Kimchi Health Benefits is a site dedicated to all that is Kimchi!

Kimchi Health benefits welcomes you to the world of fermented foods.  If you have not tried Kimchi yet or are just looking for the reasons for kimchi's health benefits - read on!  I hope that you find what you're looking for and if not please don't hestitate to contact me on my Facebook page.

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi also known as Gimchi, Kimchee is a fermented food that is a staple of Korean cuisine.

Whats does Kimchi taste like?

It's delicious!  It's complex flavor s of course depend on the ingredients and method of preparation.  However, you can expect most kimchi to be a combination of crunchy, tart, spicy with undertones of seafood (if added), salty, tangy.  Just give it a try.  It goes well on almost anything.  It can be used as a condiment, in soups, as a side-dish or just straight up on it's own.  It's diverse flavors often cure that craving for "salty, crunchy, spicy" hankering you have.

Kimchi Health Benefits

Numerous studies have been conducted in regards to the health benefits of kimchi.  Some of the claims while quite extraordinary (such as preventing SARS), cannot be confirmed and are more speculative than scientific.  However a vast number of studies have produced evidence that perhaps this Korean side-dish is in fact one of the worlds healthiest foods.

The health benefits of kimchi has even been implicated as a food that prevents cancer.  Additionally, due to it's high cruciferous vegetable content including high detoxifying bio-chemical (isocyanate an sulfide). This superfood has the ability to detoxify heavy metals in the liver, kidney and small intestine.  If that weren't enough it is also a great way to prevent constipation due to it's heavy fibre content and abundant probiotic lactobacilli colonies.

Kimchi consumption has been shown to:

  • reduce atherosclerotic formation in arteries and actually caused plaque build up to regress.
  • accelerate the activity of the colon and production of enzymes and absorption of vitamins and minerals.
  • provide a variety of vitamins and minerals due to its complex and nutrient rich components including Vitamin A, C, B1 and B2
  • provides an alkaline state to prevent acidosis.
  • be helpful in speeding up alcohol induced hangovers due to it's producting of acetyladyhe hydrogenase (an alcohol metabolizing enzyme). Additionally according to the International Journal of Food Microbiology study Kimchi "contains various health-promoting components, including b-carotene, chlorophyll, vitamin C and dietary fibre (Park et al., 1995).  In addition "it's anti-mutagen (Oh et al., 2005), anti-oxidation (Yoo et al., 2005) and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibition (Yoo et al.,2004). "  This all amounts to a powerhouse of health promoting activity including reduction of 'angiotenin' (a hormone) which in essence will cause a decrease of high blood pressure.
  • lowering cholesterol
  • increasing weight loss

What's in Kimchi?

Kimchi is traditionally a mix of a variety of vegetables with a cabbage base. Often kimchi contains napa cabbage, shallots or green onions, garlic, ginger, salt, sugar, fish sauce/salted shrimp or seafood and gochugaru (a medium-flavoured red pepper).

It is believe that an important factor in the health promoting benefits of this dish is due to it's high level of cruciferous vegetables which are rich in sulfur compounds which are intergral for liver detoxification.  Methylation occurs in the detoxification process in the liver which requires these sulfur-rich foods to catalyze the process.

The main kimchi ingredients: cabbage and sometimes bok choy are excellent sources of sulforaphane, indole 3-carbinol and crambene and believed to contribute to the synergy of detoxification in the body.  Studies indicate that inclusion of these cruciferous veggies can work together to reduce the risk of disease including cancers.

There are aspects of certain kimchi's that vary and the nutritive content and bacterial strain will vary from home to home. Producer to producer based on a large number of factors.  These include:

  •  source of vegetables (organic/non organic)
  • fermentation temperature
  • length of fermentation
  • type of vessel used for ferment
  • variety of ingredients
  • inclusion or exclusion of sea food
  • starter culture if any

 

What makes Kimchi healthy?

I believe that the synergy created by all of the whole food components including, nutrient rich phytochemicals (many of which have yet to be identified). Fibre, vitamins and minerals and in conjunction with the fermented state of the kimchi; create a perfect food for increasing immunity and fighting disease.

A study outlining kimchi health benefits of the fermented variety of kimchi versus simply eating the mixture of fresh ingredients was conducted.  The result was impressive.  The subjects of both groups showed "significant decreases in bodyweight, body mass index, and body fat in both groups. The fermented kimchi group showed a significant decrease in the waist-hip ration and fasting blood glucose..". Further, the researchers concluded that "These results suggest that the maturity of kimchi (fresh vs. fermented) may affect obesity, lipid metabolism, and inflammatory processes."

Where to buy Kimchi

If you are not near a major city with a China town or an asian market you might find yourself hard pressed to find kimchi.  That's just as well as you may be better off creating your own fermented vegetable dish!  The only road block may be finding the ingredients.

It may be a bit of a challenge (as it was for me) but you may get lucky and really the process is pretty simple.  You will have to be a bit patient. If you are in Ontario, Canada please contact me and I may be able to ship to you.

Make your own Kimchi: Supplies

Kimchi spice: Gochugaru

(If you can't find this near you email me at mike@kimchihealthbenefits.com and I will deliver some.  If you are in the Barrie/Orillia, Ontario area I can deliver for a fee)

Fermentation Crocks

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