Numerous positive health effects are attributed to sauerkraut juice, ranging from strengthening the intestinal flora to preventing life-threatening diseases. But which health benefits can actually be proven?
Healthy ingredients of sauerkraut juice
Sauerkraut is fermented white cabbage that has undergone lactic acid fermentation. The sauerkraut juice can then be obtained by squeezing it out.
Sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice contain various minerals and trace elements such as potassium, magnesium and selenium, but also vitamin C, vitamin K and vitamin B12. The latter makes sauerkraut juice particularly interesting for people who eat vegan, since very few plant foods contain this vitamin.
Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system, plays a role in cell division, promotes blood formation and is also involved in fat metabolism.
Protection against oxidative stress
In a study published in the “International Journal of Food Properties”, the experts involved emphasize that the vitamins and phenolic compounds contained in sauerkraut and thus also in sauerkraut juice act as strong radical scavengers and protect against oxidative stress.
Oxidative stress, in turn, plays an important role in numerous health conditions, including cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases, according to the research team.
Prevention of cardiovascular diseases
In particular, the so-called isothiocyanates and other sulfur compounds contained have anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant effects, according to the researchers.
The vitamin C not only inhibits inflammation, but also counteracts atherosclerotic plaques, and the vitamin E it contains has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which is associated with improved protection against cardiovascular disease by inhibiting so-called LDL oxidation, the researchers add experts added.
Probiotic properties of sauerkraut
A special feature of sauerkraut is the lactic acid bacteria it contains. Here it was possible to isolate and characterize three Lactobacillus strains with possible probiotic properties in sauerkraut, which according to the experts also shows the potential of sauerkraut fermentations as a source for isolating probiotics.
So-called heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria in sauerkraut and also in sauerkraut juice strengthen the intestinal flora by inhibiting the growth of harmful bacteria by competing with them for nutrients and thereby producing lactic and acetic acid, which in turn act as bacterial inhibitors.
Strengthens the immune system
Heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria also improve immune system function, which may help prevent a variety of diseases while aiding in lactose digestion, the researchers add.
Several studies have already shown that sauerkraut is a strong and effective immune modulator. According to the experts, the heterofermentative lactic acid bacteria improve the innate and adaptive immune response and at the same time inhibit existing inflammations by changing the intestinal microbiota.
Helps with irritable bowel syndrome
In the case of irritable bowel syndrome, the daily consumption of 75 grams of sauerkraut can lead to a significant reduction in disease-related symptoms, the researchers report. And if the sauerkraut is consumed daily for six weeks, an increased variety of bacteria can also be detected in the stool, which speaks for positive changes in the intestinal flora.
Sauerkraut juice can also relieve constipation and flatulence. And an additional advantage is the low calorie content, which means that sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice can also help you lose weight.
prevention of cancer
In addition, sauerkraut has been associated in various studies with a (preventive) effect against cancer. In particular, the glucosinolates in Brassica vegetables, which include sauerkraut, are believed to be responsible for the inverse association between consumption of the vegetable and cancer risk, the research team explains.
Experiments have already shown that high amounts of glucosinolates, ascorbigen and ascorbic acid (all found in abundance in sauerkraut) can reduce DNA damage and the cell mutation rate in cancer.
Drink sauerkraut juice regularly
Overall, sauerkraut is considered one of the best functional foods in the world, which is not surprising given the health benefits. The studies show that the consumption of sauerkraut and sauerkraut juice can improve many important aspects of health and even protect against life-threatening diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. (as)