Probably thinking How Much Kimchi Should I Eat Per Day? Kimchi is a Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables. It is popular in Korea, as well as in Chinese and Japanese dishes. One of the most common varieties of kimchi is made with napa cabbages, which are fermented by lactobacillus bacteria. Kimchi is one of the many foods that can give you the nutrients that you need in order to
keep yourselves fit, active and healthy. But is there a limit on how much kimchi you should eat per day? And why is it so important that you have it? If you’re planning to move to South Korea, you’re going to have to learn how much kimchi you should be eating per day. Before starting, I want to stress that this question is fun! If you don’t actually want to figure out how much kimchi you should
eat per day, then do not read this article. Kimchi is a pretty awesome food. If you’ve never had it before, then I recommend getting some your local Korean joint or a make your own batch — it’s super easy. Kimchi has been linked to improving cold symptoms, supporting fat loss (hooray), and improving brain health. But have you ever wondered what the actual health benefits of kimchi are?
How Much Kimchi Should I Eat Per Day
Ever wondered how much kimchi you should eat per day? I have. In fact, it was one of the first questions I asked when I started living in Korea. Since then, I’ve found out that there isn’t really a single answer to this question. Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish, and it’s healthy! There are many ways to eat kimchi. You can put it in stews or marinate meats in it. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you don’t even have to miss out on eating kimchi. You can eat kimjang kimchi, which is made without meat or fish.
According to the CDC, the percentage of obese adults in the United States was 42.4% in 2018, rising from 30.5% in 2000. The need for healthy foods has never been more important than it is right now with the number of processed foods in our daily diets. Enter Kimchi, a healthy food that might be a good option for many.
Kimchi is a Korean slaw that is salted and fermented in order to preserve the vegetables similar to common pickling methods. Most commonly, kimchi is made with cabbage and one or more types of radishes. Other common ingredients may include celery, spinach, carrot, onion, or cucumber as well as Korean root vegetables and herbs.
Kimchi is also often characterized by its spice. Spices will vary by recipe but the most common traditional spices in kimchi include ginger, garlic, sugar, Korean red pepper, onion powder, among others. Fish sauce or salted fish paste is also often used in making kimchi and contributes to the salinity and flavor.
Kimchi is full of beta-carotene and other antioxidant compounds that can help reduce the risk of serious health conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Kimchi is also an excellent source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Nutrients per Serving
A one-cup serving of kimchi contains:
- Calories: 23
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: Less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Sugar: 2 grams
Contains Gut-Friendly Bacteria
It’s no secret that yogurt is good for your gut, but you may not know that kimchi is also a source of probiotics, which are friendly bacteria that offer a number of health benefits.
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, including more foods like kimchi in your diet may help restore microbe balance in your gut, improve bowel function and give your immune system a boost.
Probiotics may also be used to help manage symptoms caused by irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, which is a chronic digestive condition that causes abdominal pain, gas, constipation or diarrhea.
Vitamin A for Heart Health
A 100-gram serving of kimchi has 18 percent of the daily value of vitamin A, based on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet. As a natural antioxidant, vitamin A may reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration and cancer, which can be caused by free radicals — produced as your body digests food.
Vitamin A is also needed for healthy body development, including in embryos and fetuses, and it’s vital for maintaining healthy vision. The daily recommended intake of vitamin A is between 700 and 900 for men and women over 14 years of age and between 1,200 and 1,300 micrograms for women who are nursing.
Vitamin C for Immune Health
A 100-gram serving of kimchi has 18 percent of the daily value of vitamin C. Like vitamin A, vitamin C is also a natural antioxidant, protecting your body’s cells from damage from free radicals.
Vitamin C aids in the production of numerous proteins, especially collagen, which keeps your skin elastic, and helps your body produce and maintain your ligaments, tendons and blood vessels.
It’s also essential for repairing wounds. The adequate intake of vitamin C for adults is between 75 and 90 milligrams per day (80 to 120 if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding). If you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke, MedlinePlus recommends that you increase your daily intake by 35 milligrams.
Things to Watch Out For
Kimchi’s status as a probiotic is helpful for many people, but it still contains live bacteria. The bacteria used to ferment kimchi are safe to consume. However, if kimchi is not properly prepared or stored, the fermentation process can cause food poisoning. As a result, people with compromised immune systems should take caution when eating kimchi or other fermented foods.
How Often Should You Eat Kimchi
In order for the benefits of kimchi to be effective, probiotics and beneficial bacteria need to be consumed regularly. Regular can mean a lot of different things to everyone so more specifically, it is recommended that one serving (100g) of kimchi is consumed daily. This recommendation is only to maximize the health benefits that you’re looking to get out of consummation.
How to prepare kimchi
Although people can purchase kimchi at many grocery stores and Korean markets, they may also consider preparing it at home.
It can be safe to make kimchi at home, but people must follow proper sanitation practices to prevent contamination by spoilage or harmful bacteria. This will involve proper hand-washing, using clean equipment, and cleaning surfaces throughout all preparation steps.
To safely prepare kimchi at home:
- Prepare the cabbage:
- Rinse the cabbage and discard any spoiled or damaged spots.
- Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core from each.
- Then, chop these quarters into 2-inch (in) pieces.
- Salt the cabbage:
- Prepare a saltwater solution, comprising half a cup of salt and 1 gallon of cold water, in a large mixing bowl.
- Briefly dip the cabbage in the saltwater solution, then discard the salt water.
- Place the cabbage in a bowl. Sprinkle over some salt, then massage it into the cabbage.
