Sunday Wellness: The Beauty of Fermented Foods + Recipe for Sauerkraut

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The Beauty of Fermented Foods + Recipe for Sauerkraut

Fermented foods are huge right now. Not only are they a great source of good bacteria your body desperately needs, they are also a key factor in the healing of pesky health concerns like leaky gut, acne, IBS and other chronic ailments.

When a food is left to sit in an air-tight, sanitary container for a number of days, beneficial yeast and bacteria are able to grow, pre-digesting the food and creating a fantastic source of probiotics. Research is beginning to support the role ferments play in gut, or intestinal health and functional medicine recognizes that everything stems from a strong digestive system: the appearance of your skin and hair, the clarity of your thoughts, your weight and the ability to gain or lose it, energy levels, muscles, blood and even emotional well-being.

Several common factors can compromise or disrupt the delicate balance of your inner ecosystem, compromising your digestion and ultimately your overall health. Antibiotics, latent food sensitivities and stress all play huge factors in your ability to maintain a healthy digestive tract and if left unchecked, these things can play a huge role in whether you get sick or whether you remain well.

Fermented Foods are fantastic because they:

  1. Help re-establish your inner ecosystem with good bacteria.
  2. Are a less expensive (and homemade) alternative to probiotic supplements.
  3. Improve digestion. Because the food is already pre-digested, your body doesn’t have to work as hard to get the nutrients from your food.

Kombucha, Kefir and raw, unpasteurized sauerkraut are all great ferments you can easily make at home to support a healthy gut. Enjoy the following easy recipe for sauerkraut!

Easy Sauerkraut
4 cups cabbage, sliced thin
1 Tablespoon unrefined, sea salt
1 cabbage leaf
1 quart sized glass jar + airtight lig
1 clean stone, weight or bag of water
Filtered water
Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl, sprinkle with salt and massage with your hands until the cabbage releases most of its liquid, about 10 minutes

Pack cabbage and liquid into a quart sized glass jar. (You’ll want the cabbage to be submerged in the liquid and can use filtered water to cover, if needed.) Cover cabbage and liquid with the cabbage leaf and place something heavy (i.e. clean stone, Ziploc bag with water) on top to keep the cabbage submerged in liquid. Seal your jar with an airtight lid and let sit at room temperature for 5-7 days. Once opened, remove stone and cabbage leaf and refrigerate after opening. Here’s to a healthy gut and strong digestion!

Questions? Post in the comments below or email

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"Berceuse" Christine Winkler and Jonah Hooper (Photo: Charlie McCullers)