Thursday, May 17, 2012

Kimchi and its Properties

Hi Everyone!

My Kimchi ingredients (some of them) & Makgeolli
2 years ago I made my 1st Kimchi (and last...hehe), some of you remember some of you are new here, so it was a whole experience to 1st buy the ingredients and then the process of making the Kimchi, saddly I was busy enough reading the instructions on how to make it (and making it) and I didn't take any pictures of the process.... Since it's kind of complicated to make it (If you are not Korean or don't know the ingredients/process by heart) I decided that was my 1st and last and if I was craving Kimchi I'd go to Korea Town to either eat it or buy it... I've found pretty good Kimchi's around K-Town so it's easier to buy it... plus If I make it it will be way too much and I'm pretty much the only one in my house to eat it.

A few weeks ago I endend up in the Emergency Room because I wasn't feeling very well and turns out I suffer Hypertension [term used to describe high blood pressure], after some pills, a shot and a few hours in observation I was able to leave the ER with some new Life-rules... 1st I have to take 2 pills every 8 hours for the rest of my life (It kinda made me feel OLD :( ) and then, I can no longer eat Salt (at least not for a few months), I can not drink Soda, alcohol, sweets, etc... nothing fun, right?... It was time for a change and I better follow my doctor's order if I want to live long and prosper (lol).

But yersterday I met up a friend to go eat at the Cultures Festival (more on that later!) and since my cravings for Korean food were too much we decided to eat at the Korean Stand... we had 김치, 밥, 김밥 and 잡채 :) (small portions of course)... I love Kimchi...and that one was specially good so I bought another portion to take home and then I felt guilty.... as if I was cheating on someone...why? Because Kimchi has salt...lots of salt since it's fermented so I decided to ask my friend Google how bad was my situation "Kimchi-Hypertension"... to my sorprise it's not bad at all, so why don't we check some of the properties of Kimchi?

Kimchi Stew
Kimchi is made of various vegetables and contains a high concentration of dietary fiber and it's low in calories. One serving contains 50% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C and Carotene. It also contains Vitamin A, B1, B2, Calcium, Iron and lactic acid bacteria. Kimchi was even named one of the Top 5 "Wold's Healthiest Foods" by Health magazine because it helps aiding digestion and prossibly reducing Cancer growth.
Kimchi has lots of functionality, especially the kimchi diet has been known to cause weight loss and to prevent constipation and colon cancer. Kimchi, a good source of lactic acid bacteria as probiotics, reduces serum cholesterol levels in relation to anti-atherosclerosis. In addition, anticancer effects of kimchi have been recently reported and related to its components such as antioxidative nutrients, phytochemicals and lactic acid bacteria.

When real foods are preserved/fermented, the result is high quantities of vitamin C, MSM, and phytochemicals that are missing in the industrial diet. When coupled with good fats like olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, raw butter, (plus eggs and fish, under the right conditions) then high high blood pressure never really becomes an issue.
Of course, any salt that is used should be sea salt. Table salt is bleached to make it white, and "purified" to remove everything but sodium chloride, which eliminates vital minerals like potassium. So using sea salt does make a difference.

So there you go... I can still eat Kimchi without feeling soooo guilty u_u 

If you have any recommendations on WHAT (Korean food) can I eat to help my blood pressure I will be very thankful :)

-Gisela V. 

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