Can Sauerkraut Help You Lose Weight?

The human gut is a diverse community of microorganisms that live in symbiosis with our human host. The microbiota of the gut play a crucial role in the development of the immune system and many other functions that affect our wellbeing. New research has shown that certain strains of bacteria that reside in the gut may have the ability to reduce the body’s overall inflammation level thus enabling healthy weight loss.

Sauerkraut (fermented cabbage) is a popular food in Central Europe and Russia. It has been shown in several studies that eating a few spoonfuls of sauerkraut can help improve digestion, protect the stomach lining, and even encourage weight loss. While there is no evidence to suggest that fermented cabbage can replace a clinical treatment for obesity, it is certainly a food that deserves a try, especially if you are looking for natural remedies to help with weight loss.

Why Sautéing Works Better Than Stirring

When we eat food, the tongue of our body sends signals to our brains that trigger the release of hormones and transmitters that in turn make us feel full. When we sauté food, the heat from the pan actually kills off some of the bacteria that reside in the gut which in turn makes us feel fuller. The result? We eat less and our bodies stay at a healthy weight! Even when stir-frying, the act of cutting and moving the ingredients around in the pan promotes enough mouth to stomach contact for some of the same benefits.

How Does Fermented Cabbage Help With Weight Loss?

According to a study published in 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, a diet that includes fermented cabbage could contribute to weight loss and other nutritional benefits. In this study, the participants were overweight women between the ages of 21 and 35 who consumed either sauerkraut or a placebo for 12 weeks. The results demonstrated that those who consumed the fermented cabbage lost weight and body fat while increasing their muscle mass. Moreover, the women who consumed the fermented cabbage had a significant reduction in their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels which are markers of inflammation. Inflammation has been shown to contribute to obesity and its comorbidities (diseases associated with overweight and obesity).

The women in the study were neither hungry nor over-eating during the experiment. Instead, it seems that the presence of bacteria in the gut during the process of digestion helped them stay at a healthy weight. Moreover, it improved their metabolic rate and enhanced their immunity thus contributing to their better general well-being. This is important because obesity has been directly correlated to an increased risk of certain diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. One of the researchers of this study, Miriam Barad, said that although there is no evidence that sauerkraut can replace a treatment for obesity, it is nonetheless a food that people can benefit from. It improves digestion and has the potential to reduce the risk of certain diseases.

Soup Or Salad, It’s Up To You

If you’re looking to shed some pounds, you might be tempted to simply avoid eating the foods that contribute to your weight gain. But that’s probably not the best route. Instead, you might want to try incorporating more vegetables and fruits into your diet. A diet rich in vegetables and fruits is known to be protective against several diseases (especially chronic diseases) and may also help with weight loss. One study from the United Kingdom Millennium Cohort found that women who regularly ate green vegetables and fruit were 28% less likely to be obese than those who didn’t eat these foods as much. The results were similar for men. So, instead of avoiding the foods that make you fat, you could be doing the opposite—you could be trying to incorporate more of them into your diet!

What About The Taste?

If you’re someone who dislikes the taste of sauerkraut, you might want to try another option. You could potentially ferment some vegetables yourself and add them to your diet. Homemade pickles are quite popular in some parts of the world and have been shown to have similar health benefits to sauerkraut. One difference between the two is that you can add whatever vegetables you want to the mix for homemade pickles (be it cauliflower, green beans, or carrots), whereas the combination of ingredients for sauerkraut must follow a specific formula—and it’s usually not a pleasant one! But apart from that, the process of making pickles is very similar to that of fermenting cabbage—you just need to add some sugar and let nature take its course!