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Stephanie D. Murillo
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12 Reasons Why Is Thai Food Healthy to Eat

Thai food is one of the best flavored and healthiest foods around the world. The unique taste, fresh ingredients used in Thai foods and the way of cooking make Thai food more delightful and mouth-watering. Though Thai food has a special taste and aroma that can attract the food lovers, they are also packed full of minerals and vitamins. If you’re already a Thai food lover then probably you know about the traditional Thai dishes such as Gai Pad Me Mamuang, PorPiaTord, Khaolhlukkapi. If you have never tasted Thai food, you can try many mouthwatering Thai cuisines which are widely available in many countries that will make you fall in love with Thai food.

Thai cuisine places emphasize on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic ingredients and a spicy touch. You can enjoy at least three and up to four or five basic taste senses in each Thai dish; sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. The basic ingredients of Thai food include; turmeric, galangal, coriander and lemongrass, chilies, coconut milk, and kaffir lime leaves. Thai foods are quite similar to Asian foods contained in a variety of flavors and spices. Some spices used in Thai food possess the healing properties for the human body. Thai dishes are delicious as well as healthy for human health. That’s why Thai food is becoming so popular around the world.

In my last post, I’ve discussed Japanese food, here I’m going to share some important things about Thai Food.

Thai food ingredients
Image Credit by varuninamdar

Healthy Ingredients Commonly Used in Thai Food

Many people think that the ingredients used in Thai cooking are especially exotic, and they are expensive or not easy to find in shops. It is not true at all; many grocery stores carry all these wonderful, nutritious Thai ingredients very inexpensively. These ingredients include spices, herbs and sauces as well. Some of the main ingredients used in Thai cuisines are as follows:

  1. Turmeric

Turmeric is closely related to the Ginger family, and native to Asia. Like many other countries, turmeric is used in dried, powder form in Thailand. The Curcumin in Turmeric is a known anti-inflammatory agent. This active ingredient of turmeric not only protects platelets in the blood, which lead to a healthy heart but also improve the blood circulation and fights against bacterial infections. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant that can protect the skin from pimples and acne breakouts, and can speed up the healing of damaged skin.

READ:  20 Best Foods That Can Fight Cancer
Turmeric
Image Credit by Healthyfoodlife
  1. Kaffir Lime Leaves

Kaffir Lime Leaves have antioxidant properties that purify the blood and improve the digestive system. Kaffir also helps to improve the dental and oral health. It is one of the basic flavors used in Thai foods. This plant is also known for cleansing the mind and the body and averts evil spirits. Thai cooking tends to make use of fresh herbs in their natural rather than their extracts. That is the best part of Thai food.  In Thailand, the leaves are also used in shampoos to prevent hair loss and as a deodorant.

Kaffir Lime Leaves
Image Credit by indochinekitchen
  1. Garlic

Garlic is commonly used in various Thai dishes. China is the top garlic-producing country, with the annual production of more than 10 million tones. Garlic can be consumed raw or cooked and offers numerous health benefits. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol level and regulates blood sugar levels because of having powerful nutrients and antioxidants. It has anti-fungal properties, so it can help improve the digestive tract, as well boosting up your energy.

garlic

  1. Chili

In Thailand, people love to spice up their foods with chilies, both fresh and dried. Chilies originated in South America over 6000 years ago. They are now grown and used worldwide. Chilies, whether fresh or dried have great health benefits if you eat them. They can clear the sinuses and alleviate congestion. They also boost the immune system, keep the heart healthy and can fight inflammation. Red chilies are high in vitamin C, and these hot and spicy little fruits can also act as a natural pain relief. Eating chilies has also been known to prevent blood clots.

chillis

  1. Coconut milk

Coconut milk is a very healthy ingredient of Thai food. It contains fat that is quite beneficial for the human health. It helps in lowering LDL cholesterol which is harmful at a high level. It increases the fatty acids that the body needs to function properly. It also improves immune system of the body.

