Can you eat kimchi when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat kimchi when pregnant, what is kimchi, is it healthy to eat kimchi when pregnant, what is the risk of eating kimchi when pregnant and how can you cook kimchi when pregnant. 

Can you eat kimchi when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat kimchi when pregnant as long as it has been cooked and stored properly. Kimchi is a fermented food and it has a risk of being contaminated with bacteria and causing food-borne illnesses.

Pregnant women are more at risk of having severe symptoms and side effects from food-borne illnesses because they have a more susceptible immune system. 

What is kimchi?

Kimchi is a traditional Korean dish that is made from salted and fermented vegetables such as cabbage and Korean radish. It can be seasoned with a variety of species such as gochugaru or Korean chili powder, spring onion, garlic, ginger, jeotgal, or salted seafood. 

Kimchi can be eaten as a side dish or it can be found in soups and stews. It is very popular because it is eaten as a side dish with almost every main dish in Korean meals. 

There are a lot of varieties of kimchi made with different combinations of fermented vegetables as the main ingredients. 

Traditionally, kimchi is stored in earthenware fermentation vessels called onggi and kept in cool places to slow down the fermentation. Nowadays, they are stored in the refrigerator to slow down the process of fermentation. 

Kimchi is determined by the main vegetables and how it is seasoned. Cabbage and radish are the most common vegetables used in kimchi. Other vegetables that can be used include

  • Aster
  • Balloon flower roots
  • Celery
  • Cilantro
  • Cress
  • Cucumber 
  • Eggplant
  • Garlic chives
  • Ginger
  • Mustard greens
  • Onions
  • Scallions
  • Seaweed
  • Pumpkins
  • Spinach
  • Sugar beet
  • Tomatoes

Seasonings can include a huge variety such as gochugaru, scallions, garlic, and ginger. Also, salt, fish sauce, and sugar can be commonly added to flavor kimchi. 

Is it healthy to eat kimchi when pregnant?

Yes, kimchi is a healthy fermented food that can be added to your diet when pregnant if you eat it with precaution. Kimchi, like other fermented food, is healthy for digestive and intestinal health. 

One cup of kimchi contains 23 calories, 1 gram of protein, 4 grams of carbohydrate, 2 grams of fiber, and 2 grams of sugar. Depending on the main ingredients kimchi is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C, minerals, fiber, and amino acids. 

Can you eat fermented food when pregnant?

Fermented food can be eaten while pregnant as long as it has been pasteurized or heated until steaming hot to prevent harmful bacteria from growing. Some benefits of fermented food, such as kimchi, are: 

  • Fermented food helps to build a strong ecosystem in your digestive system and vaginal canal, which can help with a healthy delivery.
  • Help to build a good microbiome in amniotic fluid that boosts baby’s health
  • Kimchi helps to absorb more and better nutrients in food because of probiotics content
  • It helps to boost digestion
  • Kimchi adds enzymes to help digestion
  • Prevents constipation
  • It may help prevent preterm labor and preeclampsia
  • Excellent source of folate and vitamin b12

What is the risk of eating kimchi when pregnant?

The main risk of eating kimchi when pregnant is that fermented food is easily contaminated with E. Coli and other pathogens that can cause food-borne illnesses. The FDA suggests that pregnant women should avoid all unpasteurized products. 

Try to stick to pasteurized kimchi you can buy at your store that specifies it has been pasteurized or if not sure, heat it until steaming hot to kill all bacteria. 

The main bacteria that have been linked to kimchi are Escherichia coli and norovirus. These two can be dangerous when pregnant. The only way to prevent this is to buy kimchi from a safe retailer and store it correctly. 

How can you cook kimchi when pregnant?

To ensure safe kimchi, it is better to buy it at grocery stores or Korean markets that can assure that kimchi has been pasteurized. If you want to cook it yourself, follow this link, and be sure to wash your hands and all the equipment used before you start. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat kimchi when pregnant, what is kimchi, is it healthy to eat kimchi when pregnant, what is the risk of eating kimchi when pregnant and how can you cook kimchi when pregnant. 

Citation

https://www.thespruceeats.com/kimchi-1328777

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.