Kimchi is a beloved South Korea side dish that has captured the gastrointestinal fancy of millions of people around the world. But how healthy is it to eat this tasty Napa cabbage concoction? Is it any healthier say, than eating other vegetable dishes? We take a closer look at the health benefits of kimchi today, to find out if this humble South Korean side has something more to offer fans of Korean cuisine.
Kimchi Benefits: Is Kimchi Healthy?
If you are thinking along the lines of counting calories to keep your waist lean, know that there are only 23 calories in kimchi for every serving of 150 grams. Since kimchi is made slightly differently each time, the exact nutrient value of each serving varies. But in general, for every 150 grams of kimchi, you will get 4 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, less than 1 gram of fat, 2 grams of fiber, and 747 mg of sodium.
Kimchi is not recommended for salt-sensitive hypertensive patients, as well as those with chronic kidney problems, as these people require low-sodium food regularly. Kimchi is also packed with essential nutrients: vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, iron, niacin, and riboflavin. The nutrients in kimchi provide anywhere from 10% to 55% of the DV required for healthy adult men and women. Other benefits of eating kimchi are listed below:
- Probiotics – This may come as a surprise for many, but kimchi is a natural probiotic bonanza on its own. Yes, it is a lot like the milk products that we buy for their live probiotic bacteria. One gram of kimchee contains well over four times the amount of beneficial bacteria found in the same amount of probiotic yogurt.
Probiotics are recommended for everyone, but most especially for people who suffer from chronic GI issues. Good bacteria are necessary for improving digestion and overall health. Is kimchi good for your liver? Yes! Some studies indicate that probiotics have a positive influence on liver function, so it is a good idea to pack in more kimchi in your diet if you have liver issues.
- Weight loss – Kimchi is packed with nutrients and is low in calories, plus it has a lot of fiber. Fiber is known to help people feel fuller, faster, because it expands in the stomach. You can increase your kimchee consumption without ever worrying about your belly. You can eat more kimchi to feel fuller, so you will not reach for calorie-laden foods anymore.
- Cholesterol control – This is another benefit of eating kimchi. Because kimchi has a lot of natural fiber, it can block the cholesterol and fats in your gut. The cholesterol and fat are swept away and excreted, and this can help you reduce your cholesterol levels naturally over time. Changing how you eat can have a positive and lasting impact on your health, so better start soon with the changes.
- Immunity booster – Apart from the probiotics, kimchi is made with other ingredients like garlic and chives that are natural immunity boosters. Eating kimchi is like taking a natural multivitamin, minus the side effects (if any). It is also packed with beneficial enzymes and amino acids that help the body function normally. Kimchi is known for improving blood circulation and even vision. Do you have sniffles or coughs? Some South Koreans just eat kimchi to ward away common bacterial and viral infections because it is that good for the body.
- Natural colon cleanse – Tired of buying expensive colon cleanse kits and mixing powders? Try eating more kimchi. Kimchi’s natural properties allow this popular side dish to commence a natural colon cleanse every time you eat it. And because it is so nutritious and also has some calories per serving, your body is still getting the nutrients it needs while kimchi’s natural fiber content takes care of your colon. Say goodbye to expensive colon cleansing kits – just eat more kimchi, and you will get the same results.
- Fountain of youth – Have you ever wondered why South Koreans tend to look younger than they are? They eat a lot of probiotic food like kimchi. Kimchi is packed with natural antioxidants, which helps reduce the incidence of premature cell aging and cell death. Premature aging has been linked with premature cell death. You can prevent this by eating more fruits and vegetables, and by eating food like kimchi. Time to feel and look younger!
- Better blood glucose levels – It has long been established that eating kimchi can help regulate your blood glucose levels. More kimchi in your diet can translate to lower levels of fasting glucose, and you will also be able to tolerate glucose more in the coming weeks and months. The exact mechanisms of this benefit are still unknown, but doctors believe that the fiber content of kimchi has a large bearing on how it improves the blood glucose levels in the body.
- Better skin health – The garlic and other ingredients in kimchi help improve skin health daily. Cellular turnover is reduced, and the production of collagen and other important components of radiant skin is encouraged.
As long as you are eating kimchi, you will see an improvement in how your skin looks. This is an excellent way to maintain skin health without being overly dependent on chemical creams and supplements. Go natural with kimchi, and you won’t regret it.
- Ward off stomach cancer – It has been discovered that kimchi contains chemical compounds that help detoxify the stomach. The target of the detoxification is the heavy metals that occur in the natural environment and our food. Kimchi can help clear some heavy metals that can easily damage your stomach, kidneys, and liver.
- Ward off peptic ulcer – Peptic ulcer is caused by bacteria found in the gut. It has been found that kimchi can cut the incidence of peptic ulcers by making the stomach inhospitable to the bacteria that causes it in the first place.