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10 Health Benefits of Kimchi

What is Kimchi?

Kimchi is a red, fermented cabbage dish made with a mix of salt, vinegar, garlic, chile peppers and other spices. These ingredients are mixed together and sealed in a tightly closed jar. This fermented food can be served with rice, noodles or soups. It boasts a ton of impressive health benefits, and after reading through the list, we’re sure you’ll want to pick some up.

10 Health Benefits of Kimchi

  1. Improve your Digestive Health – Lactobacillus is a probiotic required by the body in order to maintain healthy intestinal flora. You can find lactobacillus in several foods, including kimchi! It is a result of the fermentation process. In addition cabbage is known for its ability to detox and get rid of toxins and waste, which helps to clean out your intestines. There is also a significant amount of fiber present in Kimchi, which is essential for healthy bowel movements.
  2. Lower your Cholesterol – Kimchi is usually prepared with garlic, which is high in selenium and allicin. Allicin is useful in lowering cholesterol levels, therefore reducing the risk of certain cardiac disorders such as strokes and heart attacks. Selenium also helps protect the artery walls by preventing the build up of plaque. To experience these benefits, regular consumption of kimchi is required.
  3. Get your Antioxidants – Protect against oxidative damage and the effects of oxygen free radicals by consuming antioxidants, like those in kimchi, which contains antioxidants, phenols and flavanoids.
  4. Treat and Prevent Eczema – We already mentioned the presence of lactobacillus in kimchi, and its effect on digestive health, but it also has a positive effect when treating eczema. A study concluded that Kimchi contains beneficial bacteria that have the capacity to inhibit eczema by treating and preventing the inflammation of skin.
  5. Weight Control – The benefits of probiotics are endless, and here’s another one. Lactobacillus assists in weight control by controlling the appetite and reducing blood sugar levels. We also mentioned the fiber content as an important tool in healthy digestion, but it also aids in weight management by keeping you full and satisfied longer, which prevents over-eating.
  6. Strengthen your Immune System – Kimchi is packed with nutrients, in a range of flavanoids and phenolic components. Kimchi can be made with several ingredients, including garlic, ginger and peppers, all of which are known for their beneficial effect on the immune system. They are great at fighting infections and preventing and curing cold and flu symptoms.
  7. Benefit from Anti-aging Properties – With significant levels of antioxidants and vitamin C, it’s no wonder kimchi has anti-aging properties. A study revealed that kimchi helps regulate the inflammation that causes the aging process to speed up. In addition kimchi encourages collagen production in the body which improves skin elasticity and promotes healthy, young looking skin.
  8. Reduce your Risk of Developing Certain Cancers – Flavanoids, like those found in kimchi, are known to inhibit the growth of cancer cells.
  9. Soothe Gastric Ulcers – The lactobacillus bacteria in kimchi inhibits harmful pathogens from connecting to the human gastric cells, soothing and possibly preventing gastric ulcers.
  10. Supports Eye Health – Kimchi boasts 18% of your daily value of vitamin A, in just a 100-gram serving. Vitamin A is important in developing a healthy body and is helpful in the maintenance of clear and healthy eyesight.
Photo supplied by Green Table Foods, http://www.greentablefoods.com/our-products/organic-ferments

Photo supplied by Green Table Foods, http://www.greentablefoods.com/our-products/organic-ferments

If you’ve decided that you’d like to give Kimchi a try, we recommend Green Table Foods’, Organic Kimchi. It is non-GMO, wild lacto-fermented, vegan, gluten-Free, raw and contains no sugar, no fish, no sesame, no nuts or additives, no soy, no corn, no dairy, and no vinegar.

Sources

Maiquez, Lianne Martha. “9 Surprising Benefits of Kimchi That Will Make You Want To Try It Now.” n.d. lifehack.org. Online. 5 May 2015.

Organic Facts. “Health Benefits of Kimchi.” n.d. organicfacts.net. Online. 5 May 2015.

 

Foodie Fridays: Herb Popcorn

Foodie Friday

People often forget that you don’t need a microwave to make popcorn, so if you haven’t used your stovetop to make popcorn in a long time, whip out your old-fashioned popcorn kernals and get your biggest pot so you can try this Herb Popcorn.

