Savory Kraut Cures

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DON'T SAVE SAUERKRAUT FOR WIENERS

Tangy, tasty raw sauerkraut (it's really fermented cabbage) contains beneficial bacteria (aka probiotics) that can boost immunity, soothe intestinal problems, and potentially reduce the risk of cancer. Try these remedies from Prevention readers.

"I swish with 1 oz of sauerkraut juice twice a day to heal canker sores."
Mary Donchez, Foxboro, MA

We checked with Teresa Graedon, PhD, co-author of The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies, and she's heard of many successful kraut canker cures, some dating as far back as the 1930s.

Though there's no research on it, raw sauerkraut may (as is the case with yogurt) reduce or prevent outbreaks by sending helpful bacteria along with lactic acid to counter any bad bacteria and viruses in your mouth.

"I lost weight in part by eating a serving of sauerkraut every day. I still do, and the weight has stayed off!"

Victoria Kern, Green Bay, WI

The sauerkraut diet? Well, maybe. With nearly 4 g of fiber per cup, 0 g of fat, and a skinny 27 calories, sauerkraut is a nutrient-rich food, filling and tangy enough to help keep midday snacking at bay.

"Eating a daily cup of sauerkraut ended my bout of traveler's diarrhea in 2 days."

Sam Stevens, via e-mail

Here's why: The beneficial, acid-producing microorganisms in sauerkraut may fend off bad bacteria and "reseed" good intestinal bacteria affected by diarrhea.

The Raw Deal

Heat processing kills sauerkraut's healthy bacteria. To reap the benefits of live, active cultures, look for "raw cultured" sauerkraut at health food stores or natural food supermarkets. One product we found is Rejuvenative Foods Raw Sauerkraut (about $5 a jar).

PHOTO (COLOR): It's healthiest just warmed; don't boil or bake.

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By Laura Goldstein

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