~ by Green Diva Sun (aka Hungry Gopher)
I recently had a pleasure of talking with Green Diva Meg about the probiotic benefits of kimchi in this fun Green Divas Foodie-Phile segment. Listen to hear my out of control laughter and my passion for kimchi =).
Now, let’s talk more in depth about Probiotic Benefits of Kimchi.
Probiotic foods are hot these days. Recently, the importance of probiotic foods has been discussed a lot in the media, as well as by respected doctors. So what is probiotic? Simply put, probiotic means “For Life.” By definition, it is a microorganism introduced into the body for its beneficial qualities.
Fermentation, which humans have actively utilized for thousands of years to preserve food, is a natural way to introduce probiotics into your body. Lactobacillus bacteria (the beneficial guys) convert sugars into lactic acid, while creating an environment in which bad bacteria cannot grow. This process preserves the vegetables and gives them that delectable tang.
Lacto-fermentation is the fermentation process utilized for kimchi. It’s also the same process used in making yogurt, sauerkraut, and traditional dill pickles.
Kimchi is considered to be a global superfood. The American published, Health Magazine, has even ranked kimchi as one of it’s top five healthiest foods.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of kimchi:
- a rich source of dietary fibers and low in calories
- an important sources of vitamins and minerals, such as: vitamin C, vitamin B, calcium, and iron
- an abundance of “healthy bacteria” called lactobacilli
According to, Health Magazine, kimchi’s biggest benefit may be in its healthy bacteria.
So, what does healthy bacteria do in the body?
- helps with digestion
- may help stop and even prevent yeast infections, according to a recent study
- helps prevent aging and obesity
- may prevent the growth of cancer due to the compounds present in fermented cabbage
All of the benefits mentioned above give kimchi the deserving title of superfood. Though as a food/nature enthusiast, I cherish the taste of kimchi above all else. It’s crunchy, and it’s wonderful tangy flavors backed by a depth of umami is what gets me excited! Just as any real Korean does, I eat kimchi at virtually every meal. With every bite, I savor the wonderful taste. I also remind myself that all of living things in kimchi nourish my body and keep my family and I healthy.
Making kimchi might seem intimidating at first. I failed the first three times I attempted to make it on my own! Even though I grew up watching my mother and my grandmother making lots of kimchi at home in Korea, I did not get it right. I even helped them along the way to clean the vegetables and peel the garlic since I was little. After I got over my heart-breaking experience of failing, my burning desire to have home-made kimchi became too strong to resist. I decided to consult my mother and then follow a written recipe, which gave me a great result! Since then, I’ve been making in my own California kitchen for over a decade.