Stephanie D. Murillo
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How Turkish Food is good for you?

A delicious and healthy food is always a big reason to arouse one’s appetite. When you are hungry, you wish to have food that would satisfy not only your appetite but also have a good taste and healthy nutrients. The countries on the Mediterranean are considered the best cuisine around the world due to their taste and healthy nutrients. Turkish food is ranked in the top three best cuisines of the world. Turkish food has diversity. It is inspired by Greek, Central Asian, Jewish, Middle Eastern and Caucasian cuisines. Its many dishes have a strong influence of Asian, European and Iranian dishes. Turkey has ancient civilization. Its rich culture and geographical location have a great influence on its cuisine as well.

The variety, pure quality, the simplicity of the recipes, quality ingredients, and excellent taste are main attributes of Turkish Cuisine. The freshness, appearance, aroma and healthy nutrients of Turkish food make it popular among food lovers. A Turkish meal usually starts with the serving of soup or meze. Meze is used as an appetizer before a meal. Fish, seafood or meat dishes are served as the main course with the salad as a side dish and of course desserts in the last of the meal.

turkish food
(Image credit by tooistanbul

Ingredients of Turkish Dishes

Turkish cuisine varies across the country. Like the variety of dishes, ingredients used in foods of different regions of Turkey also vary. The core ingredients of Turkish cuisine are vegetables, legumes, cheese, grains, spices, yogurt, seafood, fresh fruits, dry fruits, beef, meat and olive oil.  The main ingredients of the cooking of Istanbul, Bursa, and Izmir are rice, vegetables, eggplants, dolmas and fish. The people living in the Black Sea region use fish and maize abundantly. The western parts of Turkey are famous for their olive trees so that you can see the olive and olive oil as the core ingredient in their dishes. The main ingredients used in the Aegean, Marmara and Mediterranean regions of Turkey are vegetables, herbs and fish. The most common spices used in Turkish food include; water, sumac, Mint, Urfa chilies, and parsley.

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Health Benefits of Eating Turkish Food

Turkish cuisine has a large variety of dishes and versatility in taste, each region of Turkey has a special dishes and unique flavors. Home cooked and restaurant cuisine includes a large variety of dishes made of beef, lamb and chicken. Although fast food is gaining popularity around the world, the Turkish people prefer to eat homemade foods, because they never compromise on health. According to the researchers, it is admitted that cuisines including high amounts of fruit, vegetables, starchy foods and a moderate amount of meat provide more health benefits rather than diet or junk foods.

  • Eating Turkish food that is high in protein can satisfy your appetite at maximum level, ensuring your insulin level balanced after the meal. Besides the taste, Turkish traditional food is healthy due to its nutritional value and never puts stress on your stomach.
  • Yogurt is the main ingredient used in many Turkish dishes, salads, sauces and beverages that have a lot of health benefits.
  • Olives are full packed of nutrients and antioxidants. It is scientifically proven that the use of olive oil is better than other vegetable oils as it is healthy for the heart and has low fats.
  • As we have already discussed that fish is used in abundance in Turkish dishes, it is very beneficial for human health. Oily fish is rich in Omega 3 fats and protein, and low in calories and fats. Fish used in Turkish dishes is mostly grilled or baked in foil that makes it healthier.
Image credit by superyachtturkey
Image credit by superyachtturkey

Some Famous Turkish foods

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Turkish food demands time and effort to be cooked. Turkish people emphasize on the freshness of the food, nutrient values giving preference to the light spicy food like rice. Grilled and barbecued meat and vegetables are a common part of Turkish food. Here are some famous Turkish foods that you would like to try.

  • Kebaps

Turkish kebaps have a variety including; shish kebap cağ kebabi, donor kebab, adana kebabi, steam kebab, and test kebab. These kebaps have meat as a core ingredient. They are delicious as well as full of nutrients.

Image Credit by turtella
Image Credit by turtella
  • Pilaf

Turkish Pilaf is a very popular dish of Turkey that is cooked rice containing meat, vegetables, pasta and dried fruits. It is quite different from Asian Pilav. It is light, healthier and good in taste. If you are going to order a Turkish lunch or dinner, you must try Turkish pilaf at least once. Turkish Pilaf is a favorite dish of the Turkish people as it is very light and less spicy but tasty and healthy.

Image credit by nadidetarifler
Image credit by nadidetarifler
  • Köfte

Köfte is prepared from ground meat with chopped onion, crumbled bread and spices in round or cylindrical shape. A serving of Köfte with a Turkish drink can be refreshing and delicious at the same time. Turkey has 291kinds of Köfte.

Image credit by recipeshub
Image credit by recipeshub
  • Menemen

Menemen is a traditional Turkish dish that is served mostly at breakfast with bread. It is prepared with eggs, tomatoes, green chili and spices. The onion is added when the menemen is used as a main course lunch or dinner.

Image credit by sohu
Image credit by sohu
  • Börek

Börek is a Turkish dough pastry that is made of thin flaky dough and cut into portions after the baking. It is delicious and crispy. Like other Turkish dishes, börek also have a variety of recipes and taste.

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Image credit by yemek
Image credit by yemek
  • Manti

Manti are Turkish dumplings which is almost everyone’s favourite in Turkey. These dumplings are stuffed with meat and topped with yogurt and tomato paste. It’s very easy to prepare.

Image credit by turkishcooking
Image credit by turkishcooking
  • Coffee and Tea

Coffee and tea are a part of Turkish culture. It is thick and dark, mostly served without the sugar with dry fruits and pastries. If you are a coffee or tea lover, you will love to have Turkish coffee or tea on your breakfast table.

Image credit by alwatanvoice
Image credit by alwatanvoice
  • Turkish sweets and desserts

Turkish sweets are the most famous sweets around the world. The use of pure, rich milk and scent of rose water give a unique taste to these sweets. In spite of the richness of Turkish sweets and desserts, they are low in calories and fats. Helva, asure, baklava and kadayif are some famous Turkish sweets. Turkish desserts are so delicious that you can’t resist even once, including them in your meal.

Image credit by triip
Image credit by triip

Always remember, it is not necessary that any cuisine has every dish perfectly according to the health chart. That is why; you must be able to choose healthier food for your meal, avoiding those of Turkish dishes containing high calories and fats. If you want to stay restricted to some fats and calories, then you should be smart enough to choose low-calorie Turkish dishes for your lunch and dinner.

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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Papaorder Blog explores the food culture of various nations while the main focus is on Arabic culinary style and culture.

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