What Nutrients Make Sauerkraut So Healthy?

If you eat sauerkraut in front of someone, there's a good chance that person will either tell you how much they hate the stuff or explain how healthy it is. The flavor of sauerkraut is a bit polarizing, but its health benefits are not. Most of the benefits come from the fact that sauerkraut, as a fermented food, contains hearty levels of good probiotic bacteria. But sauerkraut is high in a few beneficial nutrients, too. Here are the key nutrients that make sauerkraut so healthy.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is found in a lot of meats and cheeses, but if you follow a plant-based diet, you might not get very much of it. Luckily, sauerkraut is a good vegan source of vitamin K. The vitamin mostly comes from the bacteria that break down the cabbage; they produce vitamin K as a part of the process. The best-known role of vitamin K lies in helping your blood to clot. A good intake of the vitamin reduces your risk of bleeding disorders like Crohn's disease and diverticulitis. Vitamin K is also thought to help protect against osteoporosis as you age.

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B6 is involved in your metabolism. In other words, it helps ensure your body is able to produce the energy you need for daily living. It also helps keep your nervous system healthy, and if you happen to be pregnant, it helps ensure your baby's brain and spinal cord develop normally. Sauerkraut is a great source of this vitamin. It mostly comes from the cabbage itself, but it's made more accessible by the fermentation process.


Iron is a component of hemoglobin, the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen. It's mostly found in animal products, but sauerkraut happens to be a good plant source of this nutrient. Eating more iron-rich foods, like sauerkraut, can help ward off anemia so that you feel more energized. If you are slightly anemic, raising your intake of iron may help you perform better both mentally and physically. Many women and athletes, in particular, could use more iron in their diets. Introducing sauerkraut is one way to get it.

While many of sauerkraut's health benefits are directly related to the bacteria the food contains, some of those benefits do come from the vitamins and minerals in sauerkraut, too. All in all, this is just a healthy food — one you may want to eat more often. To learn more about the health benefits of sauerkraut, reach out to a company like Fermentools.