Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish (condiment) made from fermented cabbage and mixture of salt, vinegar, and various spices. It is popular enough that you should be able to find it in most health food stores in most parts of the country. While you could buy premade kimchi, as with most foods it is more beneficial to prepare your own homemade batch.
Why should you start eating kimchi? It is a source of probiotics cultivated from the process of fermentation. Not only is the taste of kimchi enhanced, it also creates healthy bacteria, Lactobacillus that is essential for a healthy gut and digestive system.
Cabbage is already well known for its detoxification qualities and soothes inflammation. Fermenting it, makes it completely bioavailable with enhanced nutrients that can also help prevent diabetes, obesity, ulcers, and possibly reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Kimchi is a staple of Korean cuisine and you may want to consider adding it to your diet. Learn more about the health benefits of kimchi, including its ability to improve gut health. Once you see how beneficial this fermented food is, you may try out the homemade kimchi recipe given below.
1. Improve Your Gut Health
Cabbage is already known for its benefits for healing the gut, but eating kimchi can far more improve your gut health and aid digestion. Since it is a fermented food, it contains healthy probiotics that can promote healthy bacteria in your stomach. Eat more kimchi to ease digestion issues and strengthen your immune system.
2. Kimchi Contains Powerful Antioxidants
Kimchi contains a variety of powerful antioxidants that can attack free radicals that are known to cause cancer. These antioxidants can also fight inflammation and strengthen your immune system. This may help you deal with eczema, arthritis, and other conditions that are impacted by inflammation or an autoimmune response.
3. Boost Your Immune System
The nutrient powerhouse kimchi is packed with a range of flavonoids and phenolic components. The variety of ingredients including ginger, garlic, peppers involved in the preparations of kimchi are super protectors that are renowned for their beneficial effect on the immune system. They help in fighting infections and are valuable in curing cold and flu symptoms.
4. Inhibit The Growth Of Cancerous Cells
Kimchi is a valuable food which helps in reducing the risk of development of various cancers. A study performed on its samples has validated its anti-cancer properties. Cabbage present in it contains healthful flavonoids which are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Another powerful cancer fighters present in cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage are glucosinolates. Glucosinolates break down to form isothiocyanates which are well known for their effectiveness against the cancer growth.
5. Slows Down The Aging Process
Ever wondered why Koreans always have that youthful look? This is just one of the many amazing benefits of kimchi you can consider: Kimchi, after two weeks of being fermented, is rich in antioxidants that decrease the rate of aging of the skin. It also inhibits cell oxidation, making you look calm and relaxed, even though you’re under a lot of stress.
6. Lower Blood Sugar Levels
A study conducted on high-fat diet-fed type-2 diabetic subjects who were given kimchi revealed the powerful anti-diabetic properties of this Korean delicacy. The study showed better glucose tolerance and lower levels of fasting glucose after eating kimchi-containing diet in the diabetic subjects. The same study also suggested that kimchi can prove more useful in diabetes if it is eaten with normal or low-fat diet instead of high-fat food.
7. Gastric ulcers
Kimchi exerts therapeutic effects in gastritis and peptic ulcer disease caused by helicobacter pylori bacteria. A study conducted in this regard has shown that the antagonistic activity of kimchi attributes to the abundance of Lactobacillus bacteria that inhibits the harmful pathogens from connecting to the human gastric cancer cells.
8. Lose Weight By Eating Kimchi
Kimchi is a great source of fiber, and together with the healthy probiotics, it is powerful for helping you maintain a healthy digestive system. When you are trying to lose weight, you want to strengthen your metabolism and increase your ability to burn calories. By improving your digestive system, you can naturally boost your metabolism and prevent weight gain or promote weight loss.
Along with these benefits, eating kimchi can also help to protect against dermatitis, prevent cancer, and slow down the aging process. If you would like to enjoy these benefits, then use the following kimchi recipe to begin preparing your own batch of this fermented meal.
HOMEMADE KOREAN KIMCHI RECIPE
This is a fairly simple recipe to follow and it can easily be adjusted to suit your tastes. The first time you make your own kimchi, you should follow these instructions. After trying it out, feel free to add other ingredients, such as fish or shrimp, as desired.
- 2 heads of Napa cabbage (shredded)
- 5 scallions or spring onions (finely chopped)
- 3 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger
- 2 jalapenos (minced)
- 2 tablespoons of red chili pepper (crushed)
- ½ an onion
- ½ a teaspoon of sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of raw honey
- Before preparing your kimchi, you should decide how you want to store it. Most people use large glass jars, such as mason jars, but any container with an airtight lid should suffice.
- Start making your kimchi by combining all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, but leave out the sea salt and raw honey. These two ingredients are used to as a culture starter to begin the fermentation process.
- After combining the ingredients, remove two cups of the mixture and place in a blender. Add just enough water to create a thick juice out of the ingredients in the blender. Add the sea salt and raw honey and then blend until thoroughly combined. Pour this mixture into your container and pack down with your first.
- Once firmly packed down, add the rest of the mixture from the mixing bowl into the container. Leave about two inches at the top of the container. Roll up a few spare cabbage leaves and place on top of the mixture to fill the remaining two inches, but pack the leaves in loosely. Seal the container or secure the lid.
- Now the fermentation process can start. Store your container in a 70-degree room for at least three days and up to seven days. Once you open the lid and begin eating the kimchi, you should store the leftovers in your fridge. This will slow down the fermentation process.
Kimchi is an easy condiment to prepare, but it takes time to ferment. It can also sometimes be an acquired taste. If you are not happy with the taste after trying, do not give up. Try it a few more times and then start experimenting with the recipe until you find a variation of kimchi that you enjoy.
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