What is kimchi?
Kimchi is a staple dish in every South Korean household. It is traditionally made by fermenting vegetables in a mixture of Asian chives, carrots, onions, gochugaru (chili powder or flakes), ginger, garlic, red pepper, salt, sugar, puréed anchovies or salted shrimp, and fish sauce. Originally made for the winter season, kimchi is stored in traditional brown ceramic pots called onggi and buried underground for two weeks to over a year.
There are about 100 variations of kimchi, such as kkakdugi (cubed radish), chonggak (ponytail radish), oi sobagi (cucumber), and baek kimchi (white kimchi). The most famous version of kimchi is the baechu-kimchi or fermented napa cabbage.
What are the health benefits of kimchi?
Apart from its sour, spicy flavor that goes well with any meal, kimchi offers a lot of health benefits.
It boosts your immune system
Kimchi has lactobacillus, which helps boost your immune system by fighting off infections. Also, kimchi is naturally anti-inflammatory and rich in antioxidants, which get rid of free radicals and keep the immune system strong.
It improves digestive health
Perhaps the least surprising of the health benefits of kimchi is its effect on the digestive system. Fermented foods like kimchi can improve intestinal health by regulating the levels of good bacteria in the gut. These may also help reduce the occurrence of diarrhea and constipation. The probiotics in kimchi can also assist the digestive system in absorbing nutrients from the food you eat.