SAUERKRAUT – Health Benefits with Highest Vitamin C and How to Make It

Do you know that Sauerkraut has impressive Health Benefits with Highest Vitamin C and a good source of probiotics? We will also show you how to make it, too. We collected 10 recipes of Sauerkraut varieties that you can try.

Sauerkraut is a preserved cabbage through the process of Lacto-fermentation. It is made by mixing shredded fresh cabbage and salt and then pressing down the mixture which releases water, thus, causes fermentation.

This process produced beneficial probiotics or live bacteria. One of those bacteria is called lactobacillus which is commonly found in yogurt and other cultured products. With these probiotics,  sauerkraut produces such major health benefits that surpass far beyond that of the fresh cabbage.

The bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage leaves. As a result, some various lactic acid bacteria formed which produced a distinctively sour flavor. Although it originated in China, it is also known that this fermented cabbage was well appreciated in Germany where the name Sauerkraut (sour cabbage) comes from.

Vitamins and Mineral in Sauerkraut

Vitamins found in Sauerkraut are Vitamins A, B Vitamins, C, K, and U. While the minerals are Iron, potassium, iodine, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and sodium. Traced amounts of phosphorus, chlorine, cobalt, fluorine, silicon, boron, copper, zinc, sulfur, and selenium are also present.

Vitamin C in Sauerkraut

Vitamin C, also called Ascorbic Acid, is an essential nutrient which means that the body can’t produce on its own. It has high antioxidant properties that strengthen the body’s immune system. 

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 95 mg for men. One cup of fresh cabbage has 30 mg of Vitamin C. But, according to studies, when fermented and made into Sauerkraut, it can go up to almost 700 mg per cup. Indeed, it is 20 times more Vitamin C than in plain cabbage. This is what makes Sauerkraut special besides being rich in probiotics.

Vitamin U

Vitamin U is also known as  S-methyl methionine. This vitamin may not be always heard because this is not considered as a vitamin. It is a substance found in cabbage juice, which is a derivative of methionine. This substance encourages the healing of peptic ulcers. Furthermore, according to some studies, it can also help remove allergic reactions to tobacco smokes. 

Vitamin K

Vitamin K has a key function in helping to prevent excessive bleeding as well as help build and maintain healthy bones.


Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in the body. As part of electrolytes, this mineral helps maintain the heart, brain, kidney, muscle tissue, and other important organ systems of the human body in good condition. A cup of sauerkraut already contains 400 milligrams of Potassium.


Sodium is among the electrolytes and works in association with potassium to perform important tasks within the body. Sodium is needed for muscle contraction, helps send nerve impulses, and balances fluids in the body. It is also a component in Salt or Sodium Chloride (40% Sodium and 60% Chloride). Salt is one of the main ingredients of Sauerkraut and part of the fermentation process. 

For every cup of sauerkraut, it contains 938 mg of Sodium, where the recommended Daily Value is  1,500mg up to 2,300mg. 

While sodium still has very confusing information on how much you should be taking daily, consider the diet you are currently on. When in a very low carb, such as ketogenic diet,  it is advised to increase the electrolyte intakes which include sodium because the diet is anti-inflammatory. 

However, there are insights about sodium being proven in the new studies.

All vitamins and minerals in fresh sauerkraut are equally important and play significant roles for the health and normal function of the body.

12 Major Health Benefits in Sauerkraut

There is a long list of Sauerkraut Health Benefits due to the fact that Sauerkraut is very rich in probiotics, packed with antioxidants, rich in fiber, and full of nutrients. Below are among the health benefits that you will gain if you include the fermented cabbage in your diet:

