crucial role in protecting our cells from harmful free radicals, which contribute to chronic diseases and aging.

Sauerkraut contains various antioxidants, including vitamin C, sulforaphane, and dozens of other “volatile compounds” which help reduce oxidative stress and prevent cell damage caused by inflammation. (12)

However, it’s worth knowing that not all sauerkraut is created equal when it comes to its antioxidant content.

For example, a 2022 study found that traditional variations of lacto-fermented sauerkraut were significantly higher in antioxidants compared to their commercially-made counterparts, which were made just by adding lactic acid to jars of shredded cabbage. (12)

Proper storage and refrigeration also seemed to make a pretty big difference in the degree to which antioxidants are preserved in sauerkraut. (12)

Lastly, red cabbage sauerkraut is significantly higher in a type of antioxidant called “anthocyanins” (the red-blue-purple pigment also in berries, beets, red grape, and cherries) compared to sauerkraut made with green cabbage.

Takeaway:  Opt for traditional homemade, raw, refrigerated sauerkraut over the commercially-made shelf-stable counterparts, if you’d like to maximize the antioxidant benefits of sauerkraut.

6: May help enhance nutrient absorption

The fermentation process involved in making traditional lacto-fermented sauerkraut enhances the “bioavailability” of certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), making them easier for our bodies to absorb. (13)

For example, sauerkraut’s fermentation process has been shown to neutralize anti-nutrient compounds like phytic acid (which blocks mineral absorption) and goitrogens (which reduce iodine absorption) in cabbage. (13)

7: May help reduce cholesterol 

A groundbreaking Nutrients publication from 2022 revealed that probiotic lacto-fermented foods like raw sauerkraut contains special strains of probiotic microbes which produce molecules called “exopolysaccharides” (EPS). (14, 15)

“EPS” have been shown in research studies to significantly reduce cholesterol in humans “by binding bile (of which cholesterol is a constituent) from the intestines to the bacterial cell envelope, thus reducing bile reabsorption and recycling”. (14)

While more research is needed specifically investigating the benefits of raw sauerkraut for heart health, this is a big deal!

8: May reduce cancer risk

While we can’t change our genetics (for the most part), diet and lifestyle also play a crucial role in cancer prevention! 

  • (Disclaimer: Cancer is complex.  This is not medical advice but rather meant to be educational and thought-provoking.)

According to research, raw probiotic sauerkraut consumed on a regular basis over time may help reduce the risk of certain cancers (especially when paired with a healthy, balanced diet and holistic lifestyle).

How it works:  The lacto-fermentation process in making sauerkraut produces beneficial microbes and antioxidant compounds including isothiocyanates and glucosinolates, which have anticancer properties. (10, 11, 14, 15)

More specifically, research is implying that sauerkraut consumption may be linked to a reduced risk of colon, lung, and breast cancers. (11)

But the benefits of sauerkraut don’t stop here! It keeps going…

9: May help improve mental health

Emerging studies highlight the importance of the gut-brain connection in mental well-being. (16)

Sauerkraut’s probiotic strains (such as Lactobacillus) and fermentation byproducts (aka “post-biotics) have shown potential in improving mood and mental health at the level of reducing inflammation, improving the absorption of nutrients, and even altering serotonin and dopamine pathways for the better. (17)

A 2022 study published by the International journal of environmental research and public health found that people with depression seemed to benefit and see the most improvement in symptoms after consuming fermented foods, compared to folks with anxiety or without psychiatric symptoms.

Takeaway:  While we need more research before we can make bold claims about sauerkraut for depression or anxiety, recent studies suggest that regular consumption of sauerkraut may help alleviate symptoms of depression and possibly anxiety.

10:  May support hormone balance 

Compared to raw cabbage, raw fermented sauerkraut is significantly higher in an antioxidant and glucosinolate derivative known as indole-3-carbinol. (18)

This is significant because we know in my field of functional nutrition that indole-3-carbinol plays a key role in the detoxification and elimination of excess estrogen metabolites from the gut. (19

Translation:  special constituents in sauerkraut (and other fermented cruciferous veggies) make great potential allies for folks dealing with modern-day hormonal imbalance, aka “estrogen dominance”.

In addition to aiding in the healthy removal of excess estrogen metabolites from the body, indole-3-carbinol has even been shown to help reduce the risk of estrogen-induced cancers like breast cancer, endometrial cancer, and cervical cancer. (19)

Takeaway:  If you’re in a state of “estrogen dominance” (which can be exacerbated by excess plastic, hormonal birth control, and other modern-day environmental factors), raw sauerkraut (a natural food source of indol-3-carbinol) may be a great ally for you!

