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Is Sauerkraut Good for Pregnancy—Are Fermented Foods Safe To Eat

Is Sauerkraut Good for Pregnancy

One of the most common cravings among pregnant women is for sour foods. That’s why sauerkraut and other fermented foods are at the top of the cravings list for many women.

But is sauerkraut good for pregnancy?

Sauerkraut is a popular food eaten around the world. It can be enjoyed as a condiment or a side dish. 

Read on if you’re pregnant and wondering if you can eat this food. 

Today, we will cover the benefits and risks of eating sauerkraut during pregnancy. Keep reading to find out more.

What Is Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is a dietary staple in many parts of Europe. It’s finely cut cabbage that has been fermented. 

People enjoy this food because it has a very distinct sour flavor.

The raw cabbage gets fermented by lactic acid bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for giving sauerkraut its distinctive flavor and long shelf life.

Some people enjoy eating sauerkraut with a fork. However, it’s most popular as a condiment or topping. 

It’s delicious on eggs, sausage, perogies, or a salad. Many also enjoy it as a salsa alternative (with chips, tacos, burritos, etc.).

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Is Sauerkraut Good for Pregnancy?

Sauerkraut is a welcome addition to the pregnancy diet. It can be perfect for pregnant women because it’s a rich source of vitamins, probiotics, and fiber. 

Sauerkraut is also low in fat.

You should always keep your baby in mind when planning a healthy pregnancy diet

As long as sauerkraut is eaten in moderation, it can have several health benefits for you and your baby (which we’ll discuss below).

Is Sauerkraut Good for Pregnancy

Is Sauerkreaut Safe During Pregnancy?

For the most part, sauerkraut is safe to consume during pregnancy. However, you need to be cautious about which type of sauerkraut you choose. 

An organic low-sodium sauerkraut is the best choice for pregnant women.

Certain brands of sauerkraut contain high levels of salt and preservatives. This is why it’s essential to read the ingredients and compare brands.

Another thing that’s important to consider is whether you’re eating pasteurized or unpasteurized sauerkraut. Most brands of sauerkraut that are found at the grocery store are pasteurized, which is safe during pregnancy.

However, unpasteurized sauerkraut during pregnancy isn’t recommended. 

This is because there is a higher risk of bacteria contamination.

For the most part, it’s safe to eat fermented foods while pregnant. However, if you have any concerns, you should always speak to your healthcare provider about how eating sauerkraut could affect your pregnancy.

Are Other Fermented Foods Safe For Pregnant Women?

If you’re pregnant and craving sour food, you may be interested in trying more fermented foods. For the most part, fermented food is safe while pregnant if consumed in moderation.

One thing that a lot of people worry about is traces of bacteria in fermented vegetables. However, fermentation kills bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness or other complications.

Benefits of Sauerkraut During Pregnancy

In moderation, fermented sauerkraut during pregnancy is highly recommended. It has several health benefits that can help support a healthy pregnancy. 

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of eating sauerkraut.

1. Great Source of Vitamins and Minerals

Sauerkraut is nutritious because it contains vitamins and minerals essential for a healthy immune system. This is something both the mother and baby can benefit from.

Most brands of sauerkraut contain the following vitamins and minerals.

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Sodium
  • Potassium

2. Relieve Pregnancy Constipation

Sauerkraut is also a good source of fiber. One cup of sauerkraut has 4 grams of fiber. 

Moms-to-be should consume more foods with natural fiber. This is one of the most efficient ways to relieve pregnancy constipation.

3. Probiotic Benefits

Sauerkraut is one of the best things to eat for good gut health. 

Everyone’s gut has bacteria; there are over 100 trillion microorganisms in your stomach known as gut flora. 

The probiotics in sauerkraut help to balance out these bacteria in your gut, keeping your gut lining healthy and strong. 

Why is a strong gut lining necessary during pregnancy? 

A strong and healthy gut lining prevents unwanted substances from leaking into your body.

