El Paso Functional Medicine
I hope you have enjoyed our blog posts on various health, nutritional and injury related topics. Please don't hesitate in calling us or myself if you have questions when the need to seek care arises. Call the office or myself. Office 915-850-0900 - Cell 915-540-8444 Great Regards. Dr. J

The Versatility and Nutritional Benefits of Kimchi


Can kimchi benefit individuals trying to incorporate more fermented foods into their diet?

The Versatility and Nutritional Benefits of Kimchi


Kimchi is a flavorful and nutritious food packed with nutritious vegetables. It is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. It is made of salted, fermented vegetables and typically served as a side dish that starts with cabbage as the base. Other varieties use different vegetables, like radish, cucumber, and onion. It has minimal calories, a low carb count, zero fat, and health benefits like an abundance of probiotics from its fermentation process.


Kimchi is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A. A typical half-cup of kimchi is 85 grams and provides the following. (U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2017)

  • Calories – 20
  • Fat – 0g
  • Sodium – 290 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates – 4 grams
  • Fiber – 1 grams
  • Sugars – 2 grams
  • Protein – 1 grams
  • Vitamin C – 18 milligrams
  • Iron – 1.08 milligrams
  • Vitamin A – 375 micrograms
  • Calcium – 40 milligrams


  • A half-cup serving provides 20 calories, about 53% of which are carbohydrates, 21% are protein, and 26% are fat.


  • Kimchi comprises 4 grams of carbohydrates per serving, with 1 being fiber.
  • However, many kimchi recipes add sweeteners, like honey or fruit juice, to balance the sourness.
  • More sweeteners means more carbohydrates.


  • Because it is primarily vegetables, it is naturally fat-free.


  • Kimchi isn’t exactly a protein-power player.
  • A half-cup serving provides just 1 gram of plant-based protein from veggies.
  • However, recipes that include seafood like shrimp or squid will contain higher amounts of this macronutrient.

Vitamins and Minerals

  • Vitamins and minerals vary depending on the vegetables used.
  • A Napa cabbage-based kimchi includes abundant vitamins C and K and smaller amounts of iron, calcium, copper, and potassium.
  • A recipe with carrots will contain significant vitamin A.
  • A recipe with radishes will supply folate, potassium, and riboflavin.
  • All varieties are made with salt, so sodium is a mineral to watch.
  • A half-cup serving may provide nearly 300 milligrams or 13% Daily Value of sodium.


Kimchi is a versatile food that can provide health benefits.


  • The lactic acid that ferments the cabbage also provides healthy gut bacteria.
  • Consuming probiotics through kimchi promotes healthy digestion and helps alleviate constipation problems. (Higashikawa, F. et al., 2010)

Compatible with Special Diets

  • With simple plant-based ingredients it can be suitable for specialized diets.
  • It suits vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, gluten-free, and dairy-free diets.

Immune System Support

Decrease Inflammation

  • Researchers isolated a compound in kimchi called HDMPPA – 3-(4′-hydroxyl-3′,5′-dimethoxyphenyl) propionic acid
    and studied its interaction with inflammatory proteins.
  • They discovered that HDMPPA counteracted the proteins’ inflammatory effect.
  • It is not enough to conclude that kimchi readily reduces inflammation, but further research could help confirm its ability. (Jeong, J. W. et al., 2015)

Improve Asthma Symptoms

  • A study of Korean adults with asthma found that the more kimchi they consumed, the less likely they were to experience an asthma attack.
  • Further research is needed, but the results are promising. (Kim, H. et al., 2014)


  • Commercial and home-prepared kimchi is often free of all top eight food allergens—but check ingredient labels to be sure.
  • Some preparations, for example, may contain fish sauce, shrimp, or shrimp paste, which are a no-go for those with a fish or shellfish allergy.

Adverse Effects

  • Kimchi may have adverse effects on some individuals depending on its preparation.
  • It could be high in sodium, which may not be recommended for individuals on a heart-healthy or sodium-restricted diet.
  • With high levels of probiotics, it could cause bloating or an upset stomach.
  • Individuals sensitive to strong flavors may not enjoy the taste.


