sauerkraut

Eat Sauerkraut For Better Digestion

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Sauerkraut Is A Super Food!

When most people think about sauerkraut a hot dog comes to mind but what most people don’t know is that sauerkraut is a powerful food that aids the digestive system and over all health!

Sauerkraut is rich in digestive enzymes and probiotics which is the same friendly bacteria contained in yogurt. It takes the stress off of the digestive system and actually contributes to digestive power. Sauerkraut is a great side to any dish because it will help your body to digest what ever you eat.

Ways To Enjoy Sauerkraut

  • sauerkraut3With meats
  • In sandwiches and wraps
  • By itself as a snack
  • Added to soups and stews right before you eat them
  • In salads
  • As a side to any dish

*All sauerkraut should be eaten raw.

 

Sauerkraut is actually pretty easy to make. Homemade sauerkraut is the best way to eat it because you can be assured that it is fresh and organic with no preservatives.

 

Easy Sauerkraut Recipe

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This small batch recipe was borrowed from http://www.thekitchn.com/ We usually make them in 1 gallon size mason jars for larger quantities.

Makes 1 to 1 1/2 quarts

What You Need

Ingredients
1 medium head green cabbage (about 3 pounds)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoons caraway seeds (optional, for flavor)

Equipment
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Mixing bowl
2-quart wide-mouth canning jar (or two-quart mason jars)
Canning funnel (optional)
Smaller jelly jar that fits inside the larger mason jar
Clean stones, marbles, or other weights for weighing the jelly jar
Cloth for covering the jar
Rubber band or twine for securing the cloth

Instructions

  1. Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good, beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your mason jar and jelly jar are washed and rinsed of all soap residue. You’ll be using your hands to massage the salt into the cabbage, so give those a good wash, too.
  2. Slice the cabbage: Discard the wilted, limp outer leaves of the cabbage. Cut the cabbage into quarters and trim out the core. Slice each quarter down its length, making 8 wedges. Slice each wedge crosswise into very thin ribbons.
  3. Combine the cabbage and salt: Transfer the cabbage to a big mixing bowl and sprinkle the salt over top. Begin working the salt into the cabbage by massaging and squeezing the cabbage with your hands. At first it might not seem like enough salt, but gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp — more like coleslaw than raw cabbage. This will take 5 to 10 minutes. If you’d like to flavor your sauerkraut with caraway seeds, mix them in now.
  4. Pack the cabbage into the jar: Grab handfuls of the cabbage and pack them into the canning jar. If you have a canning funnel, this will make the job easier. Every so often, tamp down the cabbage in the jar with your fist. Pour any liquid released by the cabbage while you were massaging it into the jar. →Optional: Place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its liquid.
  5. Weigh the cabbage down: Once all the cabbage is packed into the mason jar, slip the smaller jelly jar into the mouth of the jar and weigh it down with clean stones or marbles. This will help keep the cabbage weighed down, and eventually, submerged beneath its liquid.
  6. Cover the jar: Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band or twine. This allows air to flow in and out of the jar, but prevents dust or insects from getting into the jar.
  7. Press the cabbage every few hours: Over the next 24 hours, press down on the cabbage every so often with the jelly jar. As the cabbage releases its liquid, it will become more limp and compact and the liquid will rise over the top of the cabbage.
  8. Add extra liquid, if needed: If after 24 hours, the liquid has not risen above the cabbage, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of water and add enough to submerge the cabbage.
  9. Ferment the cabbage for 3 to 10 days: As it’s fermenting, keep the sauerkraut away from direct sunlight and at a cool room temperature — ideally 65°F to 75°F. Check it daily and press it down if the cabbage is floating above the liquid. Because this is a small batch of sauerkraut, it will ferment more quickly than larger batches. Start tasting it after 3 days — when the sauerkraut tastes good to you, remove the weight, screw on the cap, and refrigerate. You can also allow the sauerkraut to continue fermenting for 10 days or even longer. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for when the sauerkraut is “done” — go by how it tastes. While it’s fermenting, you may see bubbles coming through the cabbage, foam on the top, or white scum. These are all signs of a healthy, happy fermentation process. The scum can be skimmed off the top either during fermentation or before refrigerating. If you see any mold, skim it off immediately and make sure your cabbage is fully submerged; don’t eat moldy parts close to the surface, but the rest of the sauerkraut is fine.
  10. Store sauerkraut for several months: This sauerkraut is a fermented product so it will keep for at least two months and often longer if kept refrigerated. As long as it still tastes and smells good to eat, it will be. If you like, you can transfer the sauerkraut to a smaller container for longer storage.

If you have any questions or comments  you can post them below.

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle!

Life Strength Health logo2

#1 Center For Digestive System Imbalances and Detoxification In New Jersey!

1-800-503-7127

LifeStrengthandHealth.com

 

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The Fiber Misconception!

The Fiber Misconception

The Fiber Misconception!

When it comes to the digestive system we are taught that more fiber is a good thing.  On television we often see over the counter fiber commercials suggesting that they are the answer to constipation and other health challenges.

In the health community high fiber is taught to be the answer to all irregularity; unfortunately it is a half truth. In fact, if fiber is used incorrectly it can have the opposite affect and cause poor digestion and constipation.

What is fiber?

Fiber is the indigestible part of food, it passes through the digestive system without being absorbed by the blood stream. There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber passes through the intestines largely intact. It creates the bulk that moves through your system sweeping the intestines like a broom while balancing the pH and strengthening intestinal muscles. This type of fiber is know to keep you regular because the bulk speeds up transit time.

Soluble fiber forms a gel when mixed with liquid and binds with fats as it passes through your digestive system along with slowing down the sugar absorption process. This type of fiber also lowers the bad cholesterol (LDL).

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The Problem

When it come to fiber one of the main problems is that the average person consumes less than 10 grams of fiber daily. The daily requirements for fiber is 25 to 30 grams and ideally over 50 grams. This results in a very weak and sluggish intestines.

When people become aware of the importance of fiber they instantly begin to mega dose on fiber. This extreme increase is too much stress for the intestines and ends up having the opposite affect: Inflammation, flatulence, indigestion, bloating, diarrhea and constipation.

You can’t go from 8 grams of fiber a day to 28 grams, nor 18 grams. It has to be a gradual process so that you can strengthen and condition the muscles of the intestines. Like any other muscle in the body you wouldn’t double or triple your workout from one day to the next.

Another problem is that people begin to dramatically increase their fiber but they don’t increase their water consumption.  Fiber needs a lot of water in order to be utilized by the body. Increasing fiber but not significantly increasing water consumption is like eating dry dirt. It will solidify in the intestines and just sit there!

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Using Fiber Correctly

  1. Try to get the bulk of your fiber from foods as opposed to fiber supplements.
  2. Increase you fiber slowly over the course of weeks until you get it to at least 30 grams per day.
  3. As you increase your fiber make sure you increase your water consumption. Consume even more water if you are taking fiber supplements.
  4. If you are already severely constipated (not moving daily) you may need to do an intestinal cleanse first.

Follow these basic tips and you will begin to experience the true power of fiber. If you find that your digestive system is still out of balance you may need to work with a natural health professional. Feel free to contact us if we can be of any assistance to you.

If you have any basic questions you can post them below.

Love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle!

Life Strength Health logo2

#1 Center For Digestive System Imbalances and Detoxification In New Jersey!

1-800-503-7127

LifeStrengthandHealth.com

Read More