Is Sauerkraut Good for Yeast Infection?
Is Sauerkraut Good for Yeast Infection?
Sauerkraut is finely cut white cabbage fermented by different strains of lactic bacteria, friendly bacteria that produces lactic acid. It’s been used for centuries as a rich source of vitamin C, B and K that are more bio-available than the vitamins in raw cabbage. It means that more or of those vitamins will reach your bloodstream and nourish your body.
Another benefit of sauerkraut is that it contains trillions of friendly bacteria per 100 grams, greatly improving your digestive health and boosting your immunity. The probiotic strains that can be found in sauerkraut offer numerous benefits to your health, some of them have been shown to treat and prevent yeast infections in humans. The probiotic strains most commonly found in sauerkraut are:
- Leuconostoc mesenteroides
- Lactobacillus plantarum
- Pediococcus pentosaceus
- Leuconostoc citreum
- Lactobacillus paraplantarum
- P. pentosaceus
- Lactobacillus brevis
- Leuconostoc fallax
- Lactobacillus coryniformis
- Leuconostoc argentinum
As you can see sauerkraut can offer a great diversity of lactic acid producing strains, far more than most probiotic supplements. Also, their concentration (CFU count) is much greater than that of most probiotic supplements.
What’s more, every batch of sauerkraut differs in the amount of and the type of friendly bacteria strains it carries. So you can provide your body with more diverse probiotic strains, every time you open a new jar of sauerkraut.
Studies show that sauerkraut has got a high concentration of Lactobacillus plantarum as it’s an acid-resistant strain and it survives in greater numbers than any other probiotic strains found in sauerkraut.
So What are the Health Benefits of Lactobacillus Plantarum?
There are numerous studies that focus on how Lactobacillus plantarum can support our health. So far, they found out that:
- According to a 2013 study, Lactobacillus plantarum has got a fungicidal effect on Candida cells. It’s able to destroy the Candida cell membranes leading to their death
- Additionally, reduces the risk of suffering diarrhea and relieves its symptoms
- Improves the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), small bowel bacterial overgrowth in children and pouchitis
- L. plantarum produces exopolysaccharides which are able to lower blood cholesterol by about 10%
- Exopolysaccharides have also been shown to stop cancer cells from proliferating
- A 2012 study revealed that L. plantarum is an antioxidant
- L. plantarum also boost your immune system helping you ward off yeast infections and other, more serious infections such as E. coli or Clostridium dificile
Is There Anything Else in Sauerkraut that Helps Treat and Prevent Yeast Infections?
- The fact that it contains different lactic acid bacteria ready to colonize your gut means that they’ll create a natural barrier on your intestine lining leaving no space for Candida and other pathogenic microbes to start proliferating.
- Lactic acid itself changes the pH of your intestines making it unfavorable for yeast and harmful bacteria to thrive.
- Many probiotic strains, apart from Lactobacillus plantarum, have been shown to destroy Candida membrane cells, which causes them die.
- Probiotics also stimulate your immune system making it more effective in fighting and preventing infections.
What are Other Benefits of Sauerkraut?
- Sauerkraut is a fiber-which food which helps to keep your stomach feel full for longer so it’s a great, nutritious food if you’re trying to lose weight
- Fiber is also known to improve heart health by lowering your cholesterol levels
- As cabbage is high iron, it will improve your metabolism and boost your energy levels helping you prevent headaches and fatigue
- Phytonutrient antioxidants found in sauerkraut reduce inflammation helping you relieve muscle and joint pain
- Vitamin K found in sauerkraut improved the health of your bones and prevents osteoporosis
- Sauerkraut is full of antioxidants which prevent cell degeneration keeping your skin looking younger and reducing your risk of developing cancer
- Sauerkraut is a rich source of vitamin A which is known to improve your eye health and reduce the risk of developing cataract
- Sauerkraut is also high in vitamin C which boosts your immune system making you less prone to infections
What Equipment do I Need to Make Sauerkraut?
To make sauerkraut you need a few basic pieces of equipment:
- a wide mouth canning jar with an airlock
- a weight (a heavy stone would be enough)
- a wooden tamper
- a knife or a cabbage cutter
- salt and white cabbage
There are many types of sauerkraut kits available on Amazon, where you can get all the equipment you need, one of the best starter kits is Easy Fermenter Wide Mouth Lid Kit.
How to Make Sauerkraut at Home?
