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Monday, August 27, 2012

Kimchi for Digestion: It’s a Kimchi World

Calling out all Celiacs, gluten intolerant, and wheat sensitive folks! Kimchi could be the answer!

First of all what is Kimchi?
Kimchi is a Korean side dish of fermented vegetables, Napa cabbage being the most common and popular. Kimchi is served at nearly every meal in Korea and is a staple in Korean diet.  
Napa Cabbage Kimchi
I recently started eating Kimchi regularly and I noticed that my digestion and bloaty-ness has greatly improved. It might take some getting use to, especially if you are foreign to a lot of Asian spices but hopefully by the end of this post I will have convinced you enough to go out and try it!

What else is in it?
The most common type of Kimchi consists of Napa cabbage brined with scallions, chili peppers, spices (red pepper flakes), ginger, garlic, and sometimes shrimp or fish sauce.
Typical ingredients for Kimchi
How does it help Digestion?
The fermentation process that the vegetables go through is what makes Kimchi so good for digestion. Specifically the lactobacillus that is most commonly found in yogurt, but well fermented Kimchi actually contains more lactic acid bacteria than most store bought yogurt. So for those who are lactose intolerant or sensitive to diary products Kimchi is a great alternate way to receive bacteria lactobacillus’s benefits.
Some of Lactobacillus's benefits in the digestive system:
- Helps alleviates Crohn's Diesease
- Inflammation of the colon
- Diarrhea
- Acid Reflux
- Bloating
- CD

Kimchi’s nutritional profile is so diverse; it pretty much has the entire vitamin alphabet (okay I’m joking, but it contains most of them :P)It is high in vitamin A, B, C, and Beta Carotene plus the vitamins double after 3 weeks of fermentation.
Kimchi was named the World’s Healthiest Foods by Health magazine. The link to the article is below:
High in fiber, low in sugar and fat, naturally gluten free, and a vitamin powerhouse, KIMCHI might be the next super food. Ya never know! J 

How does it REALLY taste?
Okay enough with all the health talk; you guys want to know if it actually tastes good right?!
It sorta tastes like sauerkraut on steroids and 5x more spicier. To me it is the perfect balance of sour, spicy, and salty. If the Kimchi has not been fermented too long the cabbage is crisp and has a bite to it, the longer it ferments the smell becomes more pungent and fragrant.
Fermentation Process
Kimchi's strong smell and distinctive taste might take some getting used to, but once you try it a couple of times it is incredibly addicting!!!  Trust me...my family thinks I've gone a bit over board, but hey if it helps with my digestion I'll eat it! :D
Are you eating your Kimchi?!  LOL
Please feel free to comment below telling us what foods works/helps your digestion or whatever gfree goodies you have in mind!