Thursday, October 02, 2008

Bacteria in Kimchi really, really important for Pregnant Women

Interestingly, concurrent with the rise in obesity of Korean kiddies, they seem to be easting less kimchi! At least, that was the complaint I often heard when I lived there, indeed, my aunt's kids seemed like they couldn't get enough of Choco-pies. Kimchi is very pungent and spicy and also definitely curbs the urge for sweets.

Cabbage, the canny Koreans and Germans must have figured out, contain and extra hardy naturally occuring probiotic, l. plantarum. Apparently there are all sorts of l. plantarum supplements coming out. I still think eating fermented foods is the "express" way to get these little guys in your system, as the lactic acid that is formed in fermentation is a perfect pH for them to survive. Our son drinks kimchi juice when he's feeling off, and has these amazing kimchi burps right after.

The Body Ecology site suggests that l. plantarum is one bacteria you definitely want to have in your system if you are pregnant--the baby gets its first probiotics via its journey through the birth canal--this process is rudely interrupted if you have a c section, btw, so be extra careful to make sure your baby gets probiotics.

From Body Ecology.com:

L. plantarum is one of the best probiotics to address digestive distress!
In fact, some people NEED Lactobacillus plantarum to improve their health:

  • Pregnant women can ensure that they have healthy bacteria in their birth canal to inoculate their newborn babies.
  • Newborn babies benefit from tiny spoonfuls of cultured vegetable juice soon after birth to prevent colic and to ensure their inner ecosystem is well established.
  • Autistic children benefit from L. plantarum as it helps clear up common digestive issues.
  • Children with ADD/ADHD often find relief when using probiotics.
  • Anyone Taking Antibiotics
read more here.
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I always recommend making your own; if you do buy it, check for MSG.

GreenFertility sh*tkicking kimchi recipe and step-by-step instructions: http://greenfertility.blogspot.com/2007/02/kimchi-instructions.html

7 comments:

WannabeMommy said...

Ever since I read your post, I've been gulping down as much kimchi as I can stand. I used to always pass it up when visiting the salad/food bar near my office. Hey, if it's great for preggos, it can't hurt someone trying to conceive like me, right??

Sheryl Lyon said...

How much do you recommend eating during pregnancy? I love kimchi but I don't think I want to eat it every day.

Do you think the probiotic benefits will transfer through breastmilk as well?

Green Fertility Marie said...

Hi Sheryl,

Most Koreans eat it with ever meal if it already isn't the meal, e.g., kimchi stew (yum!) I think 1x/day is helpful.

It will help breastmilk via boosting your own immunity. I think they've done research that probiotice raise IL-10 levels, etc. It won't directly give your baby probiotics that way bec. the probiotics are in your gut--they get into your vagina from, er, "down there. But there are some products made just for babies...

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cheryl said...

I became pregnant three times taking Jamison Stresstab Vitamins. Weird coincidence?? I am 40 now and in the third pregnancy. Love kimchi and eat it three times a week!