This recipe comes from one of my new favourite cookbooks, Thug Kitchen, they make eating “real, healthy food” simple, without compromising taste.

Herb Topping

  • 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast

    cc licensed flickr photo by Joelle Nebbe-Mornod

    cc licensed flickr photo by Joelle Nebbe-Mornod

  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme or dill
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • a dash of salt

Popcorn

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of high heat oil, such as grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of dried corn kernels
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • a dash of salt (optional)

Instructions

Mix together the herb topping. Use your stovetop to make your popcorn. Onced its popped, dump it into a large bowl and pour the olive oil over it, until its covered. Sprinkle in the herb blend and toss. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Foodie Fridays: Herb Infused Honey

Foodie Friday

Want to shake things up? Grab an empty mason jar and some raw honey and try these herb infused honeys.

cc licensed flickr photo by Rebecca Siegel

cc licensed flickr photo by Rebecca Siegel

Ingredients

  • Honey
  • Your favourite herbs, try different combinations! Here are some suggestions to get you started:
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme
    • Sage
    • Lavendar

Instructions

Clean your mason jar (or any other glass jar) and place a couple sprigs of your preferred herbs inside. Pour your honey over the herbs and let steep for at least 5 days for maximum flavour.

Foodie Fridays: Mango, Bee Pollen Smoothie

Foodie FridayEarlier this week, we talked about the benefits of Bee Pollen. Now that you know the benefits, you can try this recipe at home! The original recipe was found on The Awesome Green, but we tweaked it a little. This smoothie is refreshing, smooth and creamy, plus it tastes great!

cc licensed flickr photo by Meal Makeover Moms

cc licensed flickr photo by Meal Makeover Moms

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen mango
  • 2 tsp of bee pollen
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup of vanilla almond milk (or any dairy substitute)

Instructions

Throw all of the ingredients in your blender, and blend until smooth. Drink immedietly to really benefit from this smoothie.

Foodie Fridays: Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Foodie Friday

The days have been getting warmer and it’s a nice reminder that summer is almost here! You’re probably looking forward to patio time, barbecues and cool treats. While we can’t get you the first two, we do have a recipe from the Thug Kitchen Cookbook that may satisfy your cravings for something icy and refreshing. You’ll even benefit from all the awesome health properties of Hibiscus that we talked about earlier in the week.

Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers

Ingredients

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

photo courtesy of the Thug Kitchen Cookbook

  • 6 cups of cubed watermelon (ideally seedless)
  • 1 1/2 cups of brewed hibiscus tea, cooled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons of agave nectar or your preferred liquid sweetener

Instructions

Freeze your watermelon for at least an hour. When it’s nice and frozen, grab your blender and fill it with the watermelon, along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste, and add more sweetener if that’s what you prefer. Enjoy your cool, refreshing Watermelon Hibiscus Coolers!

Foodie Friday: Sesame Edamame

Foodie Friday

As the store expands, so does our product selection! A couple of new products are already on our shelves, and one that we’re super excited about is MacKellar Farms’ Edamame!

mackellar

Edamame is considered one of the top ten “super foods” in the world, and we’re not surprised. Edamame, which is actually just a young soybean, is high in iron, protein, fibre and all of the essential amino acids. MacKellar’s edamame is special because it’s Canada’s first locally grown edamame. The majority of edamame consumed in North America is grown and processed in China. When you buy from MacKellar Farms you can be certain you’re getting the freshest, certified GMO-free edamame around, all while supporting a local farming family! You can find out more about MacKellar Farms here.

Here’s a simple, tasty and healthy Edamame recipe that is perfect as an afternoon snack, or a side with lunch or dinner.

Sesame Edamame

Ingredientsedamame
  • 3-4 cups (app. 1 lb) of MacKellar’s Edamame in Pod
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
Directions

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add edamame and boil for about 6 minutes, until the beans are crisp and tender.

While the beans are boiling, mix the olive oil, sesame oil, ginger, garlic and salt together.

When the beans are done cooking, drain the water and run cold water over the beans to cool them down. Drain well and pat off excess moisture. Next toss them in the dressing and top with the sesame seeds.

