Did you know that South Korea is the first country in the world that is expected to be the first country where life expectancy reaches 90 years of age? The reason why? The super-food, Kimchi, which consists of fermented cabbage and/or vegetables and is a common side dish eaten in South Korea. It’s salty and spicy and full of probiotics and Vitamins A and B. Just to make it very clear: Probiotics are actually bacteria and/or yeasts that are good for our health and in particular good for our digestive system. In addition to the above this super-food also contains something called lactobacilli which again is a good bacteria (and can be found in healthy yoghurts as well). The reason to why the lactobacilli bacteria is healthy is mainly due to it’s anti-inflammantory benefits. This particular bacteria has the ability to reduce risk for potential infections that attack our body!
So how is this dish made? Lacto-fermentation is the process called when (usually napa cabbage and Korean radishes) are submerged in salt and water for period of time. Usually a variety of seasoning is added to this including garlic, ginger, chili powder and scallions. This process creates something called pickled foods – and what’s really special about this type of food is that in the lacto-fermentation process, some bacteria survive and others don’t. Which essentially means that all the harmful or let’s say bad bacteria if you wish, they die in this process and we are only left with the healthy bacteria – because yes, bacteria add a lot of health benefits for us humans as described above.
What’s remarkable about this story is that in South Korea some companies give their staff extra money to help them buy their yearly supply of Kimchi as they want their employees to be as healthy as possible.
Till next time!