The traditional diet of Thai food is a reflection of its nutritional and cultural values that seeks to combine the pleasure of the palate with the medicinal qualities of its ingredients. These provide substantial amounts of nutrients, such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
It is based on abundant fresh vegetables and herbs, as well as rice, fish and meat. which are seasoned with spices. Curries, soups, and salads are easy-to-prepare dishes that don’t take much time.
So it’s not difficult to enjoy the benefits of Thai food even at home. In the following article we provide some ideas of ingredients and recipes to prepare.
Main ingredients of Thai food
Thai cuisine is full of intense flavors with a wide range including salty, sour, spicy and sweet. While it may seem complicated to prepare at home, simple dishes can be made with just a few basics. These are the products that cannot be missing to start eating Thai:
- Rice: this is the staple grain in the eastern country. Wheat is usually not present, which is good for people with celiac disease. The most used types are jasmine and glutinous. If you choose the wholemeal version, increase the amount of fiber, mineral salts and vitamins.
- Coconut milk: This type of fat is almost never missing in curries and some traditional Thai soups. Provides lauric acid which contributes to lower LDL cholesterol (better known as Bad) and increase HDL o WELL.
- green papaya: it is the immature fruit of the tree of the same name. It is used as if it were a vegetable and is part of one of the best known salads. contributes vitamins, fiber and lycopene, a component with great antioxidant activity.
- spices: They are common in kitchens and are used in abundance. Thanks to them, the dishes acquire very typical colors and aromas. Some of them, such as galanga, turmeric or cardamom, are a source of it antioxidants, vitamin C and anti-inflammatory substances. He also emphasizes the use of Thai basil, garlic and chili peppers.
- Tofu: in Thailand it is prepared fresh every day. contributes vegetable proteins with all the essential amino acids, so it becomes a good alternative to meat or fish. Furthermore, it contains isoflavones of which they have been studied possible positive effects in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis.
- Sea products: many dishes are cooked with prawns, scampi, squid or white fish. These are a good source of basic nutrients, including omega 3 fatty acids, proteins, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.
Does Thai food have contraindications?
As a general rule, this traditional diet can be considered a healthy option to eat. It is based on a variety of ingredients with a large presence of vegetables. However, some of the more typical ways of cooking and seasoning dishes can have some not very positive effects.
First of all, one of the condiments present in many dishes is monosodium glutamate, which is used to give a salty touch. THE Food and pharmaceutical administration considers it a harmless ingredient, but its use is controversial, so it must be specified on product labels.
On some occasions, its consumption generates the presence of negative effects, such as the following:
- Hot flashes and sweating.
- Facial pressure or tension.
- Numbness and tingling.
Another common ingredient is sugar, which is also used in savory recipes. It is common for Thais to add it to soups or sauces to season vegetables and salads. Excessive consumption of added sugars has proven adverse effects in health, so it is better to reduce its presence and eliminate it during the preparation of dishes.
There are also recipes with a significant presence of fat. This occurs with rolls, rice and noodles that are cooked fried. Also some curries that have coconut milk added to them. The result is dishes with a high presence of fats and calories that may need to be controlled.
6 healthy Thai recipes
Let’s look at 6 Thai food preparations that have health benefits. You can experiment with them if you have not yet been introduced to this gastronomy.
Tom Yam Gung (shrimp soup)
It is a spicy dish made with aromatic herbs, lemon, galangal, lime leaves and shallots.. Of course, cooked prawns or king prawns are added and seasoned with fish sauce, pepper and chillies.
We are Tam (green papaya salad)
This Thai food recipe is common and can be found in any corner of the country. The main ingredient is green papaya which is served grated. It is accompanied by vegetables, such as tomatoes and garlic, along with dried shrimp and peanuts.
Pad Thai (pan-fried noodles)
It is, without a doubt, one of the national dishes. It is made with cooked rice noodles that can be accompanied by vegetables, such as bean sprouts and peanuts.. In addition, tofu, meat or egg proteins are added. The dish improves its nutritional qualities if fried in extra virgin olive oil in moderate quantities.
Laab Khai (chicken salad)
Originally from the north east of the country. It is a chicken-based salad with vegetables, spices and aromatic herbs.. It is served with lettuce leaves and sticky rice, making it a complete and nutritious dish.
spring rolls (vegetable rolls)
These are usually served as appetizers. It is prepared with raw vegetables such as lettuce, carrot or cucumber, wrapped in rice paper.
Green, grill OR massaman curry (thai curry)
The basis of this dish is spices and herbs that are pounded in a mortar. Once this paste is fried, the other ingredients are added and everything is cooked together. They can be made with chicken, beef, shrimp or prawns.
Thai food is a healthy way to eat
Including Thai food in your diet is healthy, as its traditional cuisine is based on the use of fresh and nutritious ingredients, such as vegetables, herbs, spices, animal proteins and rice. However, it also has weaknesses, because when it comes to seasonings, sugar, monosodium glutamate and fat are often abused.
There are a number of very healthy ingredients and typical dishes that can have health benefits. Once you get familiar with them, you can cook Asian recipes at home with lots of flavor and aroma or go to any restaurant with the certainty of making a good choice.
The post What are the benefits of Thai food? first appeared on research-school