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Is it safe to eat Kimchi while pregnant?

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

According to All-South Korean researchers, it is possible that kimchi causes gastric cancer. An author from the department of preventive medicine at Chungbuk National University had said that if you ate a lot of kimchi, you have a fifty percent probability.

Kimchi is not bad on its own, but looking at the additions which sometimes comes in excess, it becomes more harmful than beneficial to the body. For example, the amount of pepper and salt found in Kimchi can combine and form a carcinogen.

With all the controversies surrounding kimchi, is it healthy for a pregnant woman to eat, yes it is, if she makes it on her own? If not, it could be harmful to you and the baby.

Nutritional value of kimchi

Kimchi contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. In a serving of kimchi, you can find vitamin A, B1, B2 and C. Minerals such as calcium, selenium, and iron. There are other nutrients and compounds such as amino acids, capsaicin, fiber, flavonoids, carotenoids, isothiocyanates and chlorophyll. It contains lactobacillus which is a potent probiotic and it is packed with antioxidants.

Health benefits of eating Kimchi

There are lots of benefits attached to eating this nutritious food, and they are:

Aids digestion

The digestive system of every pregnant woman is already stressed due to changes in her body system which leads to common problems such as constipation, hemorrhoids, diarrhea and so on. When kimchi is added to your diet, the healthy bacteria known as lactobacillus will help keep your intestines in order. The fiber content also prevents constipation by aiding free bowel movement.

Good for the immune system

The combination of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients found in kimchi helps in boosting one's immune system.

Prominent spices such as garlic, ginger, and pepper are used in preparing kimchi, and they naturally help in protecting one from flu or cold. There are other antioxidant properties found in Kimchi which helps to fight against radicals in the body. ("Analysis of yeast and archaeal population dynamics in kimchi using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis". International Journal of Food Microbiology).

It regulates cholesterol

LDL cholesterol also known as bad cholesterol can be harmful if increased during pregnancy, kimchi prevents this from happening by lowering it through the allicin found in garlic. Garlic is also rich in selenium which helps in preventing the buildup of plaques in the arteries and thereby regulating cholesterol.

Weight loss and maintenance

Eating kimchi keeps you full and satisfied for a long time. The lactobacillus bacteria found in it is essential for controlling appetite which makes you not to think about food over and over again. It also helps in reducing blood sugar levels.


Kimchi can be added to different dishes such as stews and soups. It can also be used as a side dish or eaten along with pancakes or sandwich. Eating Kimchi that has high sodium content especially those bought from stores can expose you to preeclampsia. It should be avoided by pregnant women who already have high blood pressure.

You can make your kimchi sauerkraut and add less of everything they do in commercially sold kimchi. Remember to eat in moderation because large quantities can cause bloating issues during pregnancy.

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