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Eating kimchi every day may prevent weight gain, research suggests

Eating kimchi every day could help people combat weight gain, research suggests.

The Korean fermented cabbage and vegetable dish has been growing in popularity after studies suggested it may improve levels of beneficial bacteria in the gut.

Now a new study has found cabbage kimchi may lower men's risk of obesity, while kimchi made with radishes could help both men and women fight excess pounds.

The research, published in the journal BMJ Open, examined data from 115,726 people aged 40 to 69 in Korea who were asked about their consumption of kimchi via food questionnaires.

Men with a total intake of one to three servings per day had an 11-12% lower risk of obesity when compared to men who ate less than one serving per day.

Meanwhile, those men with a higher intake of cabbage kimchi (up to three servings a day) had 10% lower odds of obesity and excess fat round their stomach and abdomen.

The risk was 8% lower in women for this type of kimchi.

Men and women who ate radish kimchi had around a 9% reduced risk of fat around the middle and abdomen.

The experts said there appeared to be no real benefit to eating more than three servings a day, suggesting people who ate more than three servings of kimchi tended to also eat more of other foods and were more likely to be obese.

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Kimchi is made in different ways but typically includes vegetables such as cabbage, radish and onion, plus spices such as red pepper powder, garlic and ginger.

Previous studies have suggested "good" bacteria in fermented foods such as kimchi are good for the gut and can have an effect on weight.

The researchers noted concerns about the salt in kimchi, saying "as kimchi is one of the major sources of sodium intake, a moderate amount should be recommended for the health benefits of its other components".