Anticancer Foods: Kimchi Uses & Benefits

Korean traditional fermented appetizer kimchi cabbage and radish salad, hot spicy anchovies fish snack served in glass jars and bowl with Vietnamese oregano and chili peppers over grey blue table.

Is there a way to store vegetables throughout the year? In the past it was impossible but with the advancements in technology now it is possible to store seasonal vegetables throughout the year in the fermented or pickled form.  Kimchi is a popular and traditional Korean dish consisting of fermented vegetables.

What Is Kimchi?

Kimchi mainly contains cabbage with seasonings like salt, sugar, garlic, and onions. Cabbage is often used with other vegetables like radish, celery, carrot, and cucumbers. The fermentation process may take a few days or weeks but freshly made kimchi can also be eaten.

Uses of Kimchi?

Traditionally kimchi was used as a condiment or spice but nowadays it is frequently added to sandwiches salads stir-fries and soup. In the past, it was a staple food of Korean households for many generations but nowadays kimchi has gained superstar status throughout the world. Due to its wide range of flavors and uses, the appeal of kimchi is broad and deep as it is a combination of different vegetables and seasonings it contains a range of flavors sweet, sour and spicy. It also serves as a condiment as a side dish, as a dip, or as a dish on its own.

There are different methods of making kimchi depending on the region and season in which you are making it. Ready-made kimchi is also available and it is not very expensive but, it can be fun to put together all the ingredients based on your preference. Making kimchi can take a little bit of time but its nutritional profile will make it worth your while.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Kimchi?

Contain probiotics:

The fermentation process not only increases the shelf-life of vegetables but also enhances their Aroma and flavor. Fermentation is a process which converts sugar or salt is  into alcohol by microorganisms like least bacteria or mold. Characteristic sourness of the kimchi is due to the action of a bacteria known as lactobacillus. When this Bacteria is taken as a supplement it offers many health benefits like treating diarrhea and hay fever.

Fermentation also allows other bacteria to multiply and thrive. These friendly bacteria are known as probiotics. Probiotics help in preventing and treating many diseases including cancer, the common cold, constipation, skin conditions, gastrointestinal conditions, etc.

Strengthens the immune system:

Kimchi is rich in Lactobacillus bacterium, a bacteria that helps strengthen the immune system. A study conducted on mice concluded that injecting the mice with lactobacillus bacterium showed reduced TNF alpha levels than the control group. TNF-alpha is a marker of disease and infection and a reduction in its level shows that the immune system is working properly.

Antioxidant properties:

A study conducted in 2008 showed that kimchi made with a variety of vegetables and seasonings contains powerful antioxidant properties. These antioxidants along with flavonoids and phenols exert a protective effect and protect the body against the harmful effects of reactive oxygen species and DNA damage.

What Makes Kimchi An Anti-cancer Food?

Along with other health benefits, kimchi also reduces the risk of cancer. A study conducted on kimchi showed that it contains ingredients that are harmful to the growth of unbeneficial cells. Glucosinolates present in cabbage break down to form isothiocyanates which inhibit cancer cell growth. As cabbage is the main ingredient present in kimchi so kimchi is hailed for its anticarcinogenic properties. Powerful antioxidants present in kimchi also contribute to its anticarcinogenic properties. We know that cancer can develop due to DNA damage and reactive oxygen species play an important role in this process. So, by fighting reactive oxygen species one can reduce the risk of cancer.



Chef Shedric

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