According to the January 2016 issue of Science News, sauerkraut is a serotonin releaser. That’s right, the same serotonin that makes you happy. Quoting directly from their published report:
“When you put that mouthwatering combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, Thousand Island dressing, sauerkraut and rye in your mouth, the chemicals in the sandwich stimulate taste buds on your tongue and soft palate…The lovely sour tang of the sauerkraut is left to type III (taste cells). Scientists knew that these cells sensed sour by detecting acidity in foods. But the chemical connecting the taste cell to the nerve remained unknown. The mystery chemical messenger, a new study in mice shows, is one usually associated with mood — serotonin.”
These findings indicate the multiple roles of serotonin in our bodies, and may provoke some additional research linking diminished levels to an inability to taste sour flavors. And a world without Reubens would bum anybody out!