Juicing This One Common Veggie Can Replenish Your Health
Lets talk about some cabbage!
Ok guys I’ll be the first to admit that this is a hard one for me to eat. When I learned how healthy that raw and naturally fermented cabbage and sauerkraut are for the gut and immune system, I sucked it up and began drinking this whenever its available. In fact, sauerkraut juice is used in the GAPS diet, which has successfully healed the guts of millions. Along with alternating organic, raw celery juice in the morning, fermented sauerkraut has the potential to reverse leaky gut and dysbiosis. Considering that 80% of our immune cells and 70% of our happy neurotransmitter, “serotonin” is located within the cells of our gut lining, a healthy diet that includes fermented veggies like cabbage can truly change lives.
So whats the big deal with sauerkraut? What does sauerkraut have that other foods don’t? Sauerkraut and its juices are made from naturally aged and fermented cabbage. In this ancient method of food preservation, salt is added to shredded cabbage. This causes the cabbage to release lactic acid, preserving the cabbage and the juice it releases. This natural lactic acid inhibits the growth of undesirable and harmful intestinal bacteria and encourages the growth of good bacteria. Cabbage contains the living probiotic microorganisms that are agents of fermentation! This makes sauerkraut juice an excellent choice for treating constipation, poor digestion and acid reflux/GERD.
The one caveat to sauerkraut juice is that it can sometimes be high in sodium, so be sure to check for low sodium varieties or make your own. Also avoid canned and pasteurized sauerkraut, because just like milk, yogurt and bottled cold pressed fruit juices, the microorganisms have been killed off by exposure to high heat pasteurization. It is quite literally dead food and does not have the same healing power.
The Importance of Potassium (and even some Vitamin C & Anti-Cancer Fighting Qualities)
As a Gerson practitioner, I am always amazed at how potassium regulates blood pressure, bodily homeostasis and metabolism. Most Americans have a surplus of sodium, which causes edema and increased blood pressure. Gerson therapy promotes the dumping of sodium from the cells and actually gives extraneous potassium, which stays regulated in the body on the Gerson protocol.
Research has shown that a high-potassium diet lowers blood pressure in nearly everyone. Moreover, this diet has reduced deaths from cardiovascular disease. Due to a pump mechanism in the kidneys, increased potassium cause the kidneys to excrete and rid the body of calcium through the urine. This is thought to perhaps play an important role in the prevention of kidney stones and osteoporosis. One cup of sauerkraut juice provides 12% of your daily potassium! This juice is also a natural diuretic and will help with inflammation and edema.
More Micronutrient Benefit?!
Vitamin C is also prevalent in sauerkraut juice. Remember its a powerful antioxidant that sweeps out free radicals, or unstable byproducts that can damage the body’s cells. Sauerkraut is estimated to have 200 times more bioavailable vitamin C because the fermenting process makes the nutrient from the cabbage digestible and available. In fact, during long times at sea, sailors ate sauerkraut to prevent Scurvy, which is caused by Vitamin C deficiency. Not only that but cabbage and sauerkraut has 19% of the daily recommended intake of iron. Iron is important for oxygen transportation and cell growth.
Sauerkraut also contains high levels of glucosinolates-compounds shown to fight cancer in lab research studies. In fact, a study published in 2012 NutritionCancer journal as well as the American Association for Cancer Research has discussed how “women who ate at least 3 servings a week of raw or cooked cabbage and sauerkraut had significantly reduced breast cancer risk compared with those who only ate one serving per week.”
As gut dysbiosis, is also what causes skin eruptions like acne (if toxins can’t leave out of your bowels, they come out on the skin), so cabbage is an effective remedy for acne and skin blemishes. If acne is your problem, consume 1/2 cabbage of raw, fermented, unpasteurized kraut a day. The high sulfur content is valuable in helping to repair damaged skin.
Don’t use anything but organic! Pesticides are working against the cabbage when it comes to healing the gut wall. Don’t forget that pesticides also strip the soil and therefore, the food of vital micronutrients. This also works against healing the gut, mood and immunity because vitamin C is naturally higher in organic cabbage.
- Find a good looking medium to large head of organic cabbage, chop it into small pieces and throw it in your juicer of choice (Vitamix, masticating juicer, food processor). The smaller you cut the pieces into, the faster the salt will be able to work its way into the fibers of the cabbage to ferment, so blend well.
- Dust the cabbage with 6-7 tablespoons of Himalayan sea salt and stir throughly. I usually let the lettuce sit overnight (but you can wait anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight) or you can pound and grind the salt into the cabbage to expedite the process. Once the cabbage is ready, it will be wilted and there will be extracted juice in the bottom of the bowl, due to the cellulose structure of the cabbage being broken down by the salt.
- Fill glass bottles or jars 1/3 of the way up with the mixture and then fill the rest with filtered or distilled water.
- Jar them and leave the concoction alone for 10-15 days.
- Be sure the lids are screwed on tight because any oxygen exposure predisposes your cabbage to mold. Placing the jars in the fridge also helps.
If you are someone with severe IBS, gut dysbiosis, or leaky gut, go easy on this mixture as can cause die off reactions. It is advisable to allow their cabbage to ferment for nearly 4 months prior to ingesting due to this reason.
Who’s making sauerkraut juice with me?!
“Modulation of CYP1A1, CYP1A2 and CYP1B1 expression by cabbage juices and insoles in human breast cell lines,” 2012 PMID 22716309