Kimchi does more than spice up your life

Kimchi is a Korean dish made from fermented vegetables -- usually cabbage and radishes along with garlic and hot chilies -- although one online kimchi site says there are 180 varieties. It's been a favorite complement to breakfast, lunch and dinner since 935 B.C.

But it delivers more than flavor. It's loaded with gut-friendly pre- and probiotics and fiber, in addition to vitamins C and B, and minerals like iron, potassium and calcium. That may be why a study in Food Research International reveals that it helps prevent obesity and tamps down obesity-fueled inflammation -- which is damaging to the heart, metabolism and brain. The World Institute of Kimchi says their research on lab rats shows that kimchi can trigger substantial reduction in body fat (almost 32% in the lab animals) and cut obesity-related inflammation of nerves and help protect the blood-brain barrier. Plus, it lets health-promoting gut bacteria thrive. The animals ate the kimchi six days a week.

You can make it at home: You brine the veggies with spices, monitor the temperature of mixture so you get good growth of Weissella, Lactobacillus and other gut-loving bacteria that contribute to the fermentation process. Then, let it sit for a day or two at room temperature until the mixture hits a pH of 4.2. Store in the fridge and eat within the week. Might be worth a try, to go along with the 33 age-defying steps you can take to restore your health and reverse diabetes and obesity that are outlined in "The Great Age Reboot."

Health pioneer Michael Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic and author of four No. 1 New York Times bestsellers. His next book is "The Great Age Reboot: Cracking the Longevity Code for a Younger Tomorrow." Do you have a topic Dr. Mike should cover in a future column? If so, please email [email protected].

King Features Syndicate

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