Health Benefits of Kimchi
Kimchi, the national food of South Korea, is a spicy pickled vegetable dish. Kimchi is traditionally made by combining cabbage, scallions, or radishes in a brine with garlic, ginger, chili pepper, and fish sauce, and allowing the ingredients to ferment. Kimchi has a rich history in South Korea dating back more than two thousand years.
Traditionally, kimchi is fermented in cool pits in the ground to help control the speed at which bacteria can grow. Properly made, kimchi can help preserve vegetables all year long. Kimchi is a crunchy, flavorful food that can provide impressive health benefits.
The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in kimchi can provide important health benefits. Choline, which is found in kimchi, is a natural compound vital for maintaining your cells, your muscles, your nervous system, and even your mood. Choline is also important for maintaining your memory.
Kimchi is also rich in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot and keeps your bones from becoming brittle.
Some other health benefits of kimchi include:
Improve Digestive Health
Kimchi is a fermented food, which makes it an excellent probiotic. The same lactobacilli bacteria found in yogurt and other fermented dairy products are also found in kimchi. Consuming the so-called “good bacteria” in kimchi can help you maintain healthy digestion. Eating the probiotics found in fermented food can help reduce the negative symptoms of many gastrointestinal disorders, such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and colon inflammation. Maintaining a healthy gut flora is important to your overall health.
Protect Your Heart
Probiotics have been shown to improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and inflammation. Studies show that kimchi can also reduce your risk of atherosclerosis through its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Immune System Support
Early research indicates kimchi may be able to strengthen your immune system. The bacteria that help ferment kimchi have been connected to improved immune function and lower levels of inflammation triggered by disease. The vitamin C found in kimchi can also help boost your immune health.
Kimchi is full of beta-carotene and other antioxidant compounds that can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.