Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By Ron Irwin
Observer Staff Writer 

Fiery Kimchi is the Reason Okinawans Live a Full Century

It is proven. Good food = long life. Or why I love cabbage.


April 21, 2017

It is proven. Good food = long life. Or why I love cabbage.

A while ago I reported on the glorious fact that the good people of Okinawa on average live beyond 100 years. To the best of known statistics that makes the Okinawans the longest living group of people on earth.

Their long life is no real mystery however but can be explained by their diet and eating habits that reduce over consumption and focus heavily on vegetables and sea food.

In fact as you examine the life expectancies around our world those who live longest also have the healthiest food consumption habits. Coming up fast in life expectancy is not too far away Korea where their life expectancy is currently right at 90 years and slowly climbing.

So when looking at ways to improve your own personal wellbeing doesn't it make sense to look at the eating habits of those populations already proven to enjoy long life?

The basic eating habits of both the Okinawans and the Koreans share many commonalities including abundant sea food and vegetables, but there is one food unique to Korea that deserves your attention and it is fermented cabbage. Yuck! Well not really but it is more commonly known as Kimchi and in truth it is one delicious food with superb health benefits.

Kimchi is fermented with probiotic lactic acid bacteria adding probiotic benefits to vegetables much as a similar process adds probiotic benefits to dairy products such as yogurt.

The probiotics help create microorganisms that aid digestion. With the addition of these healthy bacteria comes a boost to your immune system, reduced risk of infection, lower cholesterol and a great big reduction in the risk of colon cancer. And making Kimchi even more appealing is the happy fact one cup of a typical Kimchi weighs in at only 25 calories.

So there you are great taste, fantastic health benefits and wonderfully lower calories than typical foods. The only significant downside to Kimchi is that it is relatively high in sodium and therefore not so good for those fighting hypertension. But even that has a solution. There are indeed low sodium varieties of Kimchi. One that I found and love is from Rejuvenative and labelled "Salt Free Garden Kim-Chi." It is 100% organic and absolutely delicious and you may check it out here:


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