(If this resonates, feel free to read more about the connections between gut health and hormone imbalance here.) 

11:  Bone-strengthening and blood building

Both red and green variations of cabbage (and sauerkraut) are good food sources of vitamins K1 and K2. (20)

These are two types of fat-soluble vitamin K, which is necessary for maintaining bone density and healthy blood clotting. 

(Read more about the differences between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 here!)

Raw Sauerkraut Health Benefits - Infographic

Where to buy raw sauerkraut 

To maximize the potential benefits of sauerkraut, make sure you’re choosing a raw probiotic variation versus something that has been pasteurized or made with lactic acid (versus the traditional method).

You can find raw sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of most supermarkets, or you can order it online.

Get my complete list of the best store-bought sauerkraut options for probiotics and gut health here!

How to make it

Sauerkraut is convenient to buy, but very easy (and way more cost effective) to DIY!

Here’s an easy, simple, timeless way to make raw sauerkraut, adapted from this raw probiotic sauerkraut recipe:

  1. Slice or shred a head of red or green cabbage.
  2. Transfer shredded cabbage to large bowl, then add 2 TBSP Celtic sea salt*.
  3. Begin hand-mixing (massaging) the cabbage-salt mixture for about 5-10 minutes until it begins to “sweat”.  (The salt will cause the water from the cabbage to leak out, and the cabbage will shrink in size).  
  4. Transfer the cabbage and liquid brine into the mason jar.  Use a spoon to make sure the cabbage is completely submerged under the liquid in the jar.  
  5. Cover with a fermentation weight to ensure it’s completely anaerobic (“without air”).
  6. Seal tightly with the mason jar lid.
  7. Leave the jar of cabbage in salt brine in a kitchen cabinet for 5 days to 2 weeks (exposed to as little light as possible). 
  • The hotter the room temperature, the faster your cabbage will ferment.  
  • 1 week = the standard amount of time it usually takes me to successfully make probiotic sauerkraut.

Best ways to eat sauerkraut (and reap the benefits)

While I personally prefer to just eat sauerkraut by the spoonful before a meal (to optimize my digestion), there are lots of great ways to eat and enjoy raw sauerkraut!

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Add a spoonful to have on the side with an omelet or scrambled eggs or breakfast sausages.
  • Top sandwiches and salads with a dollop of raw sauerkraut.
  • Have some on the side with chicken, veggies, and rice/potatoes.
  • Add it to hamburgers, veggie burgers, turkey burgers, and/or hot dogs.

Safety concerns: when to avoid sauerkraut

Tyramine intolerance 

Some people (especially those who suffer from migraines) have an intolerance to tyramine, which is a type of amino acid highly concentrated in aged & fermented foods (including sauerkraut).

If you’ve noticed you feel worse after eating chocolate, cheese, yogurt, processed meats (bacon, sausages or hot dogs), or drinking wine, you *may* actually have a tyramine intolerance!

Takeaway:  Avoid sauerkraut and consult a functional dietitian / holistic dietitian / LEAP therapist before trying to add it to your regimen if you suspect a tyramine intolerance and/or you’re prone to migraines.

MAOI inhibitor interaction (high in tyramine)

Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI’s) are a class of drugs used to treat depression.

There are 4 types of MAIO’s currently approved by the FDA in the United States:

  • Isocarboxazid (Marplan)
  • Phenelzine (Nardil)
  • Selegiline (Emsam)
  • Tranylcypromine (Parnate)

Sauerkraut is high in tyramine, which interacts with MAOIs because monoamine oxidase is a primary enzyme responsible for breaking down tyramine in our system.

When we “inhibit” (block) this enzyme, tyramine can build up more quickly – so it’s imperative that folks on MAOI inhibitors follow a low tyramine diet.

Takeaway: Avoid all types of sauerkraut (which is high in tyramine) if you’re taking a MAOI meditation!

FODMAP intolerance 

Certain types and quantities of cabbage (and sauerkraut) are high in FODMAPs such as sorbitol, mannitol, galacto-oligosaccharides, and/or fructans.

(FODMAP stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols”.)

Sauerkraut may not be the best fit for you if you’re following a low FODMAP diet depending on the type and amount you’re consuming.

Recommended reading:  When is Sauerkraut Low FODMAP?

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)

FODMAPs aside, I’ve found in my private practice that many people with SIBO don’t do well with probiotic foods/supplements in many cases.

Takeaway:  Consult your doctor and gut health dietitian nutritionist before trying sauerkraut if you have or suspect you may have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).

Mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS)

MCAS is a condition in which your mast cells (the types of white blood cells which line the mucous membranes of your body, located exclusively in the gut, skin, mouth, lungs, and pubic area) are “activated” – so they’re releasing excessive amounts of histamine and other inflammatory chemicals (“mediators”) into your bloodstream.

This is something I see most often in my clients with a mycotoxin (mold) overgrowth left unchecked for too long.

The primary symptom of MCAS is allergies to what feels like everything… hives, itching, runny nose, etc.  (This is due to an immune system-induced histamine intolerance.)

A low histamine diet is one of the primary dietary interventions for MCAS, and sauerkraut (being a fermented food) is naturally high in histamine.

Takeaway:  Avoid sauerkraut if you have or suspect MCAS.

Histamine intolerance 

Everyone with MCAS has a histamine intolerance, but not everyone with a histamine intolerance has MCAS.

If you’re someone who notices you break out into hives a lot, you struggle with seasonal allergies, and you notice you feel worse when you eat “aged” foods and drinks like cheese, yogurt, chocolate, wine/beer, sausages, and/or fermented food, you may want to consult a functional dietitian for help ruling out/navigating a possible histamine intolerance.

(Coincidentally, foods high in histamine actually overlap a lot with high tyramine foods… so sauerkraut is also high in histamine.)

Takeaway:  Avoid sauerkraut and consult a functional dietitian before trying it, if you have or suspect a histamine intolerance (with or without MCAS).

Hydrogen sulfide SIBO

Hydrogen sulfide SIBO is a less common and less understood subtype of SIBO in which the microbes in your intestines are producing hydrogen sulfide gas.

(Tell-tale signs and symptoms of hydrogen sulfide SIBO include but aren’t limited to: a flatline SIBO breath test, IBS-D, rotten egg smelling gas/stools, numbness and tingling in extremities, sensitivity to light/noise, chronic body pain, and feeling “toxic”.)

Eating high-sulfur foods like sauerkraut (which is made with cabbage, a cruciferous veggie) can make this type of SIBO worse.

Takeaway:  Avoid sauerkraut and consult a gut health dietitian nutritionist about a low-sulfur diet if you have or suspect hydrogen sulfide SIBO.

My favorite low-sulfur probiotic food is raw lacto-fermented ginger carrots (which you can buy online or DIY!).

Sulfur intolerance 

Much like MCAS and histamine intolerance, pretty much everyone with hydrogen sulfide SIBO has a sulfur intolerance – but not everyone with a sulfur intolerance has hydrogen sulfide SIBO.

Sauerkraut is high in sulfur because of the cabbage – a sulfur-rich cruciferous veggie.

That being said, if you have a sulfur intolerance (which means you don’t feel good when eating high-sulfur foods like eggs, red meat, garlic, onions, and cruciferous veggies), you most likely won’t feel good if you eat sauerkraut.

My favorite low-sulfur probiotic food is raw lacto-fermented ginger carrots (which you can buy online or DIY!).

Takeaway:  Consult a registered dietitian before adding sauerkraut into your regimen if you have or suspect a sulfur intolerance, with or without hydrogen sulfide SIBO.

Sodium

Sauerkraut is relatively high in sodium, at ~290 milligrams per 1/4 cup.

Certain medical conditions need to be managed with a lower sodium diet, which means you need to limit your sodium intake to less than ~1500-2000 milligrams per day total (this varies case-by-case).

You may be able to incorporate sauerkraut into your meals, as long as you stay mindful of the total sodium you’re consuming at each meal and over the course of each day.

For example, 1 tablespoon of sauerkraut contains only 73 milligrams of sodium.

Takeaway:  If you’re following a low sodium diet as part of a treatment plan to manage high blood pressure, kidney disease, and/or kidney stones, you should consult your doctor and dietitian before adding sauerkraut into your regimen.

Cabbage allergy/sensitivity 

Last but not least, as a LEAP therapist I had to include this one! There are a few folks out there who have a food allergy or food sensitivity to cabbage.

Food allergy testing should be done at a local allergy clinic, with an allergist.

A food sensitivity to cabbage can be identified via a Mediator Release Test or ALCAT food sensitivity test.

  • Both of these tests measure the common end-point of all food sensitivity reactions, which is the release of chemical mediators into your bloodstream in response to a reactive food/chemical.

Takeaway:  If you’ve had one of the above food sensitivity tests, cabbage shows up as highly reactive, and you’ve noticed you feel better when not eating cabbage, you should avoid sauerkraut for at least 3-6 months – and make sure you’re also working with a certified LEAP therapist.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) about sauerkraut health benefits

Is sauerkraut good for you?

