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Monday, February 20, 2006

Superfood Kimchi...

At least as touted in the Washington Post.
Long the star of Korean cuisine, kimchi is gaining traction as a food trend in America, says Hi Soo Shin Hepinstall. But bird flu fears more than culinary cravings may account for the recent spikes in kimchi sales at Asian markets. A minor study by a South Korean academic last spring apparently sparked new interest in the pungent mix of pickled vegetables.

The 2005 Seoul National University study found that 11 of 13 chickens recovered from avian flu after being fed kimchi juice. But, as scientists noted, more research is needed.

Kimchi has long been touted as health superfood that can cut cancer risk, lower cholesterol, improve skin, aid digestion and fight infection. The dish does contain ingredients widely believed to strengthen immunity and fight disease. For example, kimchi's fermentation process produces beneficial bacteria that destroys harmful microbes. Crushed garlic yields compounds linked to reducing blood pressure and infections. (Stanford University's Web site recommends garlic nose drops to kill cold-causing viruses.) Hot peppers contain capsaicin, believed to kill certain bacteria. Ginger's medicinal uses range from preventing motion sickness to fighting colds. Cabbage and green onions are packed with health-boosting phytonutrients. Many South Koreans even credited kimchi consumption with sparing the nation from the SARS outbreak that swept Asia in 2003. R.T.

Interesting article considering the publication.