Have you resolved to eat healthier in 2018? If so, you are probably searching for delicious yet healthy foods to include in your diet. One such food you may not have thought about is kimchi. A traditional Korean dish, kimchi provides plenty of nutritional and health benefits, a few of which are the following.
Improves Gut Health
Hippocrates once claimed that “all disease begins in the gut.” If that’s the case, then there are plenty of diseases you might be able to reduce or eliminate, just by consuming kimchi. That’s because your gastrointestinal tract contains trillions of bacteria, both good and bad. When you have lower than normal levels of good bacteria, this can affect nearly every bodily function.
Fermented foods such as kimchi provide plenty of gut-boosting “helpful” bacteria such as lactobacilli, which aid in forming lactic acid. Lactic acid in turn helps facilitate the digestive process. As a result of better digestion, you may also:
- Lose weight (and be able to keep it off)
- Have a reduced risk of stomach cancer
- Notice fewer peptic ulcer outbreaks
- Be better able to break down toxins and eliminate pesticides
- Absorb more vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat
Enhances the Immune System
Research from the University of Ulsan shows that the body’s immune cells become more active right after you consume kimchi. The probiotics found in kimchi can also help you fight off a variety of infections-possibly by increasing the number of antibodies that are present. If you want to have fewer colds, earaches, or sinus infections, you might want to consider adding kimchi to your diet.
Strengthens the Heart
A common ingredient in kimchi is garlic, which is known to lower blood pressure and reduce “bad” cholesterol levels. In addition, kimchi is rich in selenium and allicin, both of which help guard against stroke by preventing plaque from building up inside your arteries.
Not only can kimchi improve your health, but consuming it could actually make you look and feel younger. One reason is because kimchi contains high levels of Vitamin C to assist with collagen and elastin production. Since it eliminates free radicals, eating kimchi on a regular basis could help you prevent wrinkles from forming. Perhaps this is why Koreans tend to have fewer wrinkles than many Americans do.
Improved Mental Health
Emerging research shows that mental health patients often have compromised gut immunity. This can lead to an increased risk of depression, anxiety or even schizophrenia. On the other hand, fermented foods such as kimchi can markedly improve mood and cognition, while alleviating anxiety, depression, and anger. The lactobacillus pentosus found in kimchi has also been found to enhance mental function and support brain health.
With more than 300 types of kimchi, there’s room for plenty of variety in your diet. This means you will never get bored while taking advantage of the numerous health benefits kimchi offers. If getting healthier is one of your goals this year, why not give kimchi a try?