Hint: If you’re new to edamame don’t eat the pod! Hold the pod by the stem and slide the beans out with your teeth before discarding.

Tuesday’s Ten: World Health Day Special Edition

  5 TuesdayHappy World Health Day 2015

  Sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Health Day has been around since 1950. Each year, on April 7th, WHO celebrates by bringing awareness to various global health topics. This year, the topic is Food Safety. 

You may be wondering why Food Safety is such a big deal. What you may not have known is that more than 200 known diseases are transmitted through food. Hepatitis, E. Coli and Salmonella are just a few examples. It’s a problem in both developed and developing countries, creates a strain on our health care system and even hurts the national economy and development of international trade.

Luckily, most foodborne illness is preventable with proper food handling techniques. Follow these 5 Key Tips to ensure your own Food Safety, provided by WHO.

1) Keep Clean

This ensures that microorganisms that you may encounter during your daily activities do not contaminate your food.

  • Wash your hands before handling food and often during food prep
  • Wash your hands after using the washroom and before eating
  • Wash and sanitize all surfaces and equipment used during food prep
  • Protect your kitchen from insects, pests and other animals
  • Clean all surface (including your hands) that come into contact with raw meat or poultry

Hint

  • Try singing “Happy Birthday” twice while washing hands to ensure you’ve washed them long enough

2) Seperate Raw and Cooked Food

Raw foods, especialy meat, poultry and seafood and their juices, can contain harmful microorganisms. These can be transferred to other foods during preperation or storage, resulting in cross contamination.

  • Seperate raw meat, poultry and seafood from other foods
  • Use seperate equipment and utensils for handling raw foods, this includes knives and cutting boards
  • Store food in containers to avoid contact between raw and prepared foods

Hint

  • Store meat, poultry and seafood below cooked or ready to eat foods to avoid cross contamintaion
  • Store food in containers with lids

3) Cook Thoroughly

Proper cooking can kill almost all harmful microorganisms. Cooking food to a temperature of 70 ºC will help enure it’s safe for eating. High-risk foods that require special attention include minced meats, large joints of meat and whole poultry.

  • Cook food thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, eggs and seafood
  • Bring foods like soups and stews to a boil to make sure they’ve reached 70 ºC.
  • Make sure that the juices from meat and poultry are clear, not pink.
  • Use a thermometer if you’re not sure
  • Reheat cooked food thoroughly

Hint

  • When using a microwave make sure your food is cooked through, as microwaves can leave cold spots and cook food unevenly

4) Keep Food at a Safe Temperature

Microorganisms multiply very quickly when sotred at room temperature. By storing foods in the fridge or freezer or heating them up you can slow, or even stop, the growth of harmful microorganisms.

  • Don’t leave cooked food at room temperature for more than 2 hours
  • Refrigerate cooked and perishable foods as soon as possible
  • Keep cooked food piping hot before serving
  • Know when to get rid of food, don’t keep it too long in the refrigerator
  • Do not thaw frozen food at room temperature

Hint

  • If you use a microwave to thaw food, make sure to cook it promptly. This method of thawing can leave hot spots where bacteria can grow
  • Leftovers should not be reheated more than once
  • Thaw food in your refrigerator or other cool location

5) Use Safe Water and Raw Materials 

Raw materials, including water and ice, may be contaminated prior to cooking. Toxic chemicals may be formed in damaged and mouldy food. Take a preemptive step by taking care when choosing raw materials. Remember to wash and peel certain fruits and veggies as well.

  • Always use safe water or treat it to make it safe
  • Select fresh and wholesome foods
  • Choose foods that are processed safely
  • Wash fruits and vegetable, especially if eaten raw
  • Take note of expiry dates

Hint

  • Safe water is not only important for drinking, but must be used for washing fruits and vegetables, cleaning cooking and eating utensils and washing hands

So, how many of these key tips are you already following? Hopefully the answer is most of them, but theres always room to improve, especially when it comes to your health.

Source

World Health Organization (WHO). “Five Keys to Safer Food Manual.” 2006. who.org. PDF. April 2015.