READ:  Lemon Garlic Roasted Salmon Recipe
coconut milk
Image Credit by inhabitots
  1. Coriander

Coriander is a very common and well-known ingredient in Thai food as well as Asian food. It provides aid in digestion, improves the immune system and helps to fight against common minor illness. Like other herbs, it not only adds taste to the food but also enhance its aroma.

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  1. Tamarind

Tamarind is originated from Africa, but now it is also cultivated in South Asia. It is a good source of antioxidants and contains many vital minerals, vitamins, and dietary fibers. It reduces fever and improves digestion. It also has the power to heal many skin infections and surface wounds. This ingredient gives a sour touch to the Thai food.

Tamarind

  1. Galangal:

Galangal is used as a food flavoring and spice in many cuisines. It is a ginger-like spices use in Thai foods. It is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to improve circulation, digestion and helps in alleviating stomach ache. It is mainly found in Southeast coast, but it is also grown in India and the rest of South East Asia. You can also ginger as a substitute of galangal.

galangal
Image credit by Liveinterent
  1. Lemongrass

Lemongrass has a pleasant fragrance and a strong flavor. It is added to Thai foods to create a strong taste. It helps with digestive problems and illness. It contains antioxidants which are truly beneficial for the human health.

Lemongrass
Image Credit by sistacafe

10. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is the backbone of Thai culinary, as it is used as salt in Thai meals. There are lots of branded fish sauces available in the markets that you can use in your favorite Thai dish. But you should keep in mind that all of them are not equally healthy. So, always check the ingredients of fish sauce before buying.

fish sauce

11. Brown Rice

Rice is one of the most important ingredients in Thai food. But, brown rice is mostly used in traditional Thai dishes. They have high nutritional value and also offer several health benefits. Jasmine rice is also grown in throughout Central Thailand as a staple food.

READ:  50 Foods That Help You Lose Weight

brown rice
12. Curry Paste

Curry paste is also known as a crucial ingredient which is commonly used in Thai dishes. You can make it on your own or also buy it from any supermarket. You can easily find it in two variations such as red and green. By using these curry pastes in Thai food, you can make it tastier and appetizing.

thai paste
Image Credit by flavorsofmumbai

Top 10 Amazing Tips for Healthy Thai Cooking

  1. Try making lighter, stir-fried dishes and the fresh Thai spring rolls.
  2. Use fresh Thai ingredients such as lime, chilies, coriander, galangal, turmeric, and garlic,
  3. Serve fresh and raw vegetable and herbs as side dishes for a nutrient boost.
  4. Add veggies or meat broth to your stir-fried dishes.
  5. Sweeten your Thai meal with the use of natural sweeteners like coconut sugar and palm sugar.
  6. Make your Thai dish tastier by adding fish sauce. This Thai sauce is full of proteins, minerals and vitamins as it is usually made from sardines and anchovies.
  7. Don’t use dairy products like butter and cream too much in cooking.
  8. Use vegetable oil rather than coconut oil or lard.
  9. Choose chicken instead of duck, but limit the use of meat and seafood.
  10. When you are hungry, eat all day like a Thailand native. They prefer to eat snack than consumes three large meals a day.

healthy Thai food

10 Popular Thai Foods that You Must Try

Here is a list of some popular Thai cuisines that you must try in a Thai restaurant.

  • Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup) Tom Yum Goong
  • Khao Pad (fried Rice)
  • Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad)
  • Gaeng Daeng (Red Curry)
  • To Kha Kai (Chicken with Coconut Soup)
  • Yam Nua (Spicy Beef Salad)
  • Pad Thai (Fried Noodles)
  • Gaeng Keow Wan Kai (Green Curry)
  • Pad Krarpow Moo Saap (Fried Pork and Basil)
  • Kai Med Ma Muang (Chicken with Cashew Nuts

What is your favorite Thai food? Share it with us in the comment box.

 

Stephaine D. Murillo is a Dubai-based American professional nutritionist who tells the secrets of a healthy and longer life. She is ambitious to find the significant benefits of a nutritional and balanced diet. She guides food lovers about the health benefits and drawbacks of vegetables, fruits and other types of food. She loves to share information about food & health through Papaorder Blog. So, subscribe Papaorder blog to get her health & food tips.

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