I used to be guilty of turning my nose up that weird rotting and stinking looking dish that always seemed to find its way onto my table while dining at Chinese restaurants. But then, the benefits of kimchi were revealed to me and I gave it another, more critical look. Yes, kimchi stinks. And yes, it tastes rather funky if you aren’t used to eating it. But yes, indeed, the benefits of kimchi make it easy to classify as a legit superfood.
What Is Kimchi?
This is a good place to begin because honestly, many people truly have no idea what this stuff is? I mean, other than something you often end up eating at a restaurant based on a dare. Kimchi is simply fermented cabbage. And although many Chinese restaurants will serve it as a side dish, its roots are in Korean culture. You can find Kimchi in most any grocery store these days as its popularity has grown, however, it used to be that you could only truly get a good variety in Asian grocery stores. The benefits of kimchi have caused a great many more grocery stores to offer more expansive versions of the fermented cabbage.
Kimchi definitely can stink up a room. My wife is never too thrilled when I open a container at home, but she keeps her sentiments to herself because she knows how darn good this stuff is for the family. I tend to eat kimchi with meals such as steak, chicken, and pork. Kimchi opens the palate, much like wine. It can truly enhance the flavor of foods, specifically meats ranging from steaks to shrimp. I’ve also put a little kimchi in my salads to add a more exciting taste profile. I usually have some kimchi along side one of these top 10 superfood green drink reviews. Weird, it would seem, but I love it.
The Benefits Of Kimchi
Now to the heart of the matter, how is Kimchi good for us? If we plan to put a stinky and spicy piece of old cabbage into our mouths, we’d all like to know what benefits we are going to receive in exchange. Well, the benefits of kimchi is a long list, so sit back and make sure your coffee is fresh.
Kimchi Contains Good Gut Bacteria
This is, without question, the staple of kimchi benefits. Kimchi is great for the gut and brain. Being that kimchi is fermented, it produces healthy bacteria that are great for the gut. That healthy bacteria, while in the gut, is also great for the brain. Probiotics, as they are often called, is naturally found in kimchi and for much less cost. Yes, you can opt to eat a little kimchi every day rather than take probiotics. You will save money and get a more natural infusion of healthy bacterias. The bacteria lactobacilli is great for improving your digestion. Additionally, probiotics found in kimchi can help your body’s natural immune process.
Every person should get daily probiotics, which means everyone should eat just a little kimchi each day. Gut health is highly related, through science, to your brain’s health. Your mood and anxiety can all be regulated by your gut’s health. In fact, your gut might be making you depressed. In this case, a little kimchi might help resolve the issue.
Kimchi Helps Skin and Hair Glow
I’m not sure any high-end salons and spas will smell of kimchi anytime soon, but make no mistake about it, kimchi benefits the skin and hair in powerful ways. Kimchi contains selenium which is known to boost the health of skin and hair. Selenium also boosts levels of vitamin C. Here’s a study showing the amazing benefits that selenium has on women who are having their period.
Kimchi Fights Stomach Cancer
Two biochemicals named isocyanate and sulfide have been found to detoxify the body of heavy metals. A major study has backed up the claims that kimchi really benefits the skin’s health. Stomach cancer, particularly as we age, is a real risk. If eating just a little kimchi each day can help, consider me in.
Kimchi Helps With Weight Loss
Kimchi is low in calories and low in fat and doesn’t contain any substantial carbs. You probably assumed that. But it is also full of fiber, which can help satiate you. But here’s the even better news: kimchi reportedly helps your system digest carbs. That’s the most fantastic news I’ve heard all day (other than Netflix potentially releasing another Full House installment). Kimchi also contains capsaicin which tends to speed up your metabolism. Who couldn’t use a little extra pop to their metabolism?
I also firmly believe that kimchi’s ability to boost gut health can help with weight loss. Lowered anxiety and depression are certainly mental factors which contribute to weight management. When your gut and brain link are healthy, you are almost certain to have a great deal more self-control.
Kimichi Is An Immunity Booster
Did you know that sailors used to ingest kimchi to help them fight scurvy? A study at the University of Ulsan has verified that these sailors weren’t off their rockers. Kimchi tends to increase immune cell activity thereby boosting the entire immune system. It also tends to increase a number of immune system antibodies in the system. You probably aren’t trying to prevent scurvy, but you’d probably much enjoy your kids having a few less colds per year, right? Maybe somehow, you can turn the kids on to kimchi in some fun sort of way (I’m just thinking positive, my friends).
How To Make Kimchi Yourself
Making kimchi, rather than buying it at your local grocery store, really isn’t that difficult. Here’s an easy to follow video that should you exactly how to do it.
In the end, kimchi really does taste good, although you might need to get used to it. You can get it in super spicy or moderately spicy versions. I’ve even found kimchi in non-spicy versions. I enjoy eating it alone or with a meal. I do find that it helps improve the taste of meats. But overall, I find kimchi benefits to be an economic master piece. Probiotics and vitamin C aren’t cheap supplements and kimchi truly can help boost both at a more affordable investment.
Cory has been a professional writer and researcher since 2002 and has written 1000’s of articles on health, wellbeing and nutrition. Cory is very active and loves riding his bike when he is not working on his numerous blogs.