Meat, fish, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies are your go-to foods when following the Paleo diet. But even if you're the most ambitious, adventurous home chef in the world and cook up a storm in the kitchen every night, these foods can get a little tedious after a while. One food you can add to your Paleo plan that not only gives you a new flavor to experiment, but also gives you a health kick in the process, is sauerkraut.
Sauerkraut is pickled cabbage and has two big advantages going for it. Firstly, cabbage is high in vitamins A and C and may help lower your cholesterol levels and fight off cancer, according to nutrition counselor Tara Green. The pickling process gives it an extra boost, too. Fermenting the cabbage means it provides a host of friendly bacteria, which can improve your digestion and gut health.
Sauerkraut and Paleo
Sauerkraut and the process of fermenting foods dates back centuries -- historical evidence suggests early civilizations were aware of the benefits of pickling and the technique was employed by laborers on the Great Wall of China and the Roman Army, notes Green. As basic sauerkraut is just cabbage, water and salt it is completely Paleo-friendly.
The simplest way to incorporate sauerkraut into your diet is to add it to salads or have a healthy serving alongside your evening meal. Try Paleo-style bun-less hot dogs with your sauerkraut and some homemade beef or turkey dogs, or serve it with baked fish to give the fish a tangy flavor. Sebastian Noel of Paleo Diet Lifestyle recommends adding apples, juniper berries and caraway seeds.
If sauerkraut isn't your thing, there are plenty of other ways to get the benefits of fermented foods. Noel suggests trying kimchi instead, which uses napa cabbage, radishes, carrots, onions, ginger, garlic and chillies. Dietitian and Paleo-advocate Stephanie Greunke recommends kombucha -- a fermented tea. Alternatively, pickled beets, turnips and even cauliflower all have the probiotic benefits of sauerkraut.
Mike Samuels started writing for his own fitness website and local publications in 2008. He graduated from Peter Symonds College in the UK with A Levels in law, business and sports science, and is a fully qualified personal trainer, sports massage therapist and corrective exercise specialist with accreditations from Premier Global International.