Kimchi is a fermented cabbage dish from Korea that is often referred to as “Korea’s national dish.” It’s so pungent that those who enjoy eating copious amounts of kimchi have been known to purchase a separate fridge dedicated to storing it. For decades, Korean mothers have sworn by the health benefits of adding kimchi to one’s diet, but now it seems scientists agree as well. New research published in the Journal of Medicinal Food suggests that eating even a small amount of kimchi every day may help lower cholesterol, LDL (“bad cholesterol”), and fasting blood glucose levels.

A research team at Pusan National University in South Korea studied 100 male college students living in school dormitories. Participants were separated into three groups: Group 1 ate a large quantity (210 grams) of kimchi every day, Group 2 ate a small quantity (15 grams) of kimchi every day, and Group 3 didn’t eat any at all. Other than quantities of kimchi, participants consumed the same food and exercised for one hour every day. After the experiment was completed, the difference in results between the three groups was remarkable.

Participants in both the large quantity and small quantity groups saw decreases in cholesterol levels, although the large quantity group saw much greater drops. In addition, participants who displayed extremely high levels of cholesterol before the experiment (cholesterol levels of over 190mg/dl and LDL of over 130mg/dl) saw the largest decrease in cholesterol levels. What’s more, participants began seeing results in as little as one week.

Kimchi contains vitamins A, B, and C, as well as lactic-acid bacillius, bacteria that are known to improve the digestion of lactose and control serum cholesterol levels. If even a small amount of kimchi every day helps to improve your health, why not give it a try. At any rate, maybe the saying should be changed to “some kimchi a day keeps the doctor away.”

Source: Iroiro (Japanese)

Image: Closet Cooking