- Once you’ve got all necessary equipment and ingredients (cabbage and salt) follow these steps: Cut a previously washed cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Slice the cabbage thinly using a knife, cabbage cutter or a food processor.
- Place half of the cabbage in a bowl and sprinkle with 1.5 tablespoons of salt. Then mix it with the cabbage using your hands until the cabbage releases some liquid. Repeat the same with the other half of cabbage.
- Once the whole cabbage is in the bowl keep squeezing it vigorously with your hands so it releases more liquid. This step should take about 10 minutes.
- Place the mixture in a glass or ceramic container. Keep pressing it with a wooden tamper to remove all air pockets. Then leave it for 2 hours. After that, Use wooden tamper once more until the cabbage is completely covered in liquid.
- Place a weight such as flat stone or a glass wight on the cabbage to make sure it stays completely submerged in liquid.
- Cover the jar with a lid and place it in a place without direct sunlight. The temperature between 60 to 64°F is ideal.
- Check on your sauerkraut every few days. If black mold appears, discard it and prepare a new batch. Remove all scum that forms on the surface and press it to release any gases that have formed. Make sure it stays completely covered with liquid. by replacing the weights.
- The cabbage is ready to eat after a week, but for a full fermentation process to complete, it will take up to 4 weeks. You can try your sauerkraut every few days to see how the taste evolves.
- Once it’s ready, you can keep it in the fridge for up to 6 months.
What is Involved in the Sauerkraut Fermentation Process?
The fermentation process of sauerkraut is very straightforward and takes about 4 weeks.
At the beginning of the fermentation process involves bacteria that need oxygen. For this reason, you have to use an airtight container to make sure they cannot proliferate and spoil the cabbage. Another important element is salt which further inhibits spoilage bacteria and pathogens.
Then other types of bacteria start producing carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Once the conditions in the jar become too acidic for these bacteria, they die off and are replaced by different Lactobacillus strains.
Lactobacillus species are responsible for further fermentation of any remaining sugars and producing more lactic acid. Once the sauerkraut reaches pH 3, the fermentation process is completed.
What Kind of Sauerkraut Should I Buy?
If you prefer to buy sauerkraut, make sure you pay attention to the following:
- If the sauerkraut was pasteurized it doesn’t contain any lactic acid bacteria and its nutritional value is much reduced. It will not provide the probiotic boost you need. So make sure that you only buy unpasteurized sauerkraut. You’ll find it in the refrigerator section.
- The only ingredients of Sauerkraut are cabbage and salt. Don’t buy sauerkraut that contains sugar, vinegar, sodium benzoate or sodium bisulfate.
Does Sauerkraut Expire?
Sauerkraut does expire so you shouldn’t use store bought sauerkraut after it’s expiration date. If you make your own sauerkraut, you can keep it in the fridge for up to six months. When you notice mold or unpleasant, stale smell, throw away the sauerkraut and prepare a new batch.
Is Sauerkraut High in Salt?
The only downside of sauerkraut is that it’s high in sodium. Salt is necessary to enable cabbage leaves to release water and nutrients and stop spoilage bacteria from spoiling the cabbage. the amount of salt in sauerkraut is usually around 2 to 3 %.
This can be especially problematic if you suffer from renal or cardiovascular conditions. In that case, make sure you speak to your doctor before you start incorporating sauerkraut into your daily diet.
Does Sauerkraut Cause Gases?
Eating a lot of sauerkraut can cause gases. One of its components, raffinose, is a plant sugar impossible to break down in small intestines. Once it gets to your colon, it gets fermented by bacteria and this process produces gas.
This effect can last for up to two days if you eat a lot of sauerkraut. Eating sauerkraut in small quantities will help you avoid or significantly reduce this unpleasant side effect.
Sauerkraut is a nutritious food that will support your health in many ways. The fact that it’s full of beneficial bacteria means it’s a perfectly natural way to supplement your antifungal diet or to prevent yeast infections and many other kinds of infections.
The only disadvantages of eating sauerkraut in large quantities are the high level of sodium and the fact that it can cause bloating and gases.
If you eat sauerkraut in small quantities you can be sure you provide your intestines with trillions of beneficial bacteria that will make it difficult for Candida thrive to proliferate and cause unpleasant symptoms.
I’d love to hear about your experiences. Have you tried making sauerkraut at home? Do you use it to prevent yeast infections? Please share your comments and questions in the comment section below.