While sauerkraut clearly offers lots of potential health benefits, and is generally good for many people, it’s not good for everyone because of bio-individuality.

All sauerkraut is naturally high in tyramine, histamine, FODMAPs, sulfur, and sodium – which may or may not be safe for certain people navigating specific types of medical conditions and/or intolerances.

It’s also important to remember that not all sauerkraut is the same!

For example, raw probiotic sauerkraut is generally more beneficial than commercially-made, pasteurized sauerkraut made with lactic acid.

What is the best sauerkraut for probiotics and gut health?

The best sauerkraut for probiotics and gut health is any sauerkraut which was made with cabbage and salt via traditional lacto-fermentation (versus commercial lactic acid method) and which is raw/unpasteurized.  It can contain other veggies and herbs if you like.

It should contain no sugar, vinegar, or weird preservatives, which all interfere with the lacto-fermentation process.

(Get my full round-up of all the best probiotic sauerkrauts here!)

You can also make your own probiotic sauerkraut for a much lower cost and all the same benefits.

What’s the best organic sauerkraut?

The best organic sauerkraut for health benefits is one which is also raw (unpasteurized), and which does not contain any vinegar, sugar, or wonky preservatives (so it will contain “live active cultures” – aka probiotics).

A few of my favorite organic store-bought brands of probiotic sauerkraut include:

Does sauerkraut have carbs?

Technically there are carbs in sauerkraut – but very few.  

For example, 1/4 cup of Bubbie’s sauerkraut only contains 1 gram of total carbohydrates. 

(That’s less than 1% of the daily value for what most healthy adults need in a day, based on a 2000 calorie diet.)

Go ahead and indulge in the kraut, even if you’re limiting your carbs! 😉 

Can I eat sauerkraut with a sucrose intolerance?

On paper: yes!  Cabbage and sauerkraut are naturally very low-sucrose foods, so you may try incorporating them into a balanced sucrose intolerance diet.

However, it’s important to remember that one size never fits all; if you have any kind of issues with histamine, tyramine, FODMAPs, or other constituents naturally found in sauerkraut, it may not be a good fit for you. Always listen to your body!

Is sauerkraut a vegetable?

Yes – sauerkraut is made from cabbage, so it is technically a variation of a vegetable.

In my world, 1/4 cup of salsa (or pico de gallo) counts as 1 serving of veggies – and so does 1/4 cup of sauerkraut.

However, since most adults need about ~3-5 servings of veggies per day, I don’t recommend getting more than 1 of these servings from sauerkraut.  

(Not only would that be WAY too much sodium, but you’d also miss out on certain other types of essential nutrients that you could get from other veggies. Diversity and moderation are key!)

Does canned sauerkraut go bad?

Yes – it’s possible for canned sauerkraut to go bad under certain conditions and over enough time. 

All food eventually goes bad – it’s just a matter of time.  Sauerkraut generally takes longer to go bad compared to most other foods since it has been lacto-fermented.

(Remember that lacto-fermentation and canning are preservative methods which require anaerobic – “without air” – conditions in order to work properly!)

However, if you leave sauerkraut uncovered after opening it, and/or if you don’t keep the cabbage submerged in the brine, it will go bad faster.

Still, canned sauerkraut generally lasts a very long time before you open it. (Check the expiration date on the can to verify how long it lasts before opening!)

Keeping sauerkraut refrigerated after opening it also generally helps extend the shelf-life.

Takeaway:  Canned sauerkraut goes bad eventually, but not for months or years if properly stored.

Does all sauerkraut have probiotics?

Not all sauerkraut has probiotics.  Only traditional, lacto-fermented, raw (unpasteurized) sauerkraut made without vinegar, sugar, or preservative contains probiotics.

Sauerkraut vs probiotics – which is healthier?

There are pros and con to both!  There are lots of different types and strains of probiotic supplements on the market – and like sauerkraut, not all probiotic supplements are created equal.

The benefit of sauerkraut is that it usually contains more diversity, antioxidants, fiber and prebiotics compared to probiotics which are limited.

But a high quality probiotic supplement is a nice alternative (or even complementary) option to try, especially for those who can’t tolerate sauerkraut.

Takeaway: There are pros and cons to sauerkraut and probiotic supplements from a health standpoint.  The benefits and contraindications will vary depending on the type of sauerkraut, the type of probiotics, and your bio-individuality.  Consult with your healthcare team if you would like custom guidance.

Does heating sauerkraut kill probiotics?

