What is Kimchi?
In a nutshell; It is a tasty, nutrient dense probiotic condiment with a mix of pack choi, radish, garlic, ginger and a mild chilli zing.
Traditionally from Korea (dating back to around the 7th century!), initially it was nothing more than just salted vegetables. Gradually several spices and flavours were added to Kimchi and finally around the 18th century it was modernized with the introduction of the red hot pepper as a major ingredient. The history of Kimchi is apparently rooted in agrarian culture which started earlier than the period of the three kingdoms of Korean peninsula. Attributing to the extremely cold weather which made cultivation practically impossible, Koreans had to come up with a storage method called “pickling” to preserve food.
As it is slow fermented, raw and unpasteurised, Kimchi is recognised as functional food and was named as one of the “World’s Five Healthiest Foods” by Health Magazine in 2006. Why would Donna Gates, author of the international bestseller, “The Body Ecology Diet” refer to Kimchi as “a nutrient-dense Superfood that is healthier than almost anything else you can possibly eat”? Well, considering the powerful antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, chlorophyll and isothiocyanates and that it’s a natural probiotic due to its fermentation process, with sufficient dietary fibre, vit A, C, K, B6, calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron present! Wow ~ and then it tastes good too!
The list of health benefits includes: lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of cancer, aids in controlling diabetes, promotes digestion and prevents constipation, anti-aging properties and has therapeutic effects on various skin ailments such as atopic dermatitis.
Besides the amazing health benefits of Kimchi – specifically gut health, Kimchi can also aid in weight loss. 150g of Kimchi contains only 40 calories and helps carbohydrate metabolism. Additionally, the capsaicin found in chilli peppers boosts yours metabolism and makes you use the excess energy in your body, thereby increasing weight loss.
How to enjoy Kimchi: A delicious and nutritious flavour addition to any meal; On top of your salad; slice baked sweet potato with avo and Kimchi on top; in a wrap; sprinkle on boiled eggs; mixed in with brown rice and lentils.
Remember to never heat Kimchi as this will destroy the beneficial microbes and enzymes.