By Sue Bedford (MSc Nutritional Therapy)
Sauerkraut is simply fermented cabbage. It is great for the gut as it contains the friendly bacteria Lactobacilli Plantarum’ which grows well during the fermenting process and can help balance gut flora and inhibit the growth of E.Coli (a not- so nice bacteria in most cases). Eating fermented foods has many health benefits, including improving the absorption of fertility nutrients, because you are by eating fermented foods such as sauerkraut you are adding millions of beneficial bacteria to your gut, which our digestive system requires to function properly. Fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria, enzymes, and lauric acid, all of which contribute to a healthy digestive tract. If you are trying to conceive, good digestion and absorption of food is essential……why not have a go at making your own ruby red sauerkraut to add to salads, sandwiches, and casseroles.
Red cabbage, like cauliflower and kale, is a nutrient-dense cruciferous or Brassica vegetable and gets its name from the dark purple-reddish colour of its leaves. Red cabbage is often smaller and thicker than green cabbage, with a pepperier flavour. The flavonoid anthocyanin and the acidity level of the soil where it’s grown give the red cabbage its purple-reddish colour. It’s high in nutrients, low in fat and calories, and has a long list of health advantages, just like most colourful veggies. Cabbage is great for health and fertility -It contains di-indole methane, for starters! This is a chemical that may help women avoid developing fibroids and endometriosis. Cabbage contains linoleic and alpha-linolenic acids, which are important fatty acids. These acids are necessary for ovulation, especially during the egg release phase. Cabbage is also high in folate, which can help prevent birth defects in newborns and is a must-have during the first few months of pregnancy. Cabbage is also high in vitamin C, which can improve the body’s immune system and prevent oxidative stress to egg and sperm DNA, slowing down cell ageing. Cabbage also contains vitamin E, which can help increase male fertility by increasing sperm count and quality.
Ruby Red Homemade Sauerkraut
1kg organic red cabbage chopped small
1 tbsp good quality sea salt
1 tbsp. of either caraway seeds and/or chopped dill
Chop the cabbage very finely and place onto a large chopping board. Add the salt. Next, using a rolling pin carefully bash the cabbage for up to 10 minutes. Place into a large bowl, add the spices/herbs and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into a large-lidded jar and as adding it, try to push the air out with the end of the rolling pin to remove excess air. Place the lid onto the jar tightly and leave for 3-4 weeks (remember to open the lid every few days to remove any gas formed for the week). Enjoy!