It’s not like I need any more reasons to eat this food, but once I found out about all the health benefits of kimchi, I was hooked. If you haven’t tried kimchi yet, it is time that you do. Trust me, I find that this food not only goes well with anything, but it also makes me feel better immediately.
So, what is kimchi?
This traditional Korean dish is salted and fermented vegetables. These vegetables usually include Napa cabbage, Korean radish, spring onions, gochugaru, garlic, ginger, and other spices, like chili, vinegar, and salt.
Commonly, these ingredients are all fermented in a closed jar, which will allow for the flavors to settle and the texture to become softer. I serve kimchi with rice, noodles, and soups. Sometimes, I even eat this delicious food by itself for a quick snack.
Still, you may be wondering, is kimchi healthy? It sounds like a lot of mixed ingredients and flavors. How is kimchi good for you, then? The truth is, all of the benefits of kimchi come exactly from this fermentation process and the many ingredients it contains.
Now, let’s get into it!
Here are the 7 health benefits of kimchi
Benefit #1: It contains healthy bacteria and is a great prebiotic
Just like yogurt, kimchi contains a good amount of healthy bacteria that aids in digestion. These lactobacilli are the product of the fermentation process and they help your digestive system process nutrients, break them down, and absorb them more efficiently.
At the same time, kimchi is a probiotic food, which means it contains the gut bacteria that we all need for our intestines to do their job. Probiotics are also protective and can prevent infections.
If you suffer from constipation, indigestion, diarrhea, or even skin conditions, asthma, or chronic colds, eating prebiotics can lessen the effects of these conditions.
Benefit #2: It can help lower your blood cholesterol levels
Because kimchi contains garlic, spring onions, and cabbage, it is high in dietary fiber, allicin, and selenium. These compounds are all a great way to lower cholesterol levels in your body.
By eating kimchi, I know I will be giving my body a boost in removing bile acids, which are the main site of cholesterol storage. Adding kimchi to your diet can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, or heart attack.
Benefit #3: It can strengthen your immune system
The lactobacillus it contains is just one of the many kimchi benefits, as these bacteria can also boost immunity. While the efficacy is still debated, those people that consume foods with this bacteria often show less inflammatory and disease markers.
Benefit #4: It has high levels of vitamin A
Kimchi naturally contains high amounts of vitamin A, which is an essential vitamin for vision. In case you didn’t know, I love eating kimchi too, because vitamin A is a great antioxidant.
Not only will vitamin A make sure your vision stays sharp, but it can also fight off free radicals and oxidative stress.
Benefit #5: It can slow down the aging processes
As I mentioned, kimchi is an antioxidant, so it makes sense that it aids in reducing damage from environmental toxins and other elements. Eating kimchi can help your body inhibit inflammation pathways and thus damage will stop.
I feel like my skin has a new glow and is looking younger, all because I have been eating kimchi more often. If you want to help your body feel and look younger, then this food needs to be in your diet.
Benefit #6: It can help you lose weight
While I don’t think of kimchi as a magical food that just immediately makes me lose weight, I do see the results of eating it regularly. Kimchi is a good source of healthy carbohydrates and fiber, which results in a feeling of fullness and a longer period of satiety.
If you consume foods high in probiotics and fiber, your body will work faster at digesting, so you can begin to feel full and stop eating other unhealthy foods.
Benefit #7: It can make your heart work better
Because kimchi reduces cholesterol and is anti-inflammatory, research suggests that it can also prevent heart problems. Eating kimchi is a good way to remove cholesterol from your arteries, which in turn, makes your body pump blood better to the heart.
If you have a family history of heart disease or heart attack, then you know that a balanced diet is a great way to prevent any chronic illness or events. Add kimchi to this healthy diet and you’ll make your heart stronger.
As you can see, the health benefits of kimchi go far beyond just having fiber and being delicious. If you want to feel better and satisfy your cravings, eating this food is the best decision you can make.
Try making your homemade kimchi like I do and use it whenever you want!
Discover my amazing kimchi recipe here.