It depends on the degree to which you heat the sauerkraut.  Generally, heating (pasteurizing) sauerkraut will usually kill the beneficial probiotic microbes, at least to a certain extent.An important exception is Bubbie’s sauerkraut which is slightly pasteurized, but like yogurt, it is within a temperature range that allows the beneficial live active cultures to remain intact.

(Get more details on the probiotics in Bubbie’s sauerkraut here!)

Takeaway:  Heating sauerkraut will usually kill probiotics, especially when heating it at higher temperatures/for longer periods of time.

Is cabbage a probiotic?

While raw sauerkraut is a probiotic food, cabbage (the main ingredient in sauerkraut) is not inherently a probiotic unless it has been lacto-fermented into sauerkraut (or kimchi).

However, raw cabbage (like all fresh produce) does contain negligible quantities of bacteria and it contains prebiotics, which means it helps feed and support the growth of the probiotic microbes.

Takeaway:  Cabbage is not considered a probiotic. 

Is sauerkraut good for your gut?

Raw probiotic variations of sauerkraut are generally good for gut health, for many individuals.

However, sauerkraut may not be well tolerated by some folks with food allergies, intolerances, sensitivities or health issues which are negatively impacted by the tyramine, histamine, sulfur, sodium, probiotics, or the FODMAPs in cabbage.

What are the nutrients in sauerkraut?

Micronutrients 

Sauerkraut is high in certain micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) such as (21):

  • Vitamin A
  • B vitamins
  • VItamin C
  • Vitamin K

Sauerkraut also contains a significant amount of sodium – about 270-300 milligrams per 1/4 cup (it varies depending on the recipe).

Macronutrients

There are not a lot of carbohydrates or calories in sauerkraut – according to my jar of Bubbie’s sauerkraut in my fridge, 1/4 cup of sauerkraut provides:

  • 1 gram of total carbohydrate
  • 1 gram of fiber 
  • 0 grams of protein
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 calories 

Is all sauerkraut fermented?

Yes – all sauerkraut is fermented.  However, not all sauerkraut is probiotic.

When should you NOT eat sauerkraut?

There are specific safety considerations and clinical contraindications when it comes to eating sauerkraut.  

Avoid sauerkraut and consult your healthcare team before adding it into your regimen if any of the following apply to you:

  • Taking a MAOI inhibitor medication
  • Tyramine intolerance 
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • FODMAP intolerance (stay mindful of the type and amount of sauerkraut)
  • Probiotic intolerance
  • Histamine intolerance 
  • Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS)
  • Sulfur intolerance 
  • Hydrogen sulfide SIBO
  • Low sodium diet
  • Cabbage allergy/sensitivity 

Can’t eat sauerkraut? Don’t worry…

If sauerkraut isn’t your cup of tea (it isn’t “you-friendly”), don’t worry – I’ve got you covered!

You’ve got SO many options, my friend.

For tips and ideas on which alternatives to sauerkraut might be worth trying, make sure to check out my Probiotic AND Prebiotic Foods List article & PDF which includes lists, product links, reicpes, and more.

More resources (recipes and articles)

If you found this article helpful/interesting, and you’d like to learn more, make sure too checking out the following holistic nutrition resources on sauerkraut, probiotics, and prebiotics:

Sauerkraut health benefits: recap

Sauerkraut is not only a flavorful addition to meals but also a nutritional powerhouse and a functional food / “superfood” offering a multitude of potential health benefits. 

From promoting gut health and detoxification to enhancing the immune system and reducing the risk of chronic diseases, raw probiotic sauerkraut haelth benefits are note-worthy to say the least!

By incorporating traditional lacto-fermented, raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut into your diet on a regular basis (as long as it’s safe for you), you can potentially reap a multitude of benefits, improving physical and mental health on many levels.

Still, it’s crucial to remember that types of sauerkraut on the market are not all created equal – and individual responses to sauerkraut can vary.  (Sauerkraut is not for everyone!)

By being aware of these considerations and taking appropriate precautions, you can enjoy sauerkraut safely and reap its potential health benefits.

If you have any specific health concerns or medical conditions, it’s always best to seek guidance from a qualified healthcare provider before making any significant dietary changes.

Cheers to a healthier life!  

Next steps

Looking to optimize your health from the inside out, starting with your gut? 😎

If so, I invite you to download my free gut health nutrition guide:  5 Common Diet Mistakes to Avoid When Healing Your Gut!

Free Download - 5 Diet Mistakes to Avoid When Healing Your Gut - by Jenna Volpe RDN LD CLT

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