Kimchi Can Get Rid of Belly Fat, According to New Study

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Feb 10, 2024

Kimchi is a popular Korean dish made by fermenting chilis and cabbage. And while the taste is unique and extremely delicious, it’s also good for the belly in more ways than one.

Research has now shown that kimchi is great for a healthy gut, as well as minimizing belly fat. So, for those who want to get rid of a little extra around the midsection or simply want to ensure their digestion is working properly, kimchi may just do the trick. 

What Is Kimchi?

Before diving into the health benefits, it’s first important to know what kimchi is. The spicy cabbage dish is extremely popular in Korean homes and restaurants, and it’s becoming more common in the Western world. 

Ingredients for kimchi including onions, cabbage, carrots, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and chilies

Source: AllPlants

Essentially, kimchi is a fermented salad made from cabbage, chilies, ginger, garlic, and sometimes carrots, spring onion, or soy sauce. 

Kimchi Is Part of the Daily Diet in Korea

In Korea, kimchi is consumed almost every day for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or sometimes all three. And for residents of Korea, kimchi is really more than a meal; it’s a tradition.

Thousands of housewives make Kimchi for donation to the poor in preparation for winter in front of City Hall, Seoul, South Korea

Source: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Making kimchi is typically a communal affair. Women from all around come together to prepare the cabbage, grind the chilies, and make enough kimchi for their families and even those in need in their communities.

Kimchi Has Many Health Benefits

While Koreans love kimchi for its cultural significance and spicy flavor, they also know that the cabbage dish is extremely good for the body as a whole.

Hand holding a large head of cabbage at a market

Source: Freepik

According to WebMD, kimchi is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as potassium, calcium, and choline. All of which the body needs to thrive. 

Kimchi Will Certainly Protect the Heart

Additionally, kimchi is known as a heart-healthy food, as it not only protects but even improves heart health over time.

Doctor holding a red plastic heart over his chest

Source: Freepik

Kimchi is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, which can reduce cholesterol and the risk of atherosclerosis and other heart diseases. 

The Fermentation Process

As well as being great for heart health and chock full of necessary vitamins and minerals, kimchi is also a probiotic, which means it is a great source of healthy gut bacteria.

Glass jar of kimchi on a table

Source: iStock

The healthy bacteria grow within the cabbage salad as kimchi is always fermented in a salt brine for days or even weeks before being consumed. 


Kimchi Is a Powerful Probiotic

This good bacteria is known more commonly as a probiotic, and doctors report that it is extremely helpful in maintaining healthy digestion.

Illustration of gut bacteria moving through the intestine

Source: Freepik

A healthy digestion not only feels great, but it also minimizes the chances of contracting a gastrointestinal disorder such as irritable bowel syndrome or colon inflammation. Not to mention the fact that a properly functioning digestion can lead to weight loss.


Many Struggle to Lose Weight from Their Midsection

Men and women around the world often struggle to lose weight from their midsection. And while it’s not the same for everyone, some stubborn belly fat could be eliminated by improving one’s gut health.

Woman pinching the body fat on her midsection

Source: Freepik

And in addition to improving gut health and decreasing inflammation in the belly, kimchi is also known to boost metabolism, is extremely low in fat, and is high in fiber. 


It’s Not Only About Having a Flat Stomach

It’s important to understand that while many simply strive to have a flatter stomach, minimizing belly fat is actually extremely important in keeping your body happy and healthy. 

Woman with type 2 diabetes testing her insulin

Source: Freepik

Excessive belly fat has been connected to type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and hypertension. So, even for those who aren’t worried about showing off a flat stomach at the beach, it’s still important to keep belly fat to a minimum to keep the rest of the body functioning properly.


Will Kimchi Really Get Rid of Belly Fat?

Kimchi really is a superfood. It’s full of nutrients the body needs, as well as healthy gut bacteria that will keep your digestion working as it should. 

Woman holding jeans that are too large away from her stomach

Source: Freepik

Therefore, when added to a healthy and balanced diet, it can help increase your metabolism, improve digestion, and eventually, yes, lead to a smaller midsection.


Making Your Own Kimchi Is Easy

Like millions of women in Korea, you can also make your own homemade kimchi. The recipe and preparation process is quite simple; however, it’s crucial that you follow the directions exactly.

Woman holding her stomach in pain while lying on the couch

Source: Freepik

Because kimchi is fermented, if it’s not composed properly, the bacteria that grow will not be the good kind. Instead, it will be unhealthy bacteria that could lead to food poisoning.


Where to Find Kimchi

If making your own kimchi sounds like a big undertaking, don’t worry. It’s now available in most grocery stores. It can typically be found in the Asian foods section or the refrigerated aisle.

Photograph of different kimchi brands at a supermarket

Source: Reddit

Each brand will likely have a slightly different flavor depending on exactly what ingredients and how many chillies they use. So, try a few and find the best kimchi to add to your diet, improve your gut health, and get rid of some of that extra belly fat.