In sticking with our theme of gut microbe trends, I thought I would highlight a couple of probiotic powerhouses. One of the best – “fermented” vegetables.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It is high in fiber and provides a good source of iron, Vitamin C and Vitamin K. It is also considered a “cruciferous” vegetable, which have been shown to lower your risk of cancer.
Kimchi is also made from fermented cabbage. It also includes radishes, scallions and cucumbers and seasonings. Kimchi is an excellent source of Vitamin K (64% of the daily recommended amount in a cup), iron (25% of the daily rec amt) and folate. It also provides Vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and zinc. And since it’s a cabbage, it is also a “cruciferous” vegetable.
Pickled cucumbers, beets, onions, carrots, etc. – You get many of the vegetable benefits from these including Vitamins A and C. Plus, they have been shown to lower blood sugar, are excellent sources of anti-oxidants, help relieve muscle cramps and may treat restless leg syndrome. Just make sure it is the live, raw, fermented kind to help keep sodium levels low.
One final note:
The Vitamin C in cabbage becomes more bioavailable (more able to be digested and absorbed) when it’s fermented to become sauerkraut and kimchi. The process also creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, Omega-3 fatty acids and various strains of probiotics such as Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus that improve digestion and gut health.