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Can You Get Probiotics From Store-Bought Sauerkraut – Which Brands Are The Best?

Maria Foster
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by Maria Foster

If you are looking to get some extra probiotics in your diet, then some sauerkraut can help you do this.

Going to your local store, you will probably find that the best sauerkraut for this will be in the refrigerated section and will be listed as ‘live’, ‘raw’, or ‘probiotic’. 

Can You Get Probiotics From Store-Bought Sauerkraut - Which Brands Are The Best?

Sauerkraut that has probiotics in it will have no vinegar or sugar in the ingredients list.

In order to reap all the benefits of probiotic health, you should seek to buy fresh sauerkraut, with no vinegar. Refrigerated options are the absolute best to get the probiotics you seek.

Sauerkraut: Why Is It Good For You?

Having a nutritious diet means eating food that contains all the nutrients your body needs to function properly. This includes ingesting good bacteria, such as probiotics. 

We tend to think of yogurt and other such food items when we think about increasing our probiotic intake. However, this is not the only food out there that can give you probiotics. 

Sauerkraut can be a fantastic way to get more probiotics into your diet, however, not all sauerkraut you can buy from the store will have all the probiotics you need and want. 

Getting raw and fermented sauerkraut is one of the best ways to get a high dosage of probiotics. 

What are probiotics? They are good bacteria that help in providing your body with powerful benefits and help your brain also. 

Probiotics can help you give your immune system a boost as well, aiding in fighting off illnesses and colds. Gut-healthy bacteria probiotics can help you by promoting overall digestive health, heart health, as well as healthy skin, and can even reduce depression! 

Sauerkraut: Is It A Probiotic Food?

Sauerkraut is indeed a probiotic food, this is fermented, so it is not pickled, nor is it heat preserved. 

How does it get these probiotic properties? Well, it gets these nutritious probiotic properties when it undergoes fermentation.

As this happens microorganisms on this cabbage start digesting the natural sugars of the vegetable, and start converting them into Co2 and organic acids! 

How To Buy The Best Sauerkraut For Probiotics

If you want to use sauerkraut as a way to get more probiotics, then you need to know which sauerkraut will have the best probiotics. Note that sauerkraut needs to be kept in a stable and cool environment for the probiotics to stay alive. 

By keeping this food at a cool and steady temperature the probiotics survive. So, always check in your store’s refrigerated section to find the most nutritious sauerkraut. 

Sauerkraut which has been jarred or canned is often made with vinegar and has been pasteurized at very high temperatures, which means it also has zero live probiotic cultures. 

The best quality, and most probiotic-rich, nutritious sauerkraut will be in a pouch, not in jars or cans! Always consider the ingredients as well, as not all sauerkraut is good for you. 

Read labels carefully to ensure that cabbage is listed as the first ingredient. Some other components you should look out for will include other vegetables, salt, and spices.

But avoid any sauerkraut that contains sodium benzoate, sodium bisulfate, sugar, and vinegar. 

Vinegar is a well-known preservative, which means that the sauerkraut will have been pasteurized, not allowing for normal fermentation, so the probiotics will not be so potent, or even there at all in this case. 

The ingredients list should be basic, straightforward, and natural. If not, the product may simply not be as healthy as you hoped or thought. Thankfully, there are some awesome store-bought sauerkraut options that you can trust to have probiotics! 

The Brands Of Sauerkraut With Live Probiotic Cultures: The Best

If you want a helping hand at discovering the best brands of sauerkraut for probiotics we have a great selection for you! 

1. Bubbies Sauerkraut

Bubbies are well known for pickles, juicy and delicious. However, Bubbies also make awesome sauerkraut. Their sauerkraut is also gluten-free, rife with live cultures, and incredibly mouth-watering! 

Some of their other products include probiotic high kosher dill pickles, pickle herring filets, horseradish, and bread and butter pickles! 

2. Hamptons Brine

The sauerkraut made by Hamptons Brine uses wild cultures from raw cabbage and salt to make their raw, very delicious sauerkraut, organic sauerkraut juice, and organic kvass. 

All the Hamptons Brine kraut products are given 28 days to culture into live, nutritious, and delicious foods! Including the sauerkraut, kraut juices, and kvass! 

3. Farmhouse Culture Kraut

One of the best features of this brand of sauerkraut is that it has multiple flavors that you can choose from!

The packaging itself you can see it notes ‘Probiotics’, so you know from the get-go that it is a type of sauerkraut that gives you all the nutrition you are looking for! 

They also make some delicious Ginger Beet gut shot, as well as kraut Chips, which are awesome potato chips that are jammed full of probiotics.

