13 Surprising Benefits of Kimchi

Kimchi health benefits includes providing probiotics that help promote digestion, boosting immunity, providing fiber to the body, aid in weight management, assists in diabetes management, rich source of vitamin A, detoxifies the body, cures eczema, helps prevent asthma attack, helps prevent ulcers, improves skin quality, help fight cancer, and promotes healthy heart.

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is among the oldest traditional dishes originating in Korea, which has been around as early as 37 BC – 7 AD. Its name is derived from ‘shimchae,’ meaning ‘salting of vegetables.’ Kimchi was cited in antique journals dating back thousands of years ago. At present, kimchi is a national dish in Korea and is among the leading food trends worldwide. There are several different recipes for preparing kimchi, but all have vegetables and seasonings in common such as the napa cabbage, Korean radish, cucumber, scallion, red chili paste, red pepper powder, and so forth.

Kimchi goes through a fermentation process inside tightly sealed jars ranging from days to months. During this process, the taste, texture, and nutritional quality of kimchi drastically changes and improves; hence, the escalating popularity of the napa cabbage as a ‘superfood.’ More and more people outside Asian countries are starting to realize that apart from kimchi’s distinctive and exotic flavor, the spicy dish holds a list of health benefits as well.

Nutrition Info of Kimchi?

Calories 33.9
Carbohydrate 7 g
Dietary Fiber 0.8 g – 3% RDA
Omega-3 fatty acids 25.6 mg
Omega-6 fatty acids 137 mg
Protein 1.1 g – 2% RDA
Vitamin A 805 IU – 16% RDA
Vitamin C 4.4 mg – 7% RDA
Vitamin E 0.5 mg – 2% RDA
Vitamin K 7.5 mcg – 9% RDA
Thiamin 3% RDA
Riboflavin – 2% RDA
Niacin 0.6 mg – 3% RDA
Vitamin B6 0.1 mg – 5% RDA
Folate 29.5 mcg – 7% RDA
Pantothenic Acid 0.1 mg – 1% RDA
Choline 2 mg
Calcium 22.2 mg – 2% RDA
Iron 0.7 mg – 4% RDA
Magnesium 12.4 mg – 3% RDA
Phosphorus 20.1 mg – 2% RDA
Potassium 84.2 mg – 2% RDA
Sodium 781 mg – 33% RDA
Zinc 0.2 mg – 1% RDA
Copper 0.1 mg – 3% RDA
Manganese 0.2 mg – 9% RDA
Selenium 1.4 mcg – 2% RDA

13 Surprising Health Benefits of Kimchi

13 Surprising Benefits of Kimchi

1. Kimchi Provides Probiotics that Help Promote Digestion

Kimchi has a gamut of gut-friendly bacteria just like yogurt. The process of fermentation of the spicy napa cabbage not only enhances the flavor, but also develops probiotics that promote gut integrity. Probiotics thrive off the glucose molecules present in the vegetables. The longer it ferments, the more probiotics develop.

Although different bacteria are involved during the fermentation process, probiotic bacteria remains more prevalent while other bacteria types are suppressed owing to kimchi’s presence of garlic, ginger, and the overall salting of cabbage, which ensures kimchi is safe from pathogenic bacteria.

Repopulating your gastrointestinal tract with good bacteria prevents digestive disorders and promotes regular bowel movements. Kimchi is also rich fiber, which is vital for proper digestion and fluent peristaltic movement of food along the intestines. Furthermore, probiotics eliminate harmful bacteria in the stomach that causes inflammation and indigestion. Moreover, fermented foods such as kimchi treat constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers, and leaky gut syndrome.

2. Kimchi Helps Boost Immunity

Probiotics promote a healthy digestive system, which in turn stimulates better assimilation of nutrients that promotes proper body functions and strengthens the body’s responses against infections. In addition to probiotics, kimchi contains garlic, red peppers, and ginger that are notable for their benefits for the immune system. Red pepper exhibits anti-carcinogenic and anti-bacterial properties, which also helps prevent spoilage in kimchi. Garlic, on the other hand, promotes longevity by lowering inflammation and fighting off viruses. Lastly, ginger helps relax intestinal muscles, fights bacteria, and aids in the faster healing of intestinal ulcers. Furthermore, the cabbage exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. The cruciferous vegetable detoxifies feature biochemicals that effectively flushes out toxins and heavy metals from the liver and kidneys.

