Is Store Bought Sauerkraut Still Good for You? 8 Benefits

Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
Is Store Bought Sauerkraut Still Good for You
Most store bought sauerkraut is canned, meaning it is not as good for you as homemade sauerkraut. Here are 8 health benefits of fresh sauerkraut

Store bought sauerkraut is typically pasteurized during the canning process, which destroys the active probiotics and therefore makes it less nutritious than fresh or homemade sauerkraut.

In order to reap the probiotic health benefits of sauerkraut, buy refrigerated sauerkraut available in bags or pouches instead of in cans or jars. Avoid sauerkraut that has vinegar or sweeteners.

8 health benefits of sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage. It contains probiotics, a variety of vitamins such as vitamins C, A, K, and minerals such as iron. Sauerkraut has several health benefits:

  1. Prompted gut health: Sauerkraut contains probiotics—live bacteria that support digestive health. Studies have shown that daily consumption of sauerkraut can help  alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as bloating and gas. Sauerkraut also contains  dietary fiber (3 grams per cup) which is good for the gut and keeps you fuller for longer.
  2. Easy to digest: Sauerkraut is easier to digest than raw cabbage, since the fermentation process releases enzymes that break down the cabbage. 
  3. Boosts immunity: Sauerkraut is abundant in vitamin C, which is vital for immune system support. One cup contains 21 mg of vitamin C, which is roughly 28% of your daily needs.
  4. Good source of vitamin K: Vitamin K supports bone and heart health. One cup of sauerkraut has 19 mcg of vitamin K, which is about 20% of your daily needs.
  5. Good source of vitamin A: Sauerkraut contains vitamin A, which prevents inflammation and preserves vision. It also supports child growth and development.
  6. May reduce the risk of cancer: Both sauerkraut and cabbage are high in glucosinolates and ascorbigen, two cancer-fighting chemicals. Sulforaphane also inhibits histone deacetylases enzymes, an enzyme involved in cancer formation. More studies are needed, however, to evaluate the effect of sauerkraut in cancer prevention.
  7. Promotes brain health: Since the gut and the brain are inextricably connected to each other, there is increasing evidence that probiotic foods such as sauerkraut may help improve memory and cognition and reduce stress
  8. Good source of folate: Sauerkraut is high in folate, which is especially important in pregnancy. Adequate folate intake decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke, may prevent age-related hearing loss, and may even prevent gum disease.

Are there any side effects of eating sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut has health benefits when consumed in moderation. However, eating too much sauerkraut may cause some side effects.

Fermented foods may cause stomach discomfort in some people, such as flatulence, cramps, or even diarrhea. Due to its high fiber content, sauerkraut can also be problematic if you have a sensitive stomach. Sauerkraut is also fairly high in sodium, so it should be limited if you have hypertension or kidney diseases.

Sauerkraut may also trigger allergic reactions in people with food allergies, although symptoms are typically mild. Severe allergic reactions can include low blood pressure, mood swings, or sleep disorders.

Side effects of sauerkraut can be prevented, however, by consuming in moderation and gradually increasing your tolerance to the food over time.


According to the USDA, there is no difference between a “portion” and a “serving.” See Answer

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Medically Reviewed on 4/28/2022
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