  1. Sauerkraut is very nutritious. Of course, it has to be on top of the list. As mentioned above, Sauerkraut is rich in vitamins and minerals, with the highest Vitamin C of up to 700 mg in 1 cup of fresh sauerkraut. Hence, it is also called the Superfood.
  2. Sauerkraut increases Iron absorption. For this reason, women during menstruation and pregnancy, and even endurance athletes are well benefited.
  3. Boosts Immune system. Sauerkraut is indeed a great source of immune-boosting probiotics and nutrients. Regular consumption will reduce the risk of infection such as cold, flu, and Urinary Tract Infection. It will help you recover faster as well when you are sick.
  4. Great for gut health. Improves the bacterial balance in your gut, thus, improves overall digestion and health mainly because of probiotics. It is also effective in combating several bowel diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, bloating as well as symptoms linked to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
  5. Prevents and reduces symptoms of food allergies. These include lactose intolerance, milk protein allergy, and others.
  6. Reduce the risk of certain cancers. This is due to antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds that the sauerkraut contains. A study shows that women consuming 3 or more servings per week had a 72%lower risk of breast cancer than those who ate less than 1.5 servings per week.
  7. Alleviation of arthritis inflammation. This is due to antioxidants and rich probiotics in sauerkraut, thus, causing anti-inflammatory effects. 
  8. Promotes heart health. Sauerkraut contains high choline concentration which regulates blood composition thus, helps prevent hypertension. Moreover, Sauerkraut is one of the rare plant sources of Vitamin K, particularly Vitamin K2, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease by preventing calcium deposits from building up in the arteries.
  9. It helps promote weight loss. Probiotics in Sauerkraut balances gut microflora to ensure good work of the immune system. And because excess weight is connected with chronic inflammation, probiotics help to lose weight. Eating too many carbohydrates and sugar causes sick gut flora. Because intestinal bacteria need sugar to live, they also send signals to the brain to consume more sugary foods, thus, people gain weight, which may also result in obesity, diabetes, and many others. Note that only traditional sauerkraut recipes are effective for weight loss and balanced gut flora. 
  10. It helps maintain brain health and reduces stress. Studies show that probiotics in sauerkraut help improve memory and reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, autism, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder. Moreover, it also maintains brain health by increasing the gut’s absorption of mood-regulating minerals such as magnesium and zinc.
  11. It helps keep the bone stronger. Vitamin K2 in sauerkraut activates the proteins that bind the mineral found in bones, which is the calcium, thus, it makes the bone stronger and healthier.
  12. Improves skin condition. Indeed, sauerkraut helps in the prevention and treatment of acne and wrinkles. Furthermore, healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract aids in the healing of inflamed skin. A healthy digestive system is truly vital for overall health which also includes the skin.

How to make Sauerkraut

There are several varieties of Sauerkraut depending on the region they were made. They are kept to ferment from 1 week up to several months. When fermented for only 3 to 7 days, the sauerkraut has a mild result where there is only very little production of lactic acid.

Keep in mind that sugar affects the fermentation process and may have poor results and fewer health benefits. Therefore, don’t use ingredients with high sugar content if you prefer a sauerkraut with the best health benefits.

The kind of salt to be used can also affect the end result of the product. Himalayan Pink Salt is highly recommended for its nutritional value. While Iodized or common table salt is not advisable. You can use this guide.

Furthermore, traditional sauerkraut gives off the most health benefits. It consists of cabbages and salt only and fermented in one month or more to get the best result. It is said that red or purple cabbage makes the highest nutritional value especially Vitamin C, but other cabbages will do fine as well. You can have a look at what vegetables you can use here.

Most of the ingredients call for 5 lbs of shredded cabbage (include the weight of other vegetables if you are adding). You can use this proportion below if you prefer to make less.

  • 2.2 lbs or 1 kg cabbage, any variety
  • 3 – 4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

For variety, you can add one or more of the following: caraway, carrots, ginger, garlic, beets, apple, pineapple, etc.

For directions, follow the steps given with the recipes below.

Read these TIPS first. You might find them helpful.

