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If you love food, you’ve definitely tried kimchi. The delicious chilli pickled cabbage from Korea has taken the culinary world by storm. You can even find it in tacos, soup and sandwiches.
Pickling (or fermenting) was one of the first methods of food preservation used by humans, and dates back to ancient times – the origins of kimchi can be traced as far back as 37 B.C.!
And while kimchi may be the most well-known, pickled vegetables are part of every Asian culinary culture with everything from radishes, cucumber, seaweed and garlic being pickled and preserved.
The rise in popularity of kimchi has increased with our growing understanding of gut-health. Essentially, gut-health refers to the amount of good and bad microbes and bacteria swimming around inside of you. Our eating habits today – a lot of processed food instead of fresh produce – means that our gut often gets out of balance. When you consider that 85% of your immune system is housed in your gut, you start to understand how important it is to look after it. Luckily, pickled vegetables offer a delicious solution to a widespread dietary problem.
Pickled foods are packed with good-for-you microorganisms. Some of the beneficial bacteria found in fermented veggies has been linked with improving mental health, helping weight loss, controlling asthma and allergies, and aids absorption of vitamins and minerals!
Kimchi – for example – is rich in Vitamins A, B, C and the gut turbocharging lactobacilli bacteria. And according to the Journal of Medicinal Food, kimchi may also be effective against bad bacteria and can help break down pesticides. And, like all quality superfoods, it’s chock-full of antioxidants!
If you’re keen to try pickling your own veggies, we’ve got some great recipes to try:
Japanese Pickled Mustard Leaves (Nozawana-zuke), Korean White Kimchi (Baek Kimchi), Pickled Turnip with Yuzu, Chinese Pickled Cucumbers and Vietnamese Daikon and Carrot Pickles (Do Chua).