- Allow the cabbage to sit at room temperature for 3–6 hours.
- Rinse the cabbage three to four times with cold water, then place it in a colander for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the seasonings:
- Add sweet rice flour to half a cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and set aside to cool.
- Clean, peel, and finely mince the garlic and ginger. Mix with the cooled sweet rice flour paste and add Korean red pepper powder.
- Clean and peel the radish, green onions, and Asian pear. Slice into matchsticks about 1 in in length.
- Using clean hands, mix the seasoning paste and vegetables together in a large mixing bowl.
- Then, mix in fish sauce to create a veggie paste.
- Combine the cabbage with the spicy veggie paste, rub together, and mix thoroughly.
- Pack the container:
- Pack the kimchi tightly into the container, minimizing air exposure and encouraging brine formation.
- Fill the container about two-thirds full with kimchi and cover tightly.
- If using jars, seal them fingertip tight. If using bags, squeeze out any excess air.
- Place the kimchi in the refrigerator so that it ferments slowly over 3–4 days. This may be preferable, especially during hot weather.
- Alternatively, place the sealed container in a well-ventilated location with a relatively constant room temperature.
- Ferment for only 1–2 days at room temperature, tasting it daily until it reaches one’s preferred taste and desired texture.
- People can now store the kimchi in the refrigerator. It is important to cover it tightly to minimize air exposure. Kimchi may become more sour and spoil over time.
- Discard the kimchi if there are any signs of mold or if it develops a strong, foul odor.
Kimchi Food Pairings
Kimchi, originating in Korea, is often paired with other Korean or Asian dishes. One of the most popular pairings is the Korean dish Bulgogi, combining to create a dish called Bulgogi Kimchi Pasta. Alternatively, kimchi is often added to fried rice to create a nutritionally balanced meal. Other dishes that include kimchi as the base may include:
- Kimbap (sushi roll)
- Kimchijeon (Kimchi Pancakes)
- Kimchi Dumplings
- Kimchi Udon
- Bibim Guksu
Other foods kimchi pairs well with which may be more common in the diet of an individual in the United States or are more accessible ingredients may include:
As you can see, kimchi pairs well with almost any food group and can be used to adapt any dish to provide many of the benefits listed above that foods in your previous diet may not have provided.
The health benefits of kimchi
Kimchi is well known as one of the healthiest foods in the world. It has a long history of being used in the Korean cuisine and more recently it’s become popular all over the world. The health benefits of kimchi are endless and there are many research papers on how this fermented vegetable has antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein. So why not make your own kimchi? This post will teach you how.
Kimchi has been touted in the scientific literature as having anticancer and antioxidant properties—all thanks to its phytochemicals (aka the good-for-you plant compounds). We also know that kimchi’s probiotics are good for our gut health, and that extends out to other systems in and functions of our body.
The research on kimchi also seems to be growing, so we’ve culled a few notable and exciting (though some are preliminary) benefits to eating this fermented vegetable side dish.
1. Improves your cholesterol
In a study of Korean adults, those who were fed just under 1½ cups of kimchi each day for 7 days significantly improved their cholesterol levels. Interestingly, the group who ate much less kimchi (only 2 pieces at each meal) also saw their cholesterol drop. That said, regardless of which group participants were in, those with cholesterol levels officially considered “high” reaped bigger benefits (i.e., greater drop in cholesterol) than their counterparts with healthier cholesterol numbers.
2. May boost fat burn
In a month-long study of mice, those fed a high-fat diet, plus probiotics from kimchi, gained less weight and body fat than they technically should have. The high-fat-diet-eating mice also had better blood sugar control than anticipated. Important to note here, though, is that the research was done in animals, not humans, and also the mice weren’t fed kimchi, but probiotics extracted from kimchi.
3. Keep your brain sharp
In another animal study, mice were given an amyloid beta compound, which is known to impair your brain’s learning and memory and is also associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the mice also received kimchi extracts, and that group recovered from the cognitive deficits imposed by the amyloid beta. To up the brain-boosting foods in your diet, try these top foods from the MIND diet.
4. May enhance nutritional value
The process of fermentation, by mainly lactobacillus bacteria, may enhance the nutritional value of the fermented food. This is because the bacteria themselves synthesise vitamins and minerals and the process of fermentation deactivates some less favourable compounds, which we commonly refer to anti-nutrients. May support heart health
Compounds known as biologically active peptides, such as conjugated linoleic acids (CLA), are produced by the bacteria responsible for fermentation and may have a blood-lowering effect. Compounds in kimchi also appear to help keep blood vessels clear of the damaging effects of atherosclerosis.
5. May help blood sugar management
Studies suggest that consuming kimchi appears to have positive effects on body weight, body mass index (BMI) and glucose management. How exactly eating fermented kimchi supports these beneficial effects is not fully understood, and more research is needed to understand the mechanics involved.
6. May reduce inflammation
Active compounds in fermented foods including kimchi have anti-inflammatory effects this has wide-ranging benefits from supporting vascular health to improving memory and cognitive function.
Are there any drawbacks to eating kimchi?
The most common—and expected—drawback is that kimchi is spicy. The taste alone could be a deterrent, but also if spicy foods ignite your acid reflux, that’s another con to eating kimchi.
There is also some research in Koreans that suggests the nitrite, nitrate and salt content of kimchi could raise your risk of gastric cancer—particularly in those who eat higher-than-typical amounts of kimchi. That said, other reports and research indicate that the average Korean typically eats around 1 to 1½ cups of kimchi each day—far more than what most Americans likely consume.