What Is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a spicy fermented side dish that is typically made of cabbage. Now, for those that know what Kimchi is, you might automatically think all Kimchi is the white napa cabbage version, but this is not true! Kimchi is just a term to describe the way a side dish is prepared and fermented using spicy red pepper paste, ground pepper, salt, sugar, etc. Although the cabbage version is the most popular, there are dozens of forms of Kimchi, such as Kimchi made of radish, scallions, leafy greens, cucumbers, etc. In order to make Kimchi, you need to prepare it with the proper ingredients and then it is fermented in special fermentation jars for months at a time. The longer the better! The final taste should be a little salty, spicy, and sour. It works as the perfect compliment to meat and rice.
What Makes Kimchi A Superfood?
The average Korean eats about 40 pounds of Kimchi each year. So, why do Koreans love eating this spicy fermented side dish so much? Well, it's got to be because of its amazing health benefits!
According to Health.com, Kimchi is packed with essential Vitamins A, B, and C, but that isn't the most impressive part about Kimchi. Kimchi is prized because of its high levels of "good bacteria" or probiotics. The fermentation process of Kimchi contributes to the formation of lactic acid bacteria, which is known to help with digestion, prevent yeast infections, reduces the risk of certain cancers, such as colon and bladder cancer, etc.
Here is a list of the nutritional benefits of Kimchi from Lifehack:
- Rich in Vitamins A, B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and C
- Rich in calcium, iron, and dietary fiber
- Contains natural probiotics
- Lowers cholesterol
- Can help with improved eyesight due to high levels of Vitamin A
- Keeps your skin and hair healthy due to the selenium found in the garlic in Kimchi
- Helps prevent cancer
- Can help you lose weight due to low calories and fat
- Can help prevent peptic ulcers
- Strengthens your immune system due to high levels of Vitamin C
- Many more!
After reading the health benefits of Kimchi and why it is considered a superfood, I hope you guys are willing to try and buy a jar of Kimchi at your next grocery store visit! Enjoy!