Fermentation adaptation: South Koreans have a longer life expectancy
Is their pickled diet the secret?
HEALTH South Korea
South Koreans have an unprecedented life expectancy that largely exceeds that of any other nationality. In a 2017 study conducted by the Lancet, they found that South Koreans will live to an average of 90 years or more by 2030—far above the global standard.
So what is setting this country apart? Many believe it is due to South Korean cuisine. Kimchi is a fermented vegetable that is eaten daily by most people in the country. “It’s a superfood,” Judy Joo, a Korean-American chef and author with restaurants in London and Hong Kong, told Mic.com. “And it’s such an important part of the Korean diet that each family has their own proprietary recipe of herbs and spices, kind of like Italians with spaghetti sauce.”
Fermented vegetables are said to increase digestive health. The natural lactobacillus bacteria that is found in the pickled produce has major intestinal benefits.
In addition to the appreciation of fermentation, South Koreans stay away from sweets. “There are no good desserts in Korean cuisine,” Joo said. “Dairy and sugar have never been a part of the culture—everything is savory for the most part.”
Take a page from South Korea by adding some kimchi to your diet!
HEALTH Circadian rhythm