Traditionally, kimchi is made from cabbage, but a wide variety of vegetables can be substituted for or combined with recipes that use alternative vegetables, spices, or other additions. Some recipes include fish or meat to turn it inta a main dish. Water kimchi is a soup version served in broth. But what makes kimchi is its base of fermented vegetables.

Storage and Safety

Fermentation can be tricky when it comes to food safety. Store-bought or homemade kimchi properly canned in a sterilized jar can be kept at room temperature for up to a week after opening. Stored in the refrigerator, it will stay fresh for three to six months. The beneficial bacteria working and fermentation process is ongoing, making the taste increasingly sour and texture mushier over time. This does not mean the jar has gone bad as long as it has no odd smell or mold.


The process is not that complex.

  • Select a recipe with vegetables like cabbage, radish, and carrots.
  • Slice the vegetables into chunks and rub with salt.
  • Leave the vegetables in salt; some recipes include water for several hours to allow fermentation.
  • Drain the excess water, then add flavoring ingredients like sweeteners and spices.
  • Serve as a side dish with fried rice or noodles, or make it a main course by adding fish, meat, or tofu.

Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic focuses on and treats injuries and chronic pain syndromes through personalized care plans that improve ability through flexibility, mobility, and agility programs to relieve pain. Our providers use an integrated approach to create personalized care plans for each patient, to restore health and function to the body through Nutrition and Wellness, Functional Medicine, Acupuncture, Electro-Acupuncture, and Sports Medicine protocols. If the individual needs other treatment, they will be referred to a clinic or physician best suited for them, as Dr. Jimenez has teamed up with the top surgeons, clinical specialists, medical researchers, nutritionists, and health coaches to provide the most effective clinical treatments.

The Healing Diet


U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central. (2017). Kimchi. Retrieved from fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/516912/nutrients

Higashikawa, F., Noda, M., Awaya, T., Nomura, K., Oku, H., & Sugiyama, M. (2010). Improvement of constipation and liver function by plant-derived lactic acid bacteria: a double-blind, randomized trial. Nutrition (Burbank, Los Angeles County, Calif.), 26(4), 367–374. doi.org/10.1016/j.nut.2009.05.008

Olivares, M., Paz Díaz-Ropero, M., Gómez, N., Sierra, S., Lara-Villoslada, F., Martín, R., Miguel Rodríguez, J., & Xaus, J. (2006). Dietary deprivation of fermented foods causes a fall in innate immune response. Lactic acid bacteria can counteract the immunological effect of this deprivation. The Journal of dairy research, 73(4), 492–498. doi.org/10.1017/S0022029906002068

National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. (2021). Vitamin C: Fact sheet for health professionals. Retrieved from ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminC-HealthProfessional/

Jeong, J. W., Choi, I. W., Jo, G. H., Kim, G. Y., Kim, J., Suh, H., Ryu, C. H., Kim, W. J., Park, K. Y., & Choi, Y. H. (2015). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of 3-(4′-Hydroxyl-3′,5′-Dimethoxyphenyl)Propionic Acid, an Active Component of Korean Cabbage Kimchi, in Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated BV2 Microglia. Journal of medicinal food, 18(6), 677–684. doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2014.3275

Kim, H., Oh, S. Y., Kang, M. H., Kim, K. N., Kim, Y., & Chang, N. (2014). Association between kimchi intake and asthma in Korean adults: the fourth and fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2011). Journal of medicinal food, 17(1), 172–178. doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2013.3013

Post Disclaimer

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "The Versatility and Nutritional Benefits of Kimchi" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

We are here to help you and your family.


Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
Texas DC License # TX5807, New Mexico DC License # NM-DC2182

Licensed as a Registered Nurse (RN*) in Florida
Florida License RN License # RN9617241 (Control No. 3558029)
License Compact Status: Multi-State License: Authorized to Practice in 40 States*
Presently Matriculated: ICHS: MSN* FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner Program)

Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
My Digital Business Card