Monday, June 19, 2006

ABC: 'Is Sauerkraut the Next Chicken Soup?'

It's hard to imagine downing a bowl of sauerkraut the next time you're sick, but after reading a report last November by ABC that outlined the health benefits of fermented cabbage, you may change your mind. Okay, maybe not. But you might start thinking of ways to work the stuff into your diet.

In the ABC report, they explain how recent studies show sauerkraut may be used to fight breast cancer and the dreaded bird flu.

Fermented cabbage, or sauerkraut, is packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, lactic acid and a bit of iron. Lactic acid, "helps with digestion and may weaken infections," reads the ABC report. Vitamin K is known mostly for its role in helping blood clot (it's occasionally given as a snake venom antidote), but it may also help prevent kidney stones, body odor and some forms of cancer, according to the
University of Maryland Medical Center. Vitamin C, of course, is good for (almost) everything. Also from the UM Medical Center, C may fend off all sorts of heart disease, some cancers, colds, weight gains, eye diseases, diabetes and so much more.

So how much sauerkraut do you need to get the benefits? In the breast cancer study, University of New Mexico researchers found that four or more servings per week of sauerkraut did the trick. But for bird flu, the benefits of Vitamin K, C and the rest, more testing needs to be done.

Four servings a week? While people in some cultures can put back four servings in one meal, it could be just as difficult for the rest of us to get four servings of 'kraut as
the 12 cloves of garlic (per day) that you need to get it's cholesterol-cutting benefits.


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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.