9 Ways That Kimchi Benefits Your Health

You may know and love kimchi as one of your favorite spicy Korean pickled treats. But is kimchi good for you? Learn more about kimchi benefits below.

Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.

1 / 9
Base Cabbage Kimchi. Person preparing cabbage kimchi. Fermented and vegetarian preserved food concept.; Shutterstock ID 621832271

Aids Digestion

Kimchi is a fermented food, meaning that it is loaded with healthy bacteria, including lactobacilli. When eaten, these bacteria help develop a healthy gut microbiome, essential to having healthy digestion. Plus, kimchi is loaded with fiber, which also supports good digestion. Learn more about the health benefits of fermentation.

Want to experiment by making your own kimchi at home? Follow this easy fermentation kit ($27) that has over a thousand positive reviews on Amazon. One reviewer says, “I’ve made batch after batch of delicious organic kimchi! This product is the simplest to use, clean, and ‘set and forget’.”

2 / 9
Kimchi cabbage, white background, top view. Korean food, probiotics food.; Shutterstock ID 1315267994; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Nina Firsova/shutterstock

Boosts Immunity

The probiotics in kimchi also help with immunity which, according to this 2014 study, can help you fight off anything from the common cold to cancer. The ingredients in kimchi also help boost your immune system; red pepper and garlic are full of antioxidants helping your body to stay on defense when it comes to fighting disease.

3 / 9
Kimchi,fermented cabbage traditional Korean food in top view on wooden table.; Shutterstock ID 750038686; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
pada smith/Shutterstock

Improves Heart Health

Kimchi has also been found to help support a healthy heart. This study of young adults found that after seven days of eating kimchi, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) had both decreased. See what other heart-smart foods you should always keep on hand.

4 / 9
Woman holding chopsticks for eating kimchi cabbage in a bowl, Korean food; Shutterstock ID 1147372565; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home

Reduces Inflammation

Given the antioxidant power of kimchi, it’s not surprising that a bite or two will help reduce inflammation throughout the body. Reducing inflammation is vital for supporting your immune system and keeping chronic illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes, at bay. Learn more about inflammation.

5 / 9
Homemade Kimchi Fried rice topped with fried egg on skillet, overhead view; Shutterstock ID 1254756118; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home

Regulates Blood Sugar

The chemicals produced during the fermentation process combined with the antioxidant power of kimchi can have significant impact on blood sugar levels, regulation and insulin sensitivity. This can make a huge difference in symptoms for those with diabetes, as stated in this 2016 study. If you’re managing diabetes, check out these quick and easy diabetic-friendly recipes.

6 / 9
Korean kimchi cabbage, beet sauerkraut and sauerkraut in glass jars, white background. Probiotics food concept.; Shutterstock ID 1315266911; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Nina Firsova/shutterstock

Could Help with Weight Loss

Kimchi may also help in your weight loss journey. The diverse amount of healthy bacteria and fiber content can help curb food cravings. Plus, kimchi itself is a low-calorie food, helping to meet your daily goals.

7 / 9
Hand holding bowl of Baechu Kimchi or traditional Napa Cabbage Kimchi over blurred background of colorful variety kimchi and Korean side dishes on white wood planks. Probiotic and fermented foods.; Shutterstock ID 1238289316
Boontoom Sae-Kor/shutterstock

Keeps You Young

The huge antioxidant load kimchi carries makes a big difference when it comes to signs of aging. Antioxidants help slow the aging process and keeps you looking and feeling your most vibrant.

8 / 9
Kimchi cabbage, white background, top view. Korean food, probiotics food.; Shutterstock ID 1320880211; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Nina Firsova/shutterstock

Helps with Brain Health

By eating kimchi regularly and maintaining healthy gut bacteria, you may actually be helping to keep your brain in tiptop shape. Good gut health is associated with reduced inflammation in the brain and other parts of the nervous system.

9 / 9
Korean traditional fermented appetizer kimchi cabbage and radish salad, fish snack served in glass jars with Vietnamese oregano and chili peppers over grey blue table. Chopsticks in mans hands.; Shutterstock ID 1345435652; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): Taste of Home
Natasha Breen/shutterstock

Could Reduce Allergy Symptoms

As if kimchi didn’t already have enough health benefits, it may even help with your allergy symptoms! Some of the strains of lactobacilli found in kimchi may help suppress an overactive respiratory response that many of us who suffer from allergies experience. This kimchi grilled cheese recipe can help you get started on enjoying all of the health benefits kimchi offers. Plus, see what other foods can help fight allergies.

custom-tracking =

Christina Manian, RDN
Christina Manian is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist based out of Boulder, Colorado. Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, she has been involved with the nutrition departments of Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston Medical Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Mass General Hospital. She completed her nutrition education at the Mayo Clinic with a focus on medical nutrition therapy and most recently practiced clinical nutrition at the University of Minnesota Medical Center. While her background has largely been in the clinical setting, Christina embraces and is shifting her focus towards wellness nutrition as the backbone to optimum health.