5 Health Benefits of Kimchi
I love fermented foods. They’re gut-nourishing additions to any meal that add this incredible hit of flavor and nutrients all in one go. Many people are familiar with sauerkraut, or fermented cabbage, but there are still so many people who are yet to discover the joys of kimchi.
Like sauerkraut, kimchi is a take on fermented cabbage that has been a staple in Korean cuisine for centuries. Its fragrant flavor lends itself to the delicious spices, including gochugaru, spring onions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal, and it’s used throughout a wide variety of dishes.
But despite being a jaw-dropping flavor hit, kimchi is incredibly good for you. The simple addition brings a wide array of health benefits to the table; here are 5 of my favorites.
1. Contains Probiotics & Other Nutrients
Probiotics are the age-old superfoods. When they work in conjunction with the bacteria in your gut, there’s no stopping just how powerful they can be. The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in kimchi can also provide important health benefits. Choline, for example, is a natural compound vital for maintaining your cells, your muscles, your nervous system, and even your mood. Choline is also important for maintaining your memory. Kimchi is also rich in vitamin K, which helps your blood clot and keeps your bones from becoming brittle, and is an essential vitamin for daily function
2. Improves Digestive Health
We know now, thanks to mounting research, that probiotic-rich foods like kimchi can have an incredible effect on digestive health. This is because of the good bacteria these foods produce in the gut, which in turn help to improve a wide range of symptoms, from reflux to constipation.
Including a variety of fermented foods in the diet may improve intestinal health and as a result, support the immune system and anti-inflammatory responses.
3. Can Support Immune System
Scientific evidence has been indicating for some time now that much of the human immune system is influenced by the gut; more specifically, your individual intestinal health. Not only does improved digestive health support this, but the properties of kimchi do too. The bacteria that help ferment kimchi have been connected to improved immune function and lower levels of inflammation triggered by disease. To create a triple thread, the vitamin C found in kimchi can also help boost your immune health.
4. Reduces Inflammation
Inflammation is one of the leading contributors to rising rates of chronic disease, But something becoming clear is that the foods we eat can have positive and negative effects on chronic inflammation. As well as being supported by a healthy digestive system, kimchi is rich in active compounds that have anti-inflammatory effects with a wide range of benefits, like supporting vascular health and improving cognitive function.
5. Shown To Slow Aging
Chronic inflammation is not only linked to illnesses but also speeds up the aging process. Kimchi, however, can counteract this by supporting the length of cell life.
In a test-tube study, human cells treated with kimchi demonstrated increased viability, which measures overall cell health, as well as showed an extended life span regardless of their age. Now it’s time to take that study and apply it in real life.