So what exactly is kimchi?
Kimchi is a Korean side dish, often made of cabbage, pickled with red pepper and salt water. Maybe you’ve seen it at your local Asian market or in the ethnic section of your grocery store. Kimchi is available at nearly any Korean restaurant and is a staple food for any Korean household.
Mainstream media has marketed kimchi as a spicy cabbage dish, but it can also be made with a variety of vegetables like radish, chives, or garlic.
Originally, kimchi came about because Koreans wanted a way to preserve vegetables to be eaten in the winter, when fresh produce was not available. Kimchi was made in large quantities and stored in pots underground, so vitamin rich foods would be available year-round.
Today, kimchi can be stored in a refrigerator or cool, dark place, providing the same health benefits it did for Korea so many years ago.
Vitamins and Minerals
The bottom line is that kimchi consists of vegetables, and vegetables are good for you. As kimchi isn’t cooked, it retains more vitamins and minerals than cooked vegetables. Kimchi is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, and vitamin C, so with the right amount of it, you can greatly improve your immune system and energy levels. You can also find minerals like iron in kimchi, which you often find in green vegetables and meats. Kimchi is often preferred in taste to raw, green vegetables, and has greater health benefits than consuming large quantities of meat.
Bacteria, Probiotics, and Antioxidants
Like other fermented foods, kimchi is rich in good bacteria and probiotics improve and regulate digestion. The bacteria found in kimchi helps to break down elements in foods that your body might have trouble breaking down otherwise.
Antioxidants are also found abundant in kimchi. These antioxidants help immune system in preventing disease and inhibiting the development of toxic molecules.
You’ve probably heard about a dozen things that you can eat to help regulate weight loss, but kimchi is the real deal. Although kimchi is high in salt, much of its flavor comes from the sourness of fermentation and the spice from the red pepper. It is low in calories and high in fiber, so you can eat large quantities of kimchi without the negative impacts of junk food and without sacrificing strong flavors. As a high fiber food, kimchi will also positively impact your digestion while still satiating your hunger.
Studies have also shown that the bacteria found in kimchi can regulate blood sugar, cholesterol and appetite. In some cases, kimchi can also help you burn more calories because of the spiciness.
If you’re concerned about nutrition, digestion, or your weight, kimchi has many properties that can help you improve your diet. Not only does kimchi improve your health, but it also tastes great. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice health in order to eat delicious food.