Is Kimchi Good or Bad For You?

3 minutes read.

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A Few Facts about Kimchi.

Kimchi is a preparation of spicy, fermented cabbage with ingredients like chilli, garlic, ginger, daikon (Japanese radish) and fish sauce. Other ingredients can be used as well. (Fermentation is a process in which bacteria and yeast breakdown sugars in foods to preserve them longer.)

This preparation originates from Korea and has been around for thousands of years. The Koreans used to convert their crops into kimchis to preserve them. They initially soaked vegetables in salt water. Over time, garlic and chillies were eventually added. Chillies only got added from the 1600s when they were brought to Korea by western merchants.

There are more than 180 varieties.

Each Korean family has its own kimchi recipe which is passed down through the generations.

In 2008, Korean astronaut Yi So-yeon brought her own specially-designed kimchi rations when she joined the space station.

In 2015, UNESCO declared this preparation and its traditional practices as Korea’s * ‘intangible, cultural heritage.’

* “Practices, expressions, knowledge and skills that communities, groups and sometimes individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage.” (UNESCO).

Finally, instead of saying ‘cheese’ having their photographs taken, the Koreans are known to say ‘kimchi.’

is Kimchi Good Or Bad for You?

It is largely good for you. Kimchi contains:-

1. Probiotics: Kimchi is rich in beneficial bacteria that support your gut health and digestion. These bacteria inhibit the growth of disease-causing bacteria, therefore increasing your resistance to infections. Kimchi could reduce any symptoms of gastro-intestinal disorders like IBS.
2. Vitamins: Kimchi is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as B vitamins like thiamine and riboflavin. These vitamins are essential for overall health and wellbeing, in particular vitamin K, which helps your blood to clot and keeps your bones from becoming brittle.
3. Antioxidants: Kimchi contains antioxidants like phenolic compounds and flavonoids, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in your body, thereby strengthening your immune system.

It may also reduce your cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In one study, 21 people with prediabetes ate either fresh and fermented kimchi for 16 weeks. It was found that those who ate fermented kimchi had decreased insulin resistance, blood pressure and bodyweight.

Another study showed that higher kimchi intake led to bigger decreases in blood sugars and LDL (bad) cholesterol.

If you’re watching the salt content in your diet, be aware that kimchi has a high salt content. Also, be cautious of it if you struggle to eat spicy foods.

Finally, If you do try it, always follow the instructions on your jar for storage. Otherwise, incorrect storage could make you ill because of the bacteria that is in it.

I’ve recently started to eat this probiotic. I fine it delicious and it seems to help my digestion. I only eat about 2 tsp in my meals because of the spicy ingredients.

You can eat it on its own, have it in curries, on sandwiches, in salads; the list is endless.

Would you try it or do you already eat it?

If you live in the UK and are curious about kimchi, click here to buy.

Thank you for reading.

Rachel x


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