When looking for foods that can improve your total health, consider the tried and true. Kimchi, a spicy fermented vegetable that has been a daily side dish in Korean cuisine for nearly two millennia, is one of the world's healthiest foods. The western world is just catching on to this eastern secret for great health. But what exactly is it and why is it so good for you? Here's the scoop on the health benefits of kimchi.
Kimchi is the umbrella term for Korean fermented vegetables coated in delicious spices. Its origins came from the need to preserve vegetables to make a reliable food source during harsh winters. If you're looking to try another super food packed with nutrition, then start with kimchi.
How to Make Kimchi
It's not difficult to obtain the ingredients for kimchi. You can follow recipes online and do it yourself at home. There are even kimchi seasoning packets at your local Asian grocery store. You can also buy seasonings online if an international food market isn't close by.
Types of Kimchi
There are many ways to enjoy kimchi. The most mainstream and popular choice is the spicy tongbaechu kimchi made from napa cabbage, various spices, and red pepper flakes. Every person who makes kimchi has their own "secret" recipe and add their personal flair to it, but the essential spirit of it is the same. There is kkakdugi, cubed radish kimchi covered in spicy goodness. If you are not into spicy foods but still want to incorporate kimchi into your diet, water kimchi is a non-spicy option. When making it, just make sure to leave out the chili peppers.
The Benefits of Kimchi
Kimchi is a mainstay in the traditional Korean diet that has kept its eaters healthy for centuries.
Health benefits of kimchi include improved cardiovascular health and digestive system. Kimchi contains loads of antioxidants that can assist with medical conditions like cancer, diabetes, obesity, atopic dermatitis and gastric ulcers.
Kimchi also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals, such as vitamins A, B1, B2, and C. These nutrients also slow down the aging process by protecting your cells from damage. Vitamin C helps protect your DNA and makes your body make more efficient use of Vitamin E, which is great for the skin.
Kimchi is also rich in fibre, which is excellent for colon health and for your heart. Regular consumption of fibre is linked to lower risks of heart disease because it improves blood cholesterol levels. Because kimchi is fermented and preserved throughout the year, you can enjoy the benefit of a constant fibre source any time.
A Source of Probiotics
Kimchi is fermented food, which means it's a source of probiotics. Essentially, Probiotics are good bacteria that live in your gut, helping to make digestion possible and overall boosting your health. Having a healthy gut isn’t just about avoiding bloating, gas and heartburn. Since 70% percent of the immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract, taking care of your digestive system is vitally important for overall health. Incorporating the right foods and supplements will set you on the path to better digestive health and full body wellness.
For an easier way to ensure that you're getting enough probiotics, take a daily probiotic supplement.