Did you know that Thai cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world? In fact, there are studies that are currently looking deeper into the health and nutritional benefits of Thai food! Thai dishes are known for their colorful presentation, robust flavors, exotic herbs, and spiciness. All these amazing flavors combined aren’t just good for the tummy, they may very well improve health! In today’s post, we are listing down 5 reasons why Thai food is good for you:
1. Fresh Ingredients
What’s Thai cuisine without fresh ingredients? Most Thais dislike processed foods and avoid using refined products as ingredients to their dishes. They prefer organically raised meats and poultry, fresh herbs and locally produced veggies and fruits. This is one of the reasons why Thai dishes are so colorful and tasty!
2. Balanced Nutrition
Using whole foods instead of refined products, Thai dishes are bursting with essential nutrients. Most dishes feature a combination of aromatic herbs and spices, fresh vegetables and lean protein. As such, typical Thai fare is packed with balanced protein, carbohydrates, and grains. The spices and herbs do not just enhance flavor but give every dish a boost of antioxidants and essential nutrients.
3. Exotic Spices
The Thais love their spices. One of the most widely used spices in Thailand is turmeric powder. This spice is often used in curries. Studies show that turmeric is packed with cancer-fighting compounds. Turmeric also contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that protect the body from bacterial and viral infections.
Authentic Thai dishes also contain lots of red chilies. Red chili contains capsaicin, which is another cancer-fighting nutrient. Studies show that capsaicin reduces the risk of cancer, shrinks down tumors and protects the body from inflammation.
4. Vitamin-Rich Herbs
The Thais are notorious for combining different exotic herbs to add depth and dimension to every dish. One of the most common herbs used in Thai cooking is coriander. This herb is a great source of vitamin A and C. Coriander is traditionally used to ease digestion, prevent bloating and soothe an upset stomach. Most Thai dishes are also flavored with cumin. This herb is loaded with anti-inflammatory and astringent compounds! Other amazing herbs used to flavor Thai dishes are ginger, basil, kaffir, lemongrass and marsh mint.
5. Weight Loss Benefits
Thai fare is perfect for people who are either watching what they eat or are trying to maintain their current weight. Generally, Thai dishes are low in calorie, high in antioxidants and low in sodium. Some dishes do come across as oily, but you can always substitute vegetable oil with plant or nut oil to reduce calories.
Local ingredients like turmeric, red chili peppers, cinnamon and cumin are also renowned for their weight loss benefits. Turmeric has the ability to reduce cholesterol level in the blood. It speeds up the metabolic rate while promoting fat breakdown.
The capsaicin in red chili pepper also speeds up the metabolic rate while promoting faster fat breakdown. Cinnamon has been traditionally used to promote weight loss. This spice helps regulate insulin level to reduce cravings. It also lowers high glucose level and helps reduce belly fat.
Cumin also helps burn off more fat while speeding up the metabolic rate. An Iranian study found that women who consumed ground cumin regularly lost an average of 3 pounds more than participants who did not take cumin at all.