Kimchi Nutrition & Health

It has been scientifically proven that Kimchi is very nutritious and is recommended as a healthy food choice all over the word. In fact, Kimchi was listed as one of the five healthiest foods in the world by Health Magazine in 2008. Higher in lactobacilli than yogurt, and an excellent source fiber, Kimchi is an excellent digestive aid. The high levels of vitamins A, B and C make it exceptionally nutritious as well.

Kimchi Nutrition Facts

Kimchi is very high in fiber and low in calories, making it an exceptional weight loss food. A typical (100 gram) serving will provide you with more than half of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C. It also contains high amounts of carotene which your body converts to vitamin A. Rich in scallions, chili peppers and garlic, Kimchi is an excellent source of selenium, which is instrumental in lowering cholesterol and promoting healthy skin and hair. An excellent source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, iron and calcium, fermented Kimchi also contains beneficial bacteria and lactic acid.

Nutritional Value of Various Types of Kimchi (per 100 g)

Baechu Kimchi Yoelmu Kimchi (young radish kimchi) Cucheong Kimchi (radish leaves kimchi) Kakdugi (radish kimchi) Dongchimi Green onion Kimchi
Calories (kcal) 29 31 24 40 9 55
Water(%) 88.8 88.6 85.9 87.7 93.6 84.2
Protein (g) 2.2 3.0 2.7 2.1 0.7 3.4
Fat (g) 0.5 0.6 0.2 0.5 0.2 2.3
Sugars (g) 4.7 4.6 2.4 7.0 1.1 5.7
Fiber (g) 0.7 0.7 0.9 0.8 0.4 2.1
Minerals (mg) 0.5 0.4 0.6 2.6 3.6 1.4
Calcium (mg) 45 44 3 43 1 158
Phosphorus (mg) 28 28 35 23 12 74
Iron (mg) 0.4 0.4 0.5 0.4 0.2 1.9
Vitamin A (R.E) 16 16 149 9 6 154
Vitamin B1(mg) 0.05 0.04 0.04 0.04 0.01 0.07
Vitamin B2(mg) 0.08 0.06 0.07 0.06 0.03 0.15
Vitamin C (mg) 21 22 19 11 7 2.1
Niacin (mg) 0.5 0.4 3.3 0.4 1.0 0.1


Reference: World Kuk Sul Do Union (9)

Health Benefits of Kimchi

The combination of garlic, ginger, chilli peppers, scallions and cabbage make Kimchi a true super food. These foods are all very high in nutrients and when you combine the benefits of fermentation on digestion and colon health you have a real winner.

In addition to being high in essential vitamins and minerals, Kimchi is known to lower cholesterol and assist in weight loss. In studies performed by the Food and Nutrition Department at Inje University, it was found that regularly eating Kimchi reduced blood cholesterol levels by 21%.(10)

Kimchi is known to aid in digestion and promote colon health, mainly because of the lactic acid and lactobacteria and bifidobacteria in it. The fermentation process itself also aids in digestion.

The selenium in garlic, as well as its anti-oxidant properties is very beneficial to healthy skin and hair. Many famous women in history ate fermented vegetables regularly because they believed they enhanced their beauty. Cleopatra, Yang Gyuibee and Queen Elizabeth all professed the beauty benefits of eating fermented vegetables. There is a good reason that Koreans age so gracefully – Kimchi!

Many studies have been done regarding Kimchi’s effect on cancer. In these studies, it was found that isocyanate and sulphide in cabbage and radishes can work to prevent cancer. The high levels of vitamins A and C in the chillies slow the growth of cancer cells and the Capsaicin in them can help to prevent lung cancer. The high dietary fiber levels in Kimchi, along with the lactobacilli and lactic acid produced during the fermentation process are very beneficial to the intestines and colon and can prevent colon cancer. (10)

Cancer-fighting, lowering cholesterol, anti-aging, aiding in digestion and boosting immunity – how many foods can claim such benefits? Kimchi is truly a wonderful tasting and extremely healthy food!



Next :  Chapter 3. Making & Storing Kimchi
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