“Hunnie, lets eat Kimchi today”
Anyone who has dated a Koreaboo (someone who is obsessed with South-Korean Culture) has heard this line at least once. A guy who works with me used to complain about this as well. However surprisingly, a few days later, we saw him bring Kimchi to the office and eat it.
This surprised us as he was a health freak and not the kind of guy who would eat anything just because his girl told him to. So one of us asked him “Is Kimchi Healthy?”
He looked at her with proud eyes and said “Yes, yes it is.” So we bugged him till he told us why he began to eat kimchi -this fermented pickle.
Surprisingly, there are a lot of health benefits of Kimchi. Well, enough for a health freak like him to add one more food into his list. We thought of sharing this, so people would know about how Kimchi is good for your health.
1. Improves Digestion
Surprisingly, fermented pickles like this are a lot more beneficial to us than we normally think. The main ingredient of Kimchi is fermented Napa Cabbage. This process of fermentation not only enhances the flavor but also helps in Digestion.
Apparently, during the process of fermentation, different bacteria’s are cultivated. While the primary function of these bacteria’s is to preserve the food, they also help in improving digestion as well.
Besides this, there are other ingredients like Ginger and Garlic that too helps in the process of digestion.
2. Boosts Immunity
Talking about Garlic and Ginger, do you know that these two also boost your immune system? Garlic is medically recognized to reduce inflammation, fight viruses and relax intestinal muscles.
Alongside this, Ginger is known to reduce nausea, and help fight the flu and common cold. In addition to these, there are other digestive ingredients like red peppers as well.
A good digestive system helps you absorb more nutrients. Alongside an improvement in digestive capacity, you also get nutrients like Magnesium, Potassium, and Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6 as well. All of these combine to improve your immune system slowly and steadily.
This shocked us. Let’s be honest, did you know this – a healthy consumption of a Pickle could boost our immune system? Neither did I before!
3. Prevents Ulcer
Sticking to the benefits provided by just the two of the core ingredients of Kimchi, did you know that ginger and garlic also prevent Ulcer?
According to NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases), a peptic ulcer is a sore in the lining of your stomach. Ginger has been used as an anti-inflammatory for ages and is medically recognized as well.
A study published in the journal of functional food in June 2013 said that ginger is effective in treating the side effects of non-steroid drugs; usually resulting in gastrointestinal ulcers and internal bleeding.
Alongside this, garlic is a well-known antimicrobial and antibacterial food. Combine both of these and what you end up with is a product that can prevent ulcers. However, you still need to take care of your health and not depend purely on Kimchi for this.
4. Lots of Fibers
Now, taking a break from the benefits of garlic and ginger, let’s talk about Cabbage. This is the core ingredient of Kimchi and looking at everything so far, there should be some health benefits of Cabbage as well right? Absolutely yes.
Cabbage is filled with fibers and is low in calories. Now a lot of us know that fiber is necessary to maintain a healthy body. It provides good nutrition to healthy gut bacteria’s, reduces the risk of heart diseases and diabetes as well.
Even the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories per day.
In short, Cabbage is good and Kimchi has a lot of Cabbage, so Kimchi is Good. No wonder my friend; the health-conscious freak started to eat Kimchi.
5. Lots of Vitamin A
As Nepali kids, we all have heard this phrase “You should eat greens, it has Vitamin A. If not you will go blind” right? Well, guess what, Kimchi has Vitamin A as well.
Although greens are not the core ingredients of Kimchi, they do contain good amounts of Radish. And for those who don’t know; Radish is one of the best sources of Vitamin A. More to your surprise, we get fermented radish from Kimchi, which is an even better source of Vitamin A than plain radish.
Now besides being great for your eyes, Vitamin A is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect our body from Free Radical Damages and boosts your immune system.
Again, no wonder why that health freak started to eat this dish.
6. Slows Down Aging
Talking about antioxidants, this nutrition is widely known as something that can slow down the aging process to some degree. I wonder, is kimchi the secret ether of Koreans to look so young? Well! That’s food for thought.
However, we know that looking young and slowing down aging doesn’t just rely just on antioxidants. But as we have already outlined the plethora of health benefits Kimchi has, trying it out will do you more good for sure.
Now to top that up, here is a list showing all the nutritional value in a 100gram of Kimchi.
|Total Sugars including NLEA (g)||1.6|
|Vitamin B-6 (mg)||0.21|
|Total Folate (|ug)||52|
|Vitamin, RAE (|ug)||5|
|Carotene Beta (|ug)||55|
|Carotene Alpha (|ug)||1|
|Vitamin a, IU (|ug)||93|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin (|ug)||49|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) (mg)||0.11|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone) (|ug)||43.6|
|Total saturated Fatty acids (g)||0.07|
Source: National Library of Medicine
Now, more than a shock finding out the health-conscious friend consuming Kimchi, it was more a moment of serendipity; clearly, the world of Kimchi gave me great insight and challenged my stereotypical viewpoint. Thus, the shock was short-lived.
However, you do have to control the amount you consume as too much of a good thing can turn out bad.
The maximum amount of Kimchi you can consume to reap the best health benefits are 5 servings of around 100 gram per day.
If you exceed this amount, you can get some tummy issues. But regardless, a good food is a good food.
Talking about good food, if you want to know more about healthy foods, do check out our list of 8 Healthy Foods Women Should Eat Every day.