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  • Liza Boone

7 Benefits for Holistic Longevity with Kimchi


celebrating the health benefits of kimchi

Kimchi is an easy, DIY fermented food originating from Korean cuisine.


I like to season just about everything with it as it is very versatile. If you make it yourself, you can adjust the spiciness to your taste.


It is easily made with napa cabbage, daikon, green onions, fish sauce, gochugaru chili pepper and salt in about 30 minutes and left to ferment on your countertop for a week.


Once you have the supplies, the recipe is very easy. Click here to skip to the recipe.


kimchi is easy to make at home DIY

The fermentation of kimchi is mainly caused by unique, naturally occurring lactic acid bacteria found in the environment: Weissella confusa, Leuconostoc citreum, Lactobacillus sakei, and Lactobacillus curvatus to be exact. [3]


Kimchi is also a good source of vitamins K & A, calcium, magnesium, lutein, beta-sitosterol capsaicin, chlorophyll, carotenoids, flavonoids, and isothiocyanate - actives not easily found in western diets.



So now you know what’s in kimchi, here are the 7 benefits for holistic longevity studies have shown kimchi to have:

7 Holistic Longevity Benefits of Kimchi - @LearningWithDrLiza

1. Blood Pressure Modulation

A human study of twenty-two overweight people showed that fermented kimchi had a positive effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressures.[1]


2. Weight Loss

The same study above showed fermented kimchi had a positive result on percent body fat.


The calories in a 100g serving, about ½ cup, are a measly 15 while the fiber content is high at 1.6g making the net carbs just 2.4.


3. Blood Glucose Modulation

And again, the above study using kimchi resulted in a positive effect on fasting blood glucose levels.


4. Cholesterol Modulation

Beneficial effects in atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) are seen via a reduction in low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol oxidation.[2]


5. Immune Response

Kimchi has been associated with an enhanced immune response. [2]


6. Anti-Aging

A 2011 study using a well established cellular-aging model revealed longer-fermented kimchi neutralized cellular oxidative stress, increased cell viability and slowed down of fat oxidation.[4]


Reducing fat oxidation is important for longevity because when cholesterol is oxidized it is known as LDL and it can increase risk of heart disease.


Kimchi also showed anti-aging effects through regulating the NF-κB gene. [4]


Nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) is a critical gene activator (transcription factor) for expression of many inflammatory cytokines that are involved in the development of disease.


Researchers concluded kimchi to have a "promising role as an anti-aging agent."[4]


7. Anti-Cancer Potential

Beneficial molecules produced during the fermentation process show anti-cancer effects through modulation of the Ras oncogene-signaling pathway. [2]


Ras is a molecular switch that transmits signals within the cell and is essential for regulating the growth of the cell. When mutations occur in the Ras gene it can be stuck in an active form, constantly activating pathways for cell growth and potentially leading to cancer. [6]


Active Ras is the most common oncogene in human cancer, found in around 20-25% of all human cancers. [6]


The benefits for longevity with kimchi are impressive and making kimchi is easy once you have the right ingredients.


Studies done on organic versus conventional cabbage as the main ingredient showed the organic version to have more positive effects. [5]


It is not easy to find organic napa cabbage, but if you can, or grow it yourself, it is definitely worth it.


I enjoy eating two DIY fermented foods for breakfast, kimchi with natto.


This dish is low-carb and calorie while supporting healthy cell growth and holistic longevity. Read more about natto here.


And now, the recipe for kimchi:


SUPPLIES:





INGREDIENTS:


  • kosher salt for curing

  • 1 large napa cabbage (2 lbs 2 oz OR 980g)

  • 2 medium sized carrots (optional if watching calories)

  • 1 small daikon radish (or any radishes 100g)

  • 1 bunch green onion

  • 1 large asian pear (250g) or other variety that is firm with low sugar

  • 6 cloves (20g) garlic, peeled

  • 2 inch (82g) piece ginger, peeled

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) fish sauce

  • 1/3 cup (65g) korean red pepper flakes *be careful with these, if yours are very spicy then reduce the amount to 1/4 cup (52g)*


INSTRUCTIONS:


  1. Take your napa cabbage and slice in half lengthwise then into quarters. Cut out the hard center if you like. Cut each of those quarters into 1-inch wide strips.

  2. Place cabbage into a large bowl, heavily seasoning it with kosher salt. Squeeze and toss your cabbage really hard. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.

  3. While the cabbage is sitting, take your green onions and cut the root bottoms off. Cut the onion into ½-inch segments. Take your carrots and roughly chop them julienne style. Next, peel your medium-sized daikon and cut them like your carrots, but a thicker julienne chop.

  4. Make the paste: slice your 2-inch segment of peeled ginger and place into a food processor. Peel and chop an asian pear into cubes and add to the processor. Add in 6 cloves of peeled garlic, and a ¼ cup of fish sauce. Blend until smooth.

  5. Transfer paste to a medium-sized bowl and mix together with korean red pepper flakes.

  6. After your cabbage has been sitting, drain through a colander and rinse with water while squeezing at the same time. Toss and squeeze until you’ve washed off the majority of the salt.

  7. Add your cabbage and all of the vegetables you cut into a large bowl. From there, add in all of your paste and toss to thoroughly coat. Once evenly coated, pack contents into a ½ gallon glass jar that is large enough to fit the mixture. Using a spoon or muddler, press down all of the vegetables so it is packed together, removing any air bubbles in there.

  8. Loosely cap the jar off, making sure you don’t tighten it all the way down (for it to release gas) and let it sit for 4-7 days. Make sure to press it throughout this time to remove air bubbles that form throughout.

  9. Once your kimchi has reached the desired flavor point, tighten the cap all the way and store it in the refrigerator.


- Liza



References

1. Kim EK, An SY, Lee MS, Kim TH, Lee HK, Hwang WS, Choe SJ, Kim TY, Han SJ, Kim HJ, Kim DJ, Lee KW. Fermented kimchi reduces body weight and improves metabolic parameters in overweight and obese patients. Nutr Res. 2011 Jun;31(6):436-43. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2011.05.011. PMID: 21745625.


2. Shin GH, Kang BC, Jang DJ. Metabolic Pathways Associated with Kimchi, a Traditional Korean Food, Based on In Silico Modeling of Published Data. Genomics Inform. 2016 Dec;14(4):222-229. doi: 10.5808/GI.2016.14.4.222. Epub 2016 Dec 31. PMID: 28154515; PMCID: PMC5287128.


3. Lee JS, Heo GY, Lee JW, Oh YJ, Park JA, Park YH, Pyun YR, Ahn JS. Analysis of kimchi microflora using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Int J Food Microbiol. 2005 Jul 15;102(2):143-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2004.12.010. PMID: 15992614.


4. Kim, B., Park, K.Y., Kim, H.Y. et al. Anti-aging effects and mechanisms of kimchi during fermentation under stress-induced premature senescence cellular system. Food Sci Biotechnol 20, 643–649 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10068-011-0091-9 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10068-011-0091-9


5. 7 Jul 2004 https://doi.org/10.1089/10966200360716544


6. Rajalingam K, Schreck R, Rapp UR, Albert S. Ras oncogenes and their downstream targets. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2007 Aug;1773(8):1177-95. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2007.01.012. Epub 2007 Jan 28. PMID: 17428555.


Any recommendations are options and should not be construed as medical advice. Any information given is for educational purposes only and is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any disease or conditions.


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