  • For the jar. You can use a large mason, canning, or pickling jar. Clean it well. There is no need to sterilize it as good bacteria will take over during fermentation.
  • During preparation, you can mix the shredded cabbage and salt for a minute and leave aside for 30 minutes. The mixture will become watery. And then you can start massaging the mixture as directed in the procedure.
  • To use as weight to keep the cabbage under the brine, most of the advice is to use a small jar with stones in it to press down the cabbages. Another suggestion is, instead of a small jar and stones (if you can’t find one or don’t want to use stones), use a clean ziplock plastic, place it inside the jar and fill the bag with water to the tip. It is important that there is no air inside and keep the vegetables under the liquid.
  • Use a whole clean cabbage leaf and place it over the sauerkraut before placing the weight in. You can cut it to the diameter (a little wider) of the jar, or just fold it in.
  • If you are going to use a regular mason jar, when closing the jar, don’t close too tight to allow excess gas to escape. During fermentation, gas will develop. Place the jar on a tray to catch the overflowing liquid as gas develops.

Here are the 10 recipes:

1. Easy 2-Ingredient Homemade Sauerkraut

Definitely the easiest and the traditional Sauerkraut recipe with just cabbage and Himalayan pink salt for ingredients. And then, later on, you can experiment to create a variety like adding caraway seeds or carrots.

Get the full recipe here.

Sauerkraut health benefits with highest vitamin c easy 2 ingredient homemade and dill and caraway sauerkraut

2. Dill and Caraway Sauerkraut

Indeed, another easy Sauerkraut recipe with just four ingredients: Cabbage, sea salt, dill, and caraway.

Get the full recipe here.

3. Lemon Ginger Sauerkraut

Here is a flavorful Lemon Ginger Sauerkraut and more nutritious. We know that lemon and ginger are two of those with good health benefits. Just 4 ingredients.

Get the full recipe here.

Sauerkraut health benefits with highest vitamin c lemon ginger and ginger carrot sauerkraut

4. Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut

This Ginger Carrot Sauerkraut is surely a delectable recipe with more nutrients. With just 5 ingredients of Cabbage, salt, carrots, ginger, and garlic.

Get the full recipe here.

5. Ruby-Red Cabbage Sauerkraut

By the look of this Ruby-Red Cabbage Sauerkraut, you knew it’s delicious. This variety is said to produce the highest Vitamin C. Nevertheless, other sauerkraut are equally nutritious. With 5 ingredients of Red Cabbage, beets, tart apple, fresh ginger, and some Himalayan pink salt.

Get the full recipe here.

Sauerkraut health benefits with highest vitamin c ruby red and pineapple sauerkraut

6. Pineapple Sauerkraut with Turmeric and Ginger

Ginger and Turmeric when combined already give off great benefits. Indeed, this Pineapple Sauerkraut with Turmeric and Ginger is not only tasty but gives a much higher value of health benefits. Ingredients are Cabbage, sea salt, diced pineapple, ginger, powdered or fresh turmeric, and filtered water.

Get the full recipe here.


7. Southwestern Kraut

This Southwestern Kraut is truly crunchy, tasty, and great with tacos. With the additional ingredients, this sauerkraut healthy benefits just leveled up. ingredients are cabbage, green onions, cilantro, cloves, jalapeno, cumin, and sea salt.

Get the full recipe here.

Sauerkraut health benefits with highest vitamin c southwestern and sweet garlic sauerkraut

8. Sweet Garlic Sauerkraut

This deliciously, healthy Sweet Garlic Sauerkraut somewhat has the sweetness of carrots and with the sharpness of the garlic. Great as a side dish for dinner and even kids love the taste. Just combine cabbage, carrots garlic and iodine-free salt.

Get the full recipe here.

9. Turmeric Jalapeño Sauerkraut

With a hint of spiciness from Jalapeño, this Turmeric Jalapeño Sauerkrat is truly full of healthy benefits. Great as a side dish either for lunch or dinner. Very easy to make as it only has 4 ingredients: cabbage, jalapeño chili pepper, turmeric, and some salt.

Get the full recipe here.

Turmeric jalapeno and kimchi style sauerkraut

10. Kimchi Style Souerkraut

This is Kimchi Style Sauerkraut or maybe you can call it Korean style Sauerkraut. It’s indeed spicy-sour flavor and of course, still very healthy sauerkraut if you are into this taste. Ingredients are Cabbage, carrots, green onions, radish, fresh ginger, garlic, some Korean red pepper powder, and a tablespoon of iodine-free salt.

Get the full recipe here.

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