Is Sauerkraut a Good Antiscorbutic?

The cause of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) was known by the 18th century. Royal Navy surgeons discovered the cure (lemon or lime juice); later it was found that vitamin C was present in many fruits and vegetables. Cabbage (fresh) has a lot of vitamin C-but fermented cabbage? It was believed so, as 18th and 19th century sailors ate a lot of it -t was on the menu every night on the USS Constitution. Does fermenting the cabbage retain the vitamin C?

One cup of canned sauerkraut has 35% of the daily recommended Vitamin C. I don’t know how that compares to sauerkraut made in the 18th century.

The RDA for men is 90 mg, and for women it’s 75 mg.

Very little Vitamin C is needed to prevent scurvy (10 mg/day), so if a cup has 35%, that cup has about 1/3 of the RDA, and about 2.5x the amount necessary to prevent scurvy.

I’d say it’s a decent enough antiscorbutic, but you’d have to eat it pretty steadily. Something like chilies or brussels sprouts are much higher in Vitamin C, so you’d have to eat them less often, or in smaller amounts.

Didn’t lime not work, unlike lemons?

Lime worked, just not as well as lemons, at least according to Bill Bryson in At Home.

Lime has 29 mg/100 grams of Vitamin C; Lemons have 53. So limes are good enough to prevent scurvy, but not as good as lemons.

You can boost the vitamin C in limes by 2% RDA if you add an ounce of coconut meat, or by 10% RDA by adding one cup of coconut water.

So you’re saying we should put de lime in de coconut an’ drink it all up?