4. Olive My Pickle

Olive My Pickle is organic, raw, and very packed with probiotics! They make 3 tasty options of sauerkraut that are made with a saltwater brine. Their products also contain absolutely zero food dyes, sugar, or vinegar! 

They are also kosher-certified, non-GMO, and 100% plant-based as well! All are made with basic, whole-foods ingredients. 

In fact, according to 3rd party testing, this specific sauerkraut has an incredible 14 billion colony-forming units of lactic acid bacteria in every ¼ serving of sauerkraut! 

Does Sauerkraut Have Probiotics If It Is Canned?

So, we know that canned sauerkraut tends to be less beneficial than sauerkraut that comes in packs, but does it have any probiotics? No. Canned sauerkraut doesn’t contain probiotics thanks to the pasteurization process, and the canning process. 

You see, high heat will kill off all the bad and good bacteria, this helps it stay shelf-stable, and last a long time, but means you miss out on the probiotics! 

Thanks to the nature of jarring and canning processes, preservatives are also added to make sure that the sauerkraut will keep for longer. As great as this is for longevity, it is bad for health! 

So, to clarify, canned sauerkraut is not good for you, it is tasty, but lacks any of the good bacteria you want. 

This same principle can be applied to any other fermented foods that you purchase.

This includes kimchi! It is best to just stick to the fermented foods that are found in the refrigerated aisle, ensuring that you read the label and ensure that you are buying the healthiest possible product. 

Store-Bought Sauerkraut: Is It Good For You?

Sauerkraut is a fantastic food for you to add to your diet, it helps you to ensure that your body is getting the bacteria to help you thrive. 

Probiotics, as a word, does seem like a buzzword, however, these little live microorganisms are incredibly useful in ensuring that your digestive tract functions properly.

A majority of health problems can be linked back to a lack of the most essential probiotics. Not having enough probiotics can leave you feeling uncomfortable and sluggish.

To make sure that you make the right choice of sauerkraut, ensure that you select options that are non-pasteurized, raw, and found in the refrigerated section at your local grocery store. 

Cooking Sauerkraut: Does It Kill The Probiotics?

What if you cook the sauerkraut? Does this minimize the amount of probiotics that you get? Yes, of course! Cooking sauerkraut will kill off probiotics. 

This is one of the many reasons why a lot of sauerkraut in stores may lack the probiotics that you want. The heat that is used in the process of pasteurization can kill off the probiotics, so cooking it would have the same effect as heating up the sauerkraut! 

When you cook sauerkraut you kill off harmful bacteria, but you also kill off any good bacteria also present! The best choice is not to cook it to get the best benefits from this food! 

Rinsing Sauerkraut & Probiotic Reduction

When you rinse off sauerkraut, you also wash away some of the probiotics. It is only a small amount, however, and there is still going to be a significant percentage of probiotics remaining in the cabbage. 

Many people will rinse sauerkraut for many reasons, one of these is often that the flavor and smell of sauerkraut is very potent. So, some will rinse the sauerkraut for this reason. 

Others may rinse sauerkraut to reduce the sodium content. Nonetheless, if you rinse the sauerkraut, or if you do not, then you will still get a significant enough amount of healthy gut bacteria! 

Making Your Own Probiotic Gut Shot

Most of us tend to wash the brine of sauerkraut down the drain, you could just save it and make your own homemade probiotic gut shots!

Most of this pre-made will cost around $6 per bottle, so you can save quite a bit of money by just making your own from scratch! 

In a simple gut shot, you can get all the probiotic powers from these delicious fermented foods. It is super easy to make, just drain the brine and mix it with some purified water at a ratio of 1 to 1. 

You can easily drink that as a shot, or just mix it in with some of your favorite recipes for an awesome health boost! 

Knowing What Foods Are Gut Healthy

If you eat a variety of fermented foods with some live probiotics, your body will surely thank you for this, as will your brain. Make sure you get well acquainted with the fermented foods that are high in probiotics. 


Store-bought sauerkraut does contain probiotics. However, you need to know which types of sauerkraut at your local store will have the most probiotics.

Be aware that canned and jarred sauerkraut will not contain as many probiotics, and it is best to buy fresh sauerkraut in packets. 

Cooking sauerkraut will also take away the probiotics, so be aware, and add to your diet accordingly. While rinsing may take away some probiotics, most will remain.

About Maria Foster
Maria Foster
Maria Foster is a mother of 3 and she and her husband of 23 years share their home with 2 faithful dogs. Besides being CEO of the household and active in her community, Maria is the lead contributor to Food Champs and loves to try new food ideas and kitchen accessories to make easier and more delicious meals.
Maria Foster
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