As reported by a Korean study, kimchi can lower the levels of both total cholesterol and specifically LDL (bad) cholesterol. The researchers conclude that eating kimchi regularly can help normalize cholesterol levels and even decreasing the risk of developing atherosclerosis.
The scientists suggest that fermentation, as well as allicin, a compound contained in garlic, which is one of the ingredients of kimchi, may be responsible for the cholesterol-lowering properties.
A tube study confirmed that kimchi may have anticancer properties, although it is unknown if the findings are limited to certain kinds of cancers. Kimchi has high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and β-sitosterol, a waxy compound found in certain vegetables that is used as an anti-inflammatory in medicines.
The combination of these two compounds, both of which kimchi contains naturally, is likely what accounted for the cancer-preventing findings.
Prediabetic patients that ate kimchi every day have been shown to have fewer sugar spikes and better fasting sugar levels than those that didn’t just after 1 month of eating kimchi regularly. This was especially true among those patients that ate a low or moderately fatty diet. Therefore, daily kimchi consumption may relieve diabetic symptoms.
Since kimchi is a complex and fermented food that often contains such outstanding ingredients as ginger, garlic, and pepper, it "borrows" its immune-boosting properties as well. That and the combination of antioxidants and Vitamin C guarantees for a real immune boost after eating a portion of kimchi, especially during flu season.
Kimchi is rich in dietary fiber and has very little calories, so it is a great food to eat if you want to feel fuller for longer. The fermented ingredients and antidiabetic effect may also suppress your appetite and make you crave less sugary foods. The weight loss effect of kimchi was confirmed in a study that found that the BMI of patients who ate kimchi for a month was lower than those who didn’t.
The same study that looked at the antidiabetic effect of kimchi found that the participants’ blood pressure also dropped after a month of eating the Korean dish. Although additional research should be done regarding the effect of kimchi on individuals with hypertension specifically, this food can potentially help manage blood pressure, too.
The anti-aging effects of kimchi have long been observed by Korean women, but a recent study also confirmed this observation by pointing out that kimchi reduces oxidative stress in the cells and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the body. These findings, among all, are not limited to skin tissue either, so kimchi may even have an overall rejuvenating effect on the body.