Who said that all that tastes good is unhealthy? Thai food is aromatic, flavorsome, delicious and is secretly packed with healthy goodness.
One can always notice a plate of assorted fresh raw herbs and vegetables on the side of a Thai main dish. Cucumber (skin off), sweet Thai basil, apple, long beans, aubergine, chives, bean sprouts and spring onions are often served as sides. These provide the extra nutrients and vitamins that are lacking in cooked dishes. A little ice put on the plate not only acts as a 'cooler' for both body and mouth but also keeps the vegetables extra crispy.
Thai cuisine comprises of basic herbs that have many health benefits, and they taste great too.
· Fresh chilies - Good source of vitamins A, C and K. Research continues into pain relief potential.
· Coriander:- Good source of dietary fiber and packed with vitamins and minerals.
· Lemongrass - Very good source of iron and potassium and thought to be an effective alternative treatment for yeast infections.
· Lime - Good source of potassium and vitamin C.
· Galangal (Thai ginger) - Aids digestion and is often used to help treat the common cold.
· Garlic - Antioxidant, aids digestion and said to help relieve blood pressure and cholesterol
· Kaffir lime - Promotes gum health and is good for digestion
· Turmeric - Used as an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Broth to your wok
The Thais use very little oil and majorly add broth to their stir fries to ensure that their dish does not get too dry. The oil primarily softens the garlic and its low quantity ensures healthy cooking.
Use Natural Sweeteners
Thai dishes use natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and palm sugar which not only have a richer taste but are healthier as they have lower GI compared to other sweetners.
Fish sauce is the salt of Thailand
Fish sauce added to the dish not gives them a richer taste, but it is also full of proteins, vitamins, minerals and a source of Omega-3.
Thais do not do Dairy
Since dairy farming is not very popular in Thailand, dairy is amongst the less used food groups in Thai cooking. This indirectly reduces the consumption of fats from dairy ingredients like butter and cream.
Thai dishes require quick cooking on high flame, keeping the nutrient value of the foods used unlike the Western tendency to cook the food to death where it loses all its nutritious value along the way.
Eat All Day
The Thai do not eat three large meals a day but eat when they are hungry. Following this habit can help improve metabolism with consumption of healthy soups and fresh fruits along ticking clock of the day.
It is all about the balance
Thai food is not only balanced between the four flavors of sweet, spicy, sour and salty, but also for the body. When a heavy dish like a curry made of coconut milk is prepared it is served with an easier digesting side made of fresh herbs and vegetables. Thus maintaining a balance in the meal.