Top 5 Obesity-Fighting Korean Foods for a Fit You
Healthy Korean Foods
With one of the lowest obesity rates and longest life expectancies in the whole world, Koreans attribute their relatively good health to their traditional foods.
Korean foods are typically prepared and preserved through fermentation, a process that offers myriad health benefits, including the following:
- enhances the nutritional values of foods
- increases digestion
- gives foods interesting flavors
- boosts the body's ability to absorb nutrients from foods
- helps stop the transfer of pathogenic organisms to the body
- encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in foods
- makes foods resistant to toxic bacteria
- preserves foods for extended periods of time
The practice of fermenting Korean foods was first introduced by ancient spiritual practitioners, who wanted to develop healthy ways to choose and prepare foods.
This practice remains common today. In fact, statistics show that South Korea has an obesity rate of just around 3%, compared to the obesity rate of around 30% for the United States.
This obesity rate measures the percentage of the people in a country with a body mass index (BMI) of more than 30 kilograms for each square meter or simply a BMI of more than 30.
While the physical attributes of Koreans are slender and smaller than most other nationalities, the wisdom behind the preparation and preservation of Korean foods still yields excellent health benefits.
Below are the top five Korean foods that help fight obesity.
1. Kimchi—Breaks Down Fat
Deemed as one of the healthiest foods from across the world, Kimchi or Kimchee is a Korean food prepared by fermenting vegetables.
These vegetables are then seasoned with Korean red pepper chili powder, fish sauce, scallions, onions, ginger, anchovy-based broth, shrimp, rice powder, Korean pear, and garlic.
The vegetables are either cabbages or radishes.
The health benefits of Kimchi are plenty:
- Kimchi is loaded with protein; calcium; beta carotene; vitamins A, B1, B2, and C
- Kimchi may contain healthy bacteria that fight harmful bacteria in the body
- Kimchi may also fight certain kinds of virus in the body
- Kimchi can break down fats due to its capsaicin
Because of the health benefits of this Korean food, Kimchi accompanies almost every Korean meal.
It has also spawned other Korean dishes like the following:
- Kimchi Fried Rice(Kimchi Bokkeumbap)
- Kimchi Stew(Kimchi Jjigae)
- Kimchi Pancake(Kimchijeon)
- Kimchi Soup with Rice(Kimchi Gukbap)
2. Doenjang—Blocks Cholesterol Absorption
Made from fermented soybeans and possessing very sharp flavors, Doenjang is a Korean food that has substantial amounts of isoflavones.
Isoflavones are actually plant estrogens found mainly in soybeans that have health benefits that include:
- easing of menopausal symptoms
- reducing risks of heart diseases
- protecting against prostate complications
- improving bone health
- reducing cancer risks through folic acid
- providing natural antioxidants, nucleic acid, and lecithin
This Korean food is also marked for its ability to block the intestines from absorbing cholesterol, thereby helping in reducing high blood pressure and assisting in recovery from heart damages.
3. Bibimbap—Low in Fat
Bibimbap is a popular Korean food that contains ingredients from all the five major food groups.
It has meat, rice, vegetables, fish, seaweeds, and egg.
While this Korean food may be high in calories, its ingredients are actually low in fat.
This is because the starches in Bibimbap are not fried and the fats are actually fats from the vegetables that are served in substantial amounts in the dish.
The result of eating this Korean food is a feeling of fullness for a long period of time, thereby possibly curbing appetite.
4. Gochujang—Fights Fats
A fermented red paste made from chili peppers, soybeans, rice, and salt, the Gochujang is a healthy Korean food ingredient that speeds up metabolism and therefore helps people stay physically fit.
This Korean food condiment is loaded with proteins that can facilitate fat loss as well as vitamins B2 and C.
It is also low in fat and calories.
Gochujang is very versatile and can be easily added to meat- and vegetable-based Korean foods.
5. Korean Teas—Speed up Metabolism
Korean foods are usually complemented by drinking teas, which can range from green tea to ginseng tea, pine needle tea, and other types of teas derived from dried fruits.
Just like most other teas, these teas promote digestion and increase metabolism.
They are chock-full of antioxidants that fight the aging process.
They also help treat cold and flu, relieve muscle pains, and improve eyesight.