The Paleo List Answers:IS SAUERKRAUT PALEO?
Topping meats with fermented vegetables is a food tradition that dates back thousands of years. From kimchi to sauerkraut, there’s no doubt that fermentation has been a part of both eastern and western human diets for many centuries. Sauerkraut today is often served with pork chops and apples, ballpark hotdogs, and smashed on Reuben sandwiches, but is it Paleo?
What is Sauerkraut?
Sauerkraut is a very old method of preserving cabbage, commonly used throughout Eastern Europe and other areas with cold hardy climates. The basic ingredients in sauerkraut are incredibly simple: cabbage, salt, water. The cabbage is shredded and treated with salt and water, then left to ferment at room temperature for anywhere from 48 hours to 10 days.
Fermented foods are incredibly beneficial because of the positive bacteria formed through the fermentation process. This study found a connection between probiotic rich foods and good health, and people with gut issues report the healing properties of fermented foods, including sauerkraut.
Is Sauerkraut Paleo?
So is sauerkraut healthy for you? Absolutely! Sauerkraut is totally Paleo and incredibly healthy, but before you go out and grab a plastic pouch of it from the grocery store, remember this: not all sauerkraut is the same. Some manufacturers use sugar to aid in the fermentation, which is not Paleo, and many more producers actually pasteurize their sauerkraut so you get a product with the same taste and none of the beneficial bacteria.
If you want the healthiest, most beneficial sauerkraut, you should make it yourself, or look for a raw version in the refrigerated section of your grocery store! (And as always, read the label!)
Are you struggling with which foods are Paleo? Do you need help planning some Paleo meals? Check out this great Paleo cookbook: