Get out of the weekday rut and try a healthy, hearty, spice up your life kind of dinner!
With the current Thai food trend still upward bound it’s time to get out and enjoy a healthy dose of culture. Thai cuisine has become the new take-out de jour! Unlike its Asian cousin, Chinese take-out, Thai can be low in fat and salt while offering a healthy dose of vegetables packed with flavour.
Fresh Vegetables and Fruits
Thai vegetables are often served raw or lightly cooked thus the nutrients are intact and waiting to be put to use by the body. The methods of steaming and jump frying allow the nutrients to be sealed in not released down the sink with the boiling water. Look for dishes that offer up a load of vegies such as Pad pak ruam mit basically a dish of steamed rice with a variety of fresh vegetables gently cooked (ordered with or without meat). Or perhaps a light serving of Yam Mamuang (green mango salad) hearty enough to be a light lunch this mango salad offers fresh, tart green mangos in a slightly sweet and salty vinegar dressing.
Coconut is a staple with the entire fruit; milk, water and flesh used throughout many dishes from breakfast to dessert. While coconut is fatty it offers up heart healthy, good-for-you lipids. As with all fat intake watch the serving size!
With a low glycemic index and high dietary fibre content the coconut flesh is filling, nutritious and versatile.
Herbs and Spices
With tons of fresh herbs and loads of health promoting spices many Thai dishes pack a healthy punch. Common herbs and spices in Thai cuisine include:
Ginger – we are all aware that ginger is the “go to” herb for digestive upset but did you know that ginger also offers these healthy benefits? Anti-clogging properties that may help prevent heart disease and stroke. Helps promote digestion and nutrient absorption. Immune boosting, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
Cilantro – packed full of antioxidants, essential oils and vitamins; cilantro is a blood purifier helping to transport toxins out of the body.
Lemon Grass – as a mild astringent lemongrass and its essential oils are used to treat headaches, muscle pain, stomach ache and abdominal pain. It also helps fight off the common cold or flu by reducing fever, easing cough and killing germs. There are too many reasons not to have this unassuming grass in your diet!
…just to name a few!
Thai cuisine, like every country around the world, offers us both healthy and not so healthy dishes. When choosing what to eat look for dishes packed with vegetables, low on fried goodies such as deep fried fish. Opt for the fresh rolls over the spring rolls and go easy on the sweet sauces J The bottom line is get out of your comfort zone, try something new and maybe discover a favorite dish!