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What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables such as cabbage, radish and scallions, combined with spices and seasonings. It can be eaten by itself or used in cooking for flavour.

In Australia, kimchi is fast growing in popularity due to its incredible health benefits. This article outlines the 7 reasons why kimchi has earned super food status!

Let Them Eat kimchi fritter

7 reasons why you need more kimchi in your life

Reason #1: Nutrient Dense Deliciousness 

Kimchi is packed with nutrients. Typically made from vegetables such as cabbage, celery and spinach, it is a great source of Vitamin K, Iron, Folate, Vitamin B6 and C. The process of fermentation can break down compounds that affect nutrient absorption, making it easier for your body to absorb vitamins and minerals. So, by incorporating kimchi into your meals, you can increase your intake of essential vitamins and minerals, while enjoying a flavourful and satisfying dish.

Reason #2: Probiotic Power

Kimchi is rich in beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. These help maintain a healthy balance of microorganisms in the gut. Probiotics improve your digestion and support immune function. For people who suffer from Crohn’s disease, probiotics are highly beneficial. Having the right balance of good and bad bacteria can also help to relieve IBS symptoms.

Reason #3: Immune System Support

The lacto—fermentation process that kimchi undergoes uses the bacteria called Lactobacillus to break down sugars into lactic acid. Lactobacillus assists in reducing inflammation, which in turn helps the body fight off infections. Kimchi also contains a high amount of Vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help protect the body from infections.

Reason #4: Happy and Healthy Heart

As kimchi presents anti-inflammatory properties, studies have shown  its potential to decrease blood sugar and cholesterol levels, lowering blood pressure and reducing inflammation in the body. Typically kimchi will contain garlic and ginger, a combo shown to have blood thinning and anti-blood clot properties. These factors make kimchi an excellent addition to a heart healthy diet, providing both flavour and health benefits.

Reason #5: Brain Function Boost

The probiotics in kimchi have been shown to have a positive impact on cognitive function, reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Studies have shown that fermented foods can potentially reduce inflammation, which has been linked to a range of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. Kimchi also contains high levels of Vitamin B6, which is known to promote brain health by aiding in the synthesis of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. What a tasty way to help both your mental and physical health!

Reason #6: Super Easy, Super Delicious 

The thought of preparing fermented food at home may seem daunting, but it’s super easy! Firstly, select your vegetable such as cabbage or radishes. Slice these thinly and spread salt on each side. Create layers in a tray and let them sit for 2-3 hours. Remove the excess salt by rinsing the vegetables. Mix rice flour, ginger, garlic, chilli, saeujeot pepper and any other spices you wish, into a paste, adding water if needed. Toss all together and pack into a jar or tight container to sit and ferment for a minimum of 3 days, up to 3 weeks!

Reason #7: Long-lasting Goodness

One of the unique benefits of kimchi is its ability to last for a long time! Traditionally, kimchi was created as a way to preserve vegetables during the winter months when fresh produce was scarce. Now you can enjoy this yummy food all year round! Not only does the fermentation process enhance all the flavours, but the acidic environment prevents soilage. Your little jar can last for weeks up to months in the fridge, making it a convenient and cost-effective option.

Overall kimchi is a nutritious and flavoursome food. It is important to note it can be high in sodium, so should be consumed in moderation.

At Let Them Eat, we love kimchi! In a standout combination with sweet potato, our kimchi and sweet potato fritter will get your tastebuds tingling! Grab one today!

Keen to try our kimchi and sweet potato fritters? Simply head down to a Let Them Eat location near you.