Thai Cuisine – Eating Your Way to Better Health
Thai food is not for the timid. Although it comes in all shapes and sizes, it normally packs a punch of some kind. Be it sweet or sour, spicy, salty or bitter, it is sure to awaken your senses and stimulate your body.
This is what people around the world are discovering: not only is it one of the world’s great cuisines, but the herbs and spices it contains are very good for you, making it a great way of getting your daily supply of vitamins, nutrients, antioxidants, and energy.
Some of the most common and popular ingredients are coriander, galangal, turmeric and basil, well-known antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory properties, boost the immune system, and fight dangerous toxins and free radicals that can do harm to your body.
Another tasty yet beneficial ingredient in many Thai dishes is lemongrass, which is also known to relieve headaches and reduce stomach cramps. It’s amazing that a bowl of spicy, delicious tom yum soup can be eaten instead of some expensive pharmaceutical that may or may not work. The Chinese have known this for centuries, and long used it as a tonic.
As for your heart, the seat of emotion and the pump for the body, it turns out that two more common ingredients used in many Thai dishes can help you have a healthy, happy heart: coconut milk and chili peppers. Despite what you may have heard about coconut milk in the past, it has now been learned that both coconut milk and coconut oil are much better for you than butter and most vegetable oils, as they are found to increase “good” cholesterol while lowering “bad” cholesterol.
As for those spicy chilies that true lovers of Thai food enjoy, perhaps in moderation, it is being demonstrated that after eating these fiery little peppers, you’ll not only fall asleep faster, but sleep longer and better. And we all know how well we feel after a good night’s sleep.
As if this weren’t enough reason to continue enjoying some wonderful food, it turns out that the Thai method of cooking vegetables lightly, often with Thai holy basil and other herbs and spices mentioned above, bestow excellent anti-aging benefits. The coconut milk has skin-enhancing fatty acids; the holy basil contains calming elements; and turmeric, with its anti-inflammatory properties, even helps fight arthritis.
It’s rare to find something that tastes so good and is actually good for you as well, but Thai food is both. This is one pleasure you need not feel guilty about, and you’ll not only look better as a result of eating Thai cuisine, but feel better, which all leads to a long, healthy, happy life. After all, you are what you eat; so eat Thai, and thrive.
The results are in from the CNN International (CNNGO.com) Facebook world food survey: Thailand’s gaeng massaman (massaman curry) is the world’s tastiest dish, coming in #1!
Not only that, but three other Thai dishes made the World’s Top 50 chart: world famous tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup) placed a respectable #8; Isan’s nam tok mu (spicy pork salad) was not far behind at #19 and the ever-popular som tum (papaya salad) was ranked #46.
Gaeng massaman was described as “emphatically the king of curries, and perhaps the king of all foods. Spicy, coconutty, sweet and savory, its combination of flavors has more personality than a Thai election.” Massaman crushed all the world’s most delicious offerings, including Japanese sushi (#4), Mexican chocolate (#3), and Neapolitan pizza (#2) to reign as the world champ.
The CNN poll concludes saying: “’The Land of Smiles’ isn’t just a marketing catch-line. It’s a result of being born in a land where the world’s most delicious food is sold on nearly every street corner.” Well, maybe not every street corner, even if we wished it was. But Thailand has been proven once again to be justifiably proud of her superior cuisine, one more reason to add Thailand to your bucket list of places to visit before you “kick the bucket.”