Sauerkraut During Pregnancy: Is It Safe? Why Am I Craving It?

Are you pregnant and wondering if sauerkraut is safe to include in your diet? Eating the right foods during pregnancy can be a challenge and it’s important to make sure you are eating nutritious meals that will benefit your health and the health of your baby. Sauerkraut is a popular fermented food and it is packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals. While there are some risks associated with consuming unpasteurized foods during pregnancy, there are also several potential benefits when it comes to sauerkraut. In this blog post, we will explore the risks and benefits of eating sauerkraut while pregnant and discuss the best way to incorporate this food into your diet. We’ll also cover how to tell if sauerkraut is safe to eat and how you can safely prepare and store it.

Is Sauerkraut Safe for Pregnant Women to Eat?

Given the similarities between sauerkraut and other fermented foods like kimchi and kefir, it is only natural to wonder if the same foodborne illness considerations apply to sauerkraut.

You might be able to find different varieties of sauerkraut in your neighborhood stores depending on where you live. Midwest readers in Europe and America are more likely to have access to a wider variety, including pasteurized and unpasteurized options.

Readers from other countries are probably more accustomed to canned sauerkraut, which is usually pasteurized to maintain a longer shelf life.

The main concern when it comes to eating unpasteurized foods during pregnancy is the risk of bacterial contamination. The FDA recommends that pregnant individuals avoid unpasteurized foods to reduce risk of foodborne illness, which can be serious for both mom and unborn baby (source: FDA).

However, one of the benefits of fermented foods like sauerkraut (which I’ll discuss more below) is their healthy bacteria- otherwise known as probiotics (source: American Pregnancy Association).

Foods are safer for those with weakened immune systems due to pasteurization, including those who are pregnant. This procedure eliminates not only harmful bacteria but also helpful bacteria.

It is safest to choose pasteurized varieties of sauerkraut and use them within their best-by dates because the risk of foodborne illness during pregnancy simply does not outweigh the probiotic benefits. Since pasteurization is not uniformly applied to all brands and varieties of sauerkraut, most pasteurized versions will indicate this; simply read the label.

If pasteurized sauerkrauts are not an option in your area, thoroughly cooking the sauerkraut before eating is another way to reduce your risk of contracting a foodborne illness. Many popular sauerkraut dishes are designed to be served hot, unlike other fermented foods, making this choice more enticing.

Sauerkraut is a staple in dishes like Reuben sandwiches, kielbasa and sauerkraut, and German potato salad, but what about the rest of the meal? Are there any other things to be aware of?

Many of these dishes also include smoked/deli meats, such as pastrami, corned beef, and kielbasa. Whatever meat you serve with your sauerkraut, the rules are very similar.

165°F should be reached by thoroughly heating smoked sausages and cold-cut style deli meats, such as corned beef and pastrami (source: American Pregnancy Association).

You might need to request any deli sandwiches (i.e. Longer heating or pre-heating the beef separately before grilling (e.g., Reuben)

Is Sauerkraut Safe During Pregnancy?

As with anything you consume while pregnant, it is imperative to first get your doctor’s approval. If you can eat sauerkraut while pregnant will depend on your pregnancy health as well as your general health because every pregnancy is different. When pregnant, eating sauerkraut is typically regarded as safe and even healthy, with a number of health benefits. Although there are no known negative effects associated with eating sauerkraut while pregnant, it is still advisable to consult your doctor first.

Is Sauerkraut Safe During Pregnancy? Can Pregnant Women Eat Sauerkraut?

Can I Eat Sauerkraut While Pregnant

Sauerkraut is a wonderful addition to your pregnancy diet.

It’s critical to get your doctor’s approval before consuming anything during pregnancy, just like with anything else.

The health of you and your unborn child will determine whether or not you can consume sauerkraut while pregnant because each gestation is unique.

Fermentation results in the production of lactic acid, which gives sauerkraut its sour flavor.

However, there doesn’t seem to be any evidence connecting fermented foods with dental issues or preterm birth, despite reports that eating too much sour food can cause tooth decay and cavities.

Furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that consuming sauerkraut while pregnant is harmful to either the mother or the fetus.

If you can’t live without sauerkraut because you love it, feel free to consume it during pregnancy in moderation.

However, if you’re worried about the safety of consuming sauerkraut while expecting, discuss your diet with your doctor.

The best person to advise you on breastfeeding is your doctor because they were there for you during your pregnancy.

If you want to know if eating sauerkraut is safe for you and your unborn child, consult your doctor.


Are fermented foods safe during pregnancy?

A. Having a healthy gut microbiome is important during pregnancy. Eating fermented foods before you get pregnant sets the groundwork for making sure baby gets the best bacteria right from the start.

Is sauerkraut pasteurized?

Off-the-shelf sauerkraut is typically pasteurized, a process that kills the beneficial probiotics. Refrigerated varieties are less likely to be pasteurized, but check the label to be sure.

When should you avoid sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is fermented in salt brine, so the sodium content in sauerkraut is quite high. High sodium levels in the body increase blood pressure and the risk of unwanted cardiovascular and renal issues. If you suffer from any diseases, you are recommended to take your doctor’s advice before consuming sauerkraut.

Is sauerkraut in a jar pasteurized?

Store bought sauerkraut is typically pasteurized during the canning process, which destroys the active probiotics and therefore makes it less nutritious than fresh or homemade sauerkraut.

Eating Sauerkraut While Pregnant Pregnancy care The Women

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