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Kimchi named top superfood for 2023 in survey of nutritionists

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    Kimchi, a traditional Korean dish made from fermented cabbage and gochugaru paste, has been named one of the top 10 superfoods for 2023 by nutritionists in a new study. 

    In Pollock Communications and Today’s Dietitian’s annual “What’s Trending in Nutrition” survey, 757 registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs) were polled to determine which ultra-nutrient-dense foods consumers will value in 2023. 

    The top 10 superfoods included in the list fit into a plant-based diet for the first time in 11 years of the survey, with kimchi and other fermented foods, such as yogurt, kombucha tea and pickled vegetables, ranking first.

    Completing the list are seeds, blueberries, avocados, nuts, leafy greens, aquatic greens, green tea, ancient grains and non-dairy kinds of milk.

    RDNs predict consumers navigating the crisis of higher cost of living will prioritize affordability over immunity for the first time since the pandemic. 

    According to the RDNs, consumers will be looking for functional, value-based foods that also support their immunity and gut health, making fermented foods the top purchase drivers in 2023.

    Louise Pollock, president of Pollock Communications, explained that today’s consumers have become more aware of the benefits food can provide for gut health and immune function.

    As consumers face higher costs at the grocery store, they’ll be looking for affordable food and snacks that still provide valuable health benefits. Our survey findings reflect how consumer behaviors are shifting as COVID-19 restrictions loosen, remote work remains and inflation rises – from prioritizing affordable foods to continued interest in snacking.

    A staple of Korean cuisine, kimchi has become popular among health-conscious consumers in recent years due to its probiotic, antioxidant, antimutagenic and anticarcinogenic qualities, as well as other health benefits. 

    In 2020, a study attributed low COVID-19 fatality rates in South Korea to kimchi consumption.

    Previous research has also found that kimchi, alongside other fermented foods, could help to reportedly reverse hair loss and reduce anxiety in young people.

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