Kimchi, the Tasty Korean Health Food

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By J. E. Hinners, MD MPH

kimchi

If you’ve ever eaten this spicy Korean food, you’ll know that “kimchi” is a staple addition to nearly every meal, from pancakes to eggs to pizza.

What is kimchi?

Although the preparation methods can vary, kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish that traditionally also contains rice vinegar, garlic, salt, and chili pepper, among other ingredients.

Nutritional Profile

Antioxidant-rich kimchi has notably high levels of vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and K; it also contains minerals iron and manganese in addition to greater amounts of lactic acid bacteria (required for healthy intestines) than is even found in yogurt.

Self Nutrition Data has put out a more detailed nutritional profile of one version of kimchi:

nutritional profile 1

nutritional profile 2

What are the health benefits of kimchi?

  • Promotes healthy intestines and “gut flora”
  • Prevents constipation
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease
  • Fights cholesterol
  • Fights colon, lung, and stomach cancers
  • Fights gastritis and ulcers
  • Promotes heavy metal detox from the liver, kidney, and small intestines
  • Slows down the human aging process

Where to find kimchi

Kimchi can be found in Korean grocery stores, of course, but it is also carried in some non-Korean grocery stores and specialty food stores. Kimchi can also be ordered online.

Got any favorite kimchi recipes to share? We’d love to hear from you in our comments section!

Additional sources


Screen shot 2014-08-18 at 12.22.13 PM

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