This classic Korean fermented food has been enjoyed throughout history – and there’s more to it than its convenience and taste. Kimchi also happens to be a nutritionally-dense, probiotic powerhouse – and one of our favourite foods for gut healing. Here’s why we swear by the stuff.
Powerful Probiotic Content
Like most fermented foods, kimchi packs a good probiotic punch, but the specific strains – and density! – of bacteria are uniquely impressive. This is because the fermentation process involves the bacterium Lactobacillus – this is the cause of that trademark tang. It’s also known to pack a number of health benefits, from reducing constipation and bloating to improving digestion, skin health and mood. Other probiotics also thrive in kimchi, coming together to offer the following research-backed benefits:
- Reducing the risk of cancer certain types of cancer
- Boosting immunity and lowering the risk of infection common cold
- Improving digestion
- Protecting your heart
- Lowering the risk of mental health disorders
- Preventing or reducing the severity of skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis
Kimchi is known for its probiotic content, but you might be surprised to know that, even without the good bacteria, this food is packed with nutritious ingredients. For starters, the Napa cabbage is known for its vitamin content, along with boasting a whopping 34 amino acids. Just one cup of kimchi contains the following:
- 19% of our daily vitamin B6 needs
- 22% of our daily vitamin C needs
- 55% of our daily vitamin K needs
- 20% of our daily iron needs
- 25% of our daily riboflavin needs
Riboflavin is an essential nutrient known to regulate our cells, metabolism and energy – so, basically, it keeps us alive! Adding a bit of kimchi to your meal could be the key to tipping you over the edge to meeting that RDI. Vitamin K is another important nutrient found plentifully in kimchi, and we need this stuff for healthy bones, along with the regulation of blood clotting.
The nutrients in kimchi – from antioxidants and probiotics to fibre and vitamin C – are known to fight inflammation. One study found that a compound in kimchi actually supressed inflammation, and while we’ve yet to see human tests in this area, the research indicates some pretty impressive anti-inflammatory benefits. The researchers found that the compound in kimchi can block, suppress and prevent inflammatory compounds from taking hold in the first place. There’s also research to suggest regular kimchi consumption could slow the ageing process. It’s believed to do this by prolonging cell life, with one study finding kimchi expanded people’s life spans – and not just young people, older people also experience these life-extending benefits. The field of research is still incomplete, but what we’ve seen shows immense promise and it makes adding kimchi into your diet a worthwhile goal.Want to make your own kimchi? We’ll show you how on the 21-Day Gut Rebalance Program. We’ll also be home-fermenting sourdough bread, yoghurt and kombucha. Yum!