3. Excellent Source of Fiber

Kimchi is comprised of herbs, spices, and mostly vegetables, which are high in fiber that is both satiating and ideal for overall health. Cabbage, its main ingredient, is high in fiber yet low in calories and carbohydrates. People whose regular diet includes fiber-rich foods such as vegetables are less prone to diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, obesity, and digestive problems. Fiber-rich foods also help you eat less since it absorbs water and makes you feel full.

4. Aids in Weight Management

Eating kimchi is a nutritious and delicious way to lose weight. According to studies, consumption of probiotic foods such as kimchi reduces food cravings and helps with appetite regulation. Studies suggest that a healthy microbial ecosystem within the stomach is the new holistic approach in treating obesity. Kimchi is a low-fat and low-calorie food, but high in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

Fiber alone provides a satiating feeling and enables slow gastric emptying so you won’t have to prevent the need to snack. Moreover, the thermogenic effects of kimchi’s hot red pepper flakes helps boost metabolic function and contributes to weight loss. Many speculated that the reason why Korea has a low overweight population is due to their diet of vegetables and fermented foods.

5. Assists in Diabetes Management

Studies suggest that kimchi is beneficial to diabetic patients. Diabetics are susceptible to a long list of health complications such as a poor gastro-intestinal tract. Probiotics help restore a healthy flora in the gut and reduce the chances of diabetes diarrhea that may cause dehydration. Probiotics also curb sugar cravings and help lower blood sugar levels.

6. Rich in Vitamin A

Every 100 g serving of kimchi provides 16% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin A, a powerful antioxidant that plays a vital role for maintaining sharp eyesight, normal neurological functions, healthy skin, and so forth. As an antioxidant, vitamin A provides immune support, fights inflammation, and scavenges free radicals that may cause macular degeneration.

7. Detoxifies the Body

Our bodies are exposed to pollutants, UV damage, toxins, and other harmful chemicals every day. Harmful chemicals can be acquired through water bottles, canned foods, and more. Fortunately, kimchi contains a gamut of antioxidants that help flush out toxins that may lead to hormonal imbalance, negative neurological effects, and so forth.

8. Cures Eczema

Probiotics present in kimchi not only strengthens gut integrity, but also extends its effects on the skin. The good bacteria in kimchi help suppress inflammation.

9. Helps Prevent Asthma Attacks

Kimchi has anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent asthma attacks. Asthma is a respiratory condition, but also has strong ties to an allergic reaction to food and allergens.

10. Helps Prevent Ulcers

Kimchi contains lactic acid bacteria that produce dextrin, an anti-microbial compound that inhibits bacterial growth such as the H. pylori, a type of bacterium that is associated with several types of gastric ulcers. Pathogenic bacteria enter our body through the food we eat; hence, eating kimchi minimizes the possibility of such bacteria from spreading.

11. Improves Skin Quality

A poor complexion is an indication of vitamin A deficiency, but a diet high in antioxidants slows down skin aging naturally and effectively. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, which promotes faster wound healing and skin renewal. As mentioned earlier, vitamin A promotes healthy skin. It is essential in formation of epithelial skin cells and glycoproteins that help cells connect together to form tissues. In addition, vitamin A fights acne and assists collagen and elastin production so skin stays supple and smooth.

12. Cancer Fighting Food

Kimchi is a cancer-fighting food since its ingredients contain powerful antioxidants, phenols, and flavonoids that protect the body against oxidation through inhibiting reactions promoted by oxygen or peroxides. Garlic, cabbage, radishes, ginger, scallions, and red peppers all feature an array of antioxidants and exhibit anti-inflammatory properties, which are all beneficial in the prevention of chronic diseases that are linked with oxidative stress.

Antioxidants are natural scavengers that erect a protective barrier against oxidative damage while reversing the damages caused by these free radicals. In addition, studies suggest that capsaicin, which is found in red peppers, minimizes the probability of lung cancer development while allicin, another compound present in garlic, helps prevent thyroid, stomach, and liver cancer.

13. Promotes Heart Health

Garlic, which is among kimchi’s list of ingredients is rich in allicin and selenium. Allicin, on one hand, is notable for its cholesterol-lowering effects; hence, reducing the probability of cardiac disorders. Likewise, selenium prevents fatty deposits from forming within artery walls and reduce the threat atherosclerosis.

Conclusion

Kimchi is an exotic dish that is deeply entrenched in Asian history. It is the Korean soul food contrary to America’s milkshake or Italy’s pizza. However, the popularity of this strong, spicy dish has spread far from its place of origin. More and more people are now eating kimchi for its flavor and health benefits. In fact, it is among the leading trending foods worldwide. You may have heard of it from friends, but it would be best to have your own jar of kimchi so you can experience yourself its amazing flavor and health benefits.

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