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Do you want to improve digestion, lose weight and slow your aging? Do you want healthier skin and better mood? Kimchi can help you solve these health issues, and many other. It is rich in fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, and iron, and it also contains many beneficial lactic acid bacteria. Plus, it’s low in calories and fat.
If you are a fan of Korean cuisine or fermented food in general, you must have heard of kimchi. It was discovered about two millennia ago and it is believed that its purpose was to preserve cabbage during the severe Korean winters. Today you can find more than 200 varieties of kimchi, but traditional kimchi is made with Napa cabbage, Korean red pepper and a mix of aromatic ingredients such as fish sauce, shrimps, garlic.
Here you can find more information how to make kimchi. If you wonder what are the health benefits of kimchi and how it may affect your health, just keep reading.
The spice that distinguishes kimchi from other fermented dishes such as sauerkraut, is called gochugaru. It is a type of Korean chilli powder. Gochugaru has an impact on the fermentation process because of the composition of the microbial communities and metabolites that are formed during fermentation.
Like any other food, it has good and bad sides too, especially if you eat it too much. If you eat reasonable amounts of kimchi, it can improve your overall health.
Is eating kimchi good for you?
Thanks to its spices (garlic, peppers, ginger) and the fermentation process, kimchi can help you with these health problems:
Improve your digestive system
Like any other fermented food, the process of cabbage fermentation in kimchi produces the good bacteria lactobacillus which keeps the intestinal flora healthy. In other words, kimchi is a very good probiotic that will kill bad bacteria in your gut. Thanks to this bacteria your body will get rid of toxins easier and you won’t have problems with constipation.
Lower blood cholesterol
Thanks to garlic that is one of the ingredients, kimchi can clean your arteries and lower blood glucose levels. Garlic has selenium and allicin that lower the levels of cholesterol and decrease the risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Give immunity boost
Because of all these vitamins that kimchi has (see the nutrition facts below), kimchi protects your immune system from viruses and inflammation.
Help you with losing weight
Kimchi is low in calories and rich in fiber, so your appetite will be controlled. It also regulates the blood sugar level, which affects the feeling of hunger. Plus, chilli is hot and hot food speeds up your metabolism.
Improve insulin function
According to this study eating kimchi can reduce glucose, blood sugar levels and help with diabetes.
There are even more kimchi health benefits
Protect from atherosclerosis– Garlic has selenium that decreases the risk of atherosclerosis.
Help with constipation– Chilli and lactobacillus bacteria have good impact on constipation.
Good for skin issues– the lactobacillus bacteria reduces skin inflammation and allergies.
Help with colon issues– this good bacteria you can find in many fermented dishes has positive effects on peptic ulcer disease, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome and other.
Protect from asthma– according to some studies people who eat 40gr of kimchi per day have less problems with asthma, rhinitis and other allergic reactions.
Decrease the risk of viral infections– Garlic, ginger and peppers fight the cold, flu and generally protect the body from infections.
Slow aging– Kimchi has antioxidants and vitamin C that slow aging and reduce oxidative stress in the cells.
Reduce inflammation– chilli powder is full of antioxidants that clean the body and remove the toxins.
Prevent anemia– kimchi is full of iron so it can be helpful in preventing anemia.
Help with anxiety– probiotic food calms your stomach, and because of the gut-brain connection, you may feel less anxious if you cut off sugar and eat proteins and probiotic food such as fermented vegetables.
Bad sides of kimchi
When you hear that one food is good for you health, you may start eating it too much. I know that from my personal experience. Whenever I want to lose weight I start eating a lot of ginger, lemon, pomegranate, parsley and other foods good for losing weight. That is wrong and it may not give you results, especially if you cheat and don’t eat healthy food all the time. If you eat chocolate and burger, kimchi won’t help you much with losing weight and if you eat it too much, you may have serious stomach problems.
So, even though kimchi has a lot of health benefits, it can also cause you trouble. First of all, if you have renal problems or high blood pressure, you know that you can’t eat too much salt. So, when making kimchi, put less salt and don’t eat it every day. If you have serious health problems, you can also consult a doctor before eating kimchi.
Some research showed that eating big amounts of kimchi can cause gastric cancer. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should stop eating kimchi, but you cannot have it on your daily menu or as a part of your weight loss diet. Once a week or two is totally enough. Don’t overeat and listen to your body.
Kimchi Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 1 cup (150g grams)
- Calories from Fat 1.3
- Calories 45
- Total Fat 0.1 grams
- Saturated Fat 0 grams
- Trans Fat 0 grams
- Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 grams
- Monounsaturated Fat 0 grams
- Cholesterol 0 milligrams
- Sodium 416 milligrams
- Potassium 1280 milligrams
- Total Carbohydrates 8.5 grams
- Dietary Fiber 4.7 grams
- Sugars 2 grams
- Protein 2.4 grams
- Vitamin A 5.7%
- Vitamin C 1.8%
- Calcium 5.5%
- Iron 4.1%
Now when you know how to make kimchi and how it can help you improve your health and body, don’t wait too long to make your first jar of it. Enjoy kimchi health benefits, eat it as a salad, on a pizza, grilled cheese, in tacos or quesadilla, or prepare fried rice with kimchi.
All health content on foodscene.net is for general information only, and you should not take it as medical advice. If you have any concerns about your health, you should contact your local healthcare provider.