This popular Korean condiment is hiding a whole range of health benefits.
Not usually associated with being a ‘health’ food, kimchi is served in Korea, mainly a side-dish as an accompaniment to other foods. But kimchi is actually one of the best foods you can eat, and could prevent you from certain diseases.
Kimchi’s secret health benefits start with the fact that during the process of making it, it is fermented.
This creates a culture of pro-biotics behind, very helpful for keeping your digestive system and gut healthy.
Kimchi is made from cabbage which has long be known to be a healthy vegetable.
It is very low in calories, high in fiber and has been connected with defeating certain types of cancers.
Some of the best reasons you should add kimchi to your diet are –
1. Looking after your gut
We can all do more to look after out digestive systems, and the fact that the main ingredient in kimchi, cabbage, is one of the best things you can eat for your gut coupled with the fact it is fermented gives it an extra kick at being able to keep your stomach happy.
2. High in antioxidants
The high levels of antioxidants found in kimchi mean it is great at protecting you from free radicals, loose electrons that can cause certain cancers. It is also a great anti inflammatory which means it can help eczema and arthritis.
3. Helps your immune system
Kimchi contains flavonoids and phenolic components found in the ginger, garlic and peppers which are used in the process to make kimchi. These are great for helping boots your immune system and keep infections at bay.
4. Helps fight against cancer
Cabbage contains flavonoids, which have been shown to be helpful in fighting against certain cancers by inhibiting their cell growth. Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are also high in glucosinolates, which have also been shown to fight cancer growth.
5. Helps anti-ageing
It is true to say that many Koreans have a much more youthful appearance than their western counterparts, this can be attributed in many ways to their diet. The high level of anti-oxidants present in kimchi help work to keep the skin looking young and healthy by stopping cell oxidization.
6. Helps diabetes
It has been shown in this study that people suffering from type 2 diabetes were helped when eating kimchi over a 2 week period. It can regulate blood sugar levels and is very low in fat.
7. Gastric ulcers
Kimchi has been shown to have healing effects on those suffering from peptic ulcers and gastritis due to its ability to stop harmful pathogens from forming on gastric cells.
8. Weight loss
Due to how low in calories it is, kimchi is a great food to fill up on without clocking up a high calorie count.
It is always best to make your own home-made food yourself, so here’s an easy recipe to make kimchi yourself at home!
- 2 heads of Napa cabbage (shredded)
- 5 scallions or spring onions (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
- 2 jalapenos (minced)
- 2 tablespoons of red chili pepper (crushed)
- ½ an onion
- ½ a teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of raw honey
- Before preparing your kimchi, you should decide how you want to store it. Most people use large glass jars, such as mason jars, but any container with an airtight lid should suffice.
- Start making your kimchi by combining all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, but leave out the sea salt and raw honey. These two ingredients are used to as a culture starter to begin the fermentation process.
- After combining the ingredients, remove two cups of the mixture and place in a blender. Add just enough water to create a thick juice out of the ingredients in the blender. Add the sea salt and raw honey and then blend until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture into your container and pack down with your first.
- Once firmly packed down, add the rest of the mixture from the mixing bowl into the container. Leave about two inches at the top of the container. Roll up a few spare cabbage leaves and place on top of the mixture to fill the remaining two inches, but pack the leaves in loosely. Seal the container or secure the lid.
- Now the fermentation process can start. Store your container in a 70-degree room for at least three days and up to seven days. Once you open the lid and begin eating the kimchi, you should store the leftovers in your fridge. This will slow down the fermentation process.