Kimchi: Korean Staple with Benefits

The Health Mine of the Amazing Kimchi

Traditional kimchi is made of salted and fermented vegetables, usually napa cabbage and comes with a variety of ingredients, like chili powder, scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood). Kimchi is a low-calorie, high fiber, and nutrient-packed side dish highly common in Korean homes and restaurants. What is in kimchi that makes it one of the world’s healthiest foods?

This Korean staple is a storehouse of vitamins – A, B1, B2, and C, essential amino acids and minerals as iron, calcium, and selenium. It contains powerful antioxidants and the additional benefit of probiotics, in the form of lactobacillus bacteria. There are additional, helpful components as well, like capsaicin, chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids, and isothiocyanates. Kimchi is also well known to be low in fat and sugar. How can all these translate to health benefits?

Kimchi promotes healthy digestion. Probiotics are the result of the fermentation process that enhances the taste but also creates healthy bacteria, Lactobacillus, which normalizes flora in the intestines. The cabbage in kimchi is a detoxifier, gets rid of the wastes and toxins; the fiber stabilizes bowel movement and prevents constipation, and actually prevents one from overeating. Hence, the dish is also favored by weight watchers. The bacteria also has therapeutic effects on various skin ailments such as atopic dermatitis.

Kimchi regulates cholesterol due to selenium and allicin. Both lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol along with the concentration of blood glucose in the body. Selenium protects the artery walls by preventing the buildup of plaque and decreasing the threat of atherosclerosis. Hence, it offers protection against cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Kimchi’s powerful antioxidants protect against oxidative damage and shield the body from the harmful effects of oxygen free radicals. With this anti-aging qualities, kimchi helps in regulating and attenuating the inflammation that speeds up the aging process. Another benefit of kimchi is its range of flavonoids and phenolic components, coming from ginger, garlic, and peppers renowned for their beneficial effect on the immune system. Lastly, the cabbage in kimchi, which are cruciferous vegetables which contain glucosinolates, are known for their effectiveness against cancerous cell growth.

A Bowl of Benefits

You are certain to have your side dish of kimchi when you dine Korean at Seoul Hot Pot. It goes well with everything Korean. Have this nutritious side dish along with our classics here in Bellevue.