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The Health Benefits of Kimchi on Prediabetes and Obesity

Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen · Dietetics and Nutrition

Written by Fred Layno · Updated Mar 14, 2022

    The Health Benefits of Kimchi on Prediabetes and Obesity

    Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables. It is a staple food. Aside from being a side dish, it is also used in a variety of soups and stews. It has several variations depending on the region, but they are commonly made with napa cabbage, radish, scallions, and spices. Aside from aiding in weight loss, there are numerous health benefits of kimchi. Learn them here. 

    Benefits of Kimchi on Obesity and Prediabetes

    Researchers have found that some benefits of kimchi include preventing or reducing obesity,  as well as helping prevent diabetes. A study published in the Nutrition Research journal shows how overweight and obese patients saw a significant decrease in body weight, body mass index, and body fat after consuming fermented kimchi over a 4-week diet phase. 

    Consuming kimchi during the diet period also showed a significant decrease in the waist-hip ratio, as well as blood glucose among the patients. There was also a tendency for a decrease in fasting insulin after consumption of fermented kimchi.

    The same study also found that individuals who consumed fermented kimchi showed better results in lowering blood pressure, body fat, fasting glucose, and total cholesterol than those who consumed fresh kimchi.

    Another study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism showed kimchi to be helpful among individuals with prediabetes. A group of 21 participants was enrolled in an 8-week diet where they consumed fermented kimchi. After the 8-week period, these participants showed a decrease in their systolic and diastolic blood pressure. They were also found to be more resistant or sensitive to insulin. Their tolerance to glucose has also improved. 

    Probiotics in Kimchi

    Now you know the benefits of kimchi in weight loss, let’s check out its other effects on the body. Kimchi, like all fermented foods, can be beneficial to one’s health due to its unique and functional properties. Fermented food contains probiotics, live microorganisms that help fight bad bacteria and maintain the “good” bacteria (normal microbial flora) in the body. Some microorganisms found in kimchi include Bacillus mycoides, B. pseudomycoides, and B. subtilis. 

    Every day, we unconsciously swallow disease-carrying bacteria, known as pathogens, and yet we do not always get sick from them. This is because the good bacteria found in the intestinal linings of our bodies help us take care of them. Probiotics found in kimchi create acidic fermentation byproducts,  which lower your intestine’s pH, as well as secrete proteins that kill the bad bacteria. Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurt and sauerkraut. 

    One of the benefits of kimchi is that it also acts as antioxidants that fight off free radicals and help prevent or slow down cell damage. Kimchi can also help in preventing diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer, gastrointestinal problems, allergic reactions, and diabetes. 

    Kimchi is good for the digestion

    Other benefits of kimchi include improved digestion and better synthesis of vitamins and minerals. The probiotics found in kimchi helps you break down complex carbohydrates as well as help metabolize other nutrients that are beneficial to your body. They can help in synthesizing and producing vitamins that your body needs such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 and K.

    Eating kimchi is also beneficial in restoring your gut health, especially after taking antibiotics. Some antibiotic medicine can give one digestive problems since they can also wipe out the good bacteria along with the bad. Eating fermented foods such as kimchi return good bacteria to your gut. Be sure to eat a high-fiber diet as these help the good bacteria flourish in your body. 

    Learn other Nutrition Facts here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Expertly reviewed by

    Chris Icamen

    Dietetics and Nutrition

    Written by Fred Layno · Updated Mar 14, 2022

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