Kimchi is the tangy cabbage salad served in Korean restaurants as an appetizer. But, aside from being a tasty accompaniment for your meal, you’ll be surprised to know about the Kimchi health benefits. Originally prepared in Korea around 37 BC to 7 AD, the dish takes its name from the word, ‘shimchae,’ that means ‘salting of vegetables.’ While most chefs prepare the dish with napa cabbage, variations include using Korean radish, scallions, leek, ginseng, Indian mustard leaves, and cucumbers along with the regular seasoning.
Kimchi Health Benefits Come from the Fermentation Process
Kimchi gains its nutritional benefits, taste, and texture from the fermentation process. By sealing the salad tightly in jars, chefs set off the fermentation that helps develop the essential probiotic bacteria in the dish. Here are only some of the positives of including Kimchi in your daily diet.
Surprisingly, Kimchi can help you with a healthy dose of vitamin A and antioxidants that can slow down the skin aging process. The nutrients present in the salad help in the rejuvenation of the skin cells and formation of elastin and collagen. You’ll also note that any wounds, lesions, eczema, and breakouts heal faster with a Kimchi intake.
Excellent for Digestion
The probiotic bacteria and high fiber content present in the dish can do wonders for your gut health. Digestive issues like constipation, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and leaky gut all respond very well to probiotics. Further, it suppresses the inflammation-causing pathogens and keeps your intestines healthy. Eating this fiber-rich food can also contribute to weight loss since it absorbs water and keeps you satiated for longer times. The pepper content in Kimchi also helps boost metabolism to help you shed the pounds quickly.
Helps Control Blood Sugar Levels
One of the key Kimchi health benefits is that it helps control blood sugar levels in diabetics. That’s because the probiotics present in it can control the cravings for sweet food. The healthy gut flora also keeps digestion efficient and burns calories by boosting metabolism.
Clears Toxins from Your Body
Your body accumulates toxins from several sources such as polluted air, contaminated water, and the preservatives, coloring agents, and other chemicals in the food you eat. You may also absorb toxins through the skin when you use chemical products. The antioxidants present in Kimchi can rid your body of these toxins and promote good health.
Promotes the Health of Your Heart
The garlic content in Kimchi adds nutrients like selenium and allicin to your diet. Selenium can prevent the buildup of plaque on the arterial walls and thus prevent hypertension and stress on your heart. In addition, allicin is a known agent for lowering harmful cholesterol and promoting heart health. However, given that Kimchi contains salt, you might want to check with your medical practitioner before consuming too much of the salad.
Strengthens the Immune System
Kimchi helps build your immune system by helping your body better absorb the nutrients in the food you eat. Kimchi health benefits come from the anti-carcinogenic and anti-bacterial red peppers and anti-inflammatory garlic. Ginger also aids digestion and assists in the healing of ulcers in the intestines. All of these factors help your body’s systems function better and fight off diseases more efficiently.
Protects Against Cancer-Causing Agents
The powerful antioxidants, flavonoids, and phenols present in Kimchi prevent oxidation and inflammation in the body. Not only can the antioxidants protect against free radicals, but they can also lower oxidative stress. Capsaicin in the red peppers lowers the risk of lung cancer while garlic protects against liver, thyroid, and stomach cancer.
These are only a few of the many Kimchi health benefits. You’ll find that a regular intake can also prevent asthma attacks and keeps your eyes healthy. Go ahead and add this tangy Korean salad to your daily diet and avail of its many benefits for your skin and body.