Sauerkraut is a form of preserved cabbage that is produced by fermentation. The fermentation offers several nutrition benefits far beyond those of fresh cabbage. Sauerkraut is enriched with proteins, vitamins A, B, C and K plus other essential amino and fatty acids.
Although sauerkraut is an excellent source of dietary fiber, and other nutrients, eating too much of it if you are not used to it can make you experience some side effects such as diarrhea, cramping, and even indigestion. Following is a detailed discussion of these effects.
Does sauerkraut cause gas/Bloating?
Yes. One of the most common reactions to fermented food is a temporary increase in gas and bloating. Sauerkraut is no different. Once you consume this food, a lot of gas ended up being produced after the probiotics keel the harmful gut bacteria and fungi.
It is worth noting that probiotics normally secrete antimicrobial peptides that end up killing harmful pathogenic organisms such as E.Coli and Salmonella. Although bloating after taking sauerkraut might appear to be a good deal, since harmful bacteria are being eliminated from the gut, some people usually experience severe bloating. As a result, they become too uncomfortable, especially when one is traveling.
When taking fermented food such as the sauerkraut, there are many factors that you should consider. For instance, if you pair this food with a protein, the digestion process will slow down and this can lead to glass and bloating.
Timing and pairing has shown to matter a lot when it comes to the taking gut-friendly foods. Ideally, these foods be eaten with food or right before the main meal to ensure that they survive the stomach’s harsh acidic environment. For the sauerkraut, you can take it with salad and mostly plant based foods in the beginning to allow quicker digestion. Thereafter, you can follow it with your protein.
Besides bloating, sauerkraut can cause other adverse effects on the body. These include:
1. Headaches and migraines
Foods such as sauerkraut typically contain a lot of probiotics. As a result, they usually contain biogenic amines which is usually produced during the fermentation process. These amines usually are created by certain bacteria to break down the amino acids in the fermented foods. Some of these amines include tyramine and histamine.
Not everyone is okay with histamine among other amines. As a result, such individuals might develop headaches after taking sauerkraut. In real sense, amines usually stimulate the central nervous system and sometimes, they can increase or decrease blood flow in the body. The aftermath is a headache or even migraine.
2. Histamine intolerance
As mentioned above, histamines are very plenty in fermented foods such as sauerkraut. However, there is an enzyme that can naturally digest the histamine. This enzyme is known as diamine oxidase (DAO). Some people usually have this enzyme while others do not produce enough of these enzymes. As a result, histamine might not be fully digested and can thereby be absorbed in the bloodstream.
This can make you to experience a number of histamine intolerance symptoms. One of these symptoms is a runny nose, eye redness, fatigue and even itching. Sometimes, you might experience diarrhea and vomiting.
If this situation is not averted, it can lead to more severe problems such as low blood pressure, irregular heart rate, asthma, circulatory collapse and even sleep disorders.
3. Antibiotic resistance
Sometimes, probiotic bacteria can carry some genes that offer resistance to antibiotics. As a result, the antibiotic resistance genes might pass to other bacteria found in the food chain and gastrointestinal tract through horizontal gene transfer.
The most common antibiotic resistance genes that is carried by fermented food such as sauerkraut are normally against tetracycline and erythromycin. These are usually used to treat different respiratory infections and some sexually transmitted diseases too.
Although studies are ongoing, research has found out that resistant probiotic strains in some food items could cause antibiotic resistance in the long run. Here, you might not be able to treat bacterial infections that might attack your body.
4. It can cause more infection
For most people, sauerkraut is generally safe for a vast majority of people. However, did you know that it might cause an infection if you already have a weak immune system? This might be surprising to you, but it’s actually the case for a section of probiotic consumers out there.
It is worth noting that probiotic foods such as sauerkraut normally contains a lot of bacteria in them. Such bacteria can get into the bloodstream and even cause more infraction in the long run. This is usually the case when your immune system is already compromised.
For instance, if you have been hospitalized for a long period or have recently undergone a surgical operation in your body, chances are that you might be very vulnerable to more infection. Although the risk of developing an infection are relatively low, it is advisable that you avoid taking foods such as sauerkraut n plenty, if you already have other underlying issues in your body such as diabetes and severe acute pancreatitis.
5. Food-borne illness
When buying fermented foods such as sauerkraut, you might think that they are very safe. By safe, we mean that they are free from getting contaminated with bacteria. However, this is not always the case. This fermented food can also get contaminated with bacteria which can cause an infection
Therefore, you should be keen when taking these foods to avoid further complications, especially if you do not trust the source of the food.
Although some side effects of fermented foods are rare, it is important that you know them so that you can consume foods such as sauerkraut with moderation.
.If you already have an immune system problem, you should moderate or even avoid taking sauerkraut as you might be putting your health to more risk.