That’s not all! There are many ways you can benefit from the probiotics in sauerkraut. 

We mentioned earlier that it’s a great way to relieve pregnancy constipation. Eating the recommended serving size of sauerkraut can also help you relieve bloating, gas, and diarrhea.

4. Boost Immunity

All those nutrients and probiotics we mentioned above have a lot of benefits for the mother and her unborn baby. One of the best benefits to consider is how eating sauerkraut affects your immune system.

The bacteria that are naturally in your gut affect your immune system. 

By eating sauerkraut and balancing the bacteria, the nutrients help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. It can also help with the production of antibodies.

5. Healthy Way To Satisfy Sour Food Cravings

Cravings for sour foods during pregnancy are completely normal. 

However, when people crave sour food, they first head to the candy aisle. 

While eating a few sour sugary treats in moderation is okay, eating junk food daily is unhealthy during pregnancy.

Eating sauerkraut and other fermented foods satisfies women’s sour food cravings without added sugars. 

Choosing healthy foods like sauerkraut can help you stay in a healthy weight range and reduce the risk of gestational diabetes and other complications during pregnancy.

6. Good Mood

While more research needs to be done on the correlation, it is believed that a person’s diet can affect their mood because there are connections between your gut health and your brain. 

When healthy bacteria are in your gut, it sends positive signals to your brain. This can affect how you think and perceive situations.

Is Sauerkraut Good for Pregnancy

Can You Eat Sauerkraut While Pregnant

For the most part, consuming sauerkraut during pregnancy is safe. 

To avoid any complications, you should only eat the recommended serving. It’s also important to choose a trusted brand that uses healthy ingredients.

If you have concerns about how eating fermented cabbage can affect your health during pregnancy, you should contact your healthcare provider.

While the risks are minimal, there are still some potential risks that pregnant women should know about. When you’re informed of the risks, it will help you choose the right type of sauerkraut during pregnancy.

1. Bacterial infection

As mentioned above, there’s a difference between pasteurized sauerkraut and unpasteurized sauerkraut. 

Limiting your intake of unpasteurized foods during pregnancy is essential because it can lead to a foodborne illness.

To avoid bacterial infection, you should avoid raw sauerkraut during pregnancy.

2. Too much salt

Sauerkraut is made out of nutritious ingredients. However, some brands of sauerkraut will add salt and preservatives to enhance the flavor and extend the shelf life. 

Sauerkraut with low salt and minimal preservatives is okay.

However, eating a type of sauerkraut with high salt and preservative levels during pregnancy isn’t recommended. It can lead to stomach discomfort and bloating.

3. Undesirable side effects

We know how strong those pregnancy cravings are. 

When you get an intense craving for something, you may want to eat the entire container. However, some unwanted effects can occur if you eat too much sauerkraut.

An upset stomach is one of the most common side effects of overeating sauerkraut. 

Overeating can lead to heavy flatulence and diarrhea. This will likely happen to someone who isn’t used to eating sauerkraut since their body hasn’t adjusted to it.

Some other side effects that you can experience from frequently overeating sauerkraut during pregnancy include itchy skin, headaches, and high blood pressure. 

There have even been cases where people have an increased heart rate after consuming too much sauerkraut.

4. Contraindications with medications

If you are taking any prescription medication, you should talk with your doctor about how your diet can affect your medicine. Fermented cabbage contains natural ingredients that can interfere with certain types of medication.

However, this is the case with nearly any type of food. If you take prescription medication, you should always follow your doctor’s advice regarding your pregnancy diet.

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Final Words

Sauerkraut is an excellent addition to the pregnancy diet. This food can help you satisfy a craving for sour flavors. It also contains vitamins C, iron, fiber, and probiotics. 

Eating sauerkraut during pregnancy can be beneficial for good gut health and a healthy immune system.

There are so many different ways you can enjoy sauerkraut as well. What’s your favorite way to eat sauerkraut? Let us know in the comments below.

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