3 Big Health Benefits of Kimchi!
This past weekend I had the pleasure of joining my good friend Leah Kim, L.Ac for her new project - Five Flavors with Chef Phil. Chef Phil taught us how to make a delicious and nutritious Kimchi, a traditional Korean side dish made of ferment cabbage and other vegetable. Now I have rolled up my sleeves and made a variety of fermented foods like beet kvass, sauerkraut and even tried kombucha (once), but I am newly inspired by how easy Chef Phil made this recipe look so I hope to roll some cabbage leaves soon. To watch the video go to my YOUTUBE channel.
But for my part in the video I talk about the nutritional benefits, and while there are so many I wanted to narrow it down to my top three for you today.
Now the first benefit that is tops on the list for kimchi and other fermented foods is the probiotic content. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria that live in our digestive system, it's often referred to as our gut microbiome. Fermented foods have traditional been a part of human diets for a long time, and for good reason they have a wide range of nutritional benefits. When we have the right balance of good bacteria in our gut this supports health digestion, immune system, hormones, and even mental health. So making sure fermented foods with live probiotics are part of every day, if not every meal, is a great way to boost your health.
Beyond the probiotics the vegetables used in kimchi are packed full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! Cabbage is the main ingredients and this green machine does not often get the credit it deserves ( move over kale!) Cabbage is an excellent source of Vitamin K, which supports healthy bones and blood clotting. It is also high in vitamin C and a good source of fiber. Cabbage is one of the two types of vegetables (the other being root veggies) that has been studied for it's benefits in preventing type 2 diabetes. I also helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease benefits due the high antioxidants contend that includes over 20 different flavonoids and 15 phenols.
Another vegetable that is used in this recipe is daikon. Daikon is actually a cruciferous vegetables ( like cabbage and broccoli) , but we tend to use the root which has a similar consistency as a turnip when cooked and a peppery taste. Daikon holds many benefits but what is noteworthy is that this radish is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral. It can help protect against digestive disorders, fight cancer, and the support the immune system.
There are many other health benefiting ingredients including garlic, ginger, and red pepper in this recipe, which all help support the immune system among other things. Please watch this great video and try adding a little kimchi to your diet!