Kimchi is a food originating in Korea, it consists of a fermented vegetable that has different ways of being prepared.

 

From a health point of view, it is a food rich in vitamins, vegetable fiber, beta-carotene and lactobacilli, the latter are bacteria that constitute a type of probiotic .

How to prepare kimchi

This traditional Korean dish is made from cabbage (cabbage), chives or scallions, and red peppers.

The cabbage should be cut into strips and washed, then a copious amount of salt is added after which water is added (the use of chlorine water should be avoided as this does not allow fermentation to occur).

After a few hours the cabbage is removed from the water, which must be preserved, washed well under fresh water and mixed with seasonings to give it flavor. These include garlic, ginger, ground dried bell pepper, chives, radish, and even fish sauce.

Once the cabbage is mixed with the seasonings, it is placed in a glass jar, the jar is filled with part of the water in which it was previously submerged with the salt (brine) and covered well. It is left out of the refrigerator for about 5 days and then refrigerated for up to 3 months.

This process causes the vegetables to ferment and acquire a sour taste. It is a flavor that can be strong at first, but to which the palate adapts later. Depending on the amount of ginger and pepper that is added, it will be more or less spicy.

Each time it is to be consumed, care must be taken when opening the bottle, since fermentation causes the production of gases.

How to consume kimchi

Kimchi is used as a side to meals or it can even be served alone as a main dish.

Another way to use it is as a base to prepare soups, sauces, stews or even pancakes and tortillas. It can also be used as a kind of sauce to prepare hamburgers, sandwiches, sandwiches or even hot dogs.

It can be consumed daily without posing any health risk

Benefits of fermented foods like kimchi

 

Fermented foods such as kimchi are rich in probiotics, a type of live bacteria that are very beneficial for health.

Probiotics have several beneficial health effects, including:

They prevent the appearance of infections

Intestinal infections are often the product of an alteration in the protective bacteria that are part of the intestinal flora, which allows the colonization and proliferation of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections.

The fermented ones are a source of lactobacilli, the main type of “good” bacteria that help improve the microbial balance of the intestine, which is important when preventing the appearance of infections.

Regulate the function of the immune system

Lactobacilli-type bacteria have an important effect on the functioning of the immune system.

They stimulate the production of a type of antibody, immunoglobulin A, necessary for the protection of mucous membranes, stimulate the proliferation of certain defense cell lines and help limit inflammatory processes. These effects do not only occur at the digestive level, these benefits have also been observed at the urinary system level.

They improve intestinal motility

Another benefit of probiotics is their effect on intestinal mobility, which has led them to be of great help in treating conditions such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

At this point, kimchi has a great advantage over another widely used fermented food such as yogurt, this consists of its high content of vegetable fiber.

Improve symptoms of lactose intolerance

People with lactose intolerance have discomfort such as crampy abdominal pain, bloating, gas, and changes in bowel movements due to their inability to metabolize lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products.

Some types of probiotics are capable of fermenting lactose, reducing these symptoms.

They help reduce fat levels in the blood

The bacteria in the flora are capable of inhibiting the absorption of bile salts, substances contained in the bile and which are necessary for the absorption of fats at the intestinal level. This leads to lower levels of fats in the blood.

Another mechanism by which this has been suggested to occur is by inhibiting the activity of a liver enzyme called HMGCoA reductase.

Inhibition of this enzyme is the same mechanism by which drugs called statins, which include simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin, exert their effects.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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