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BY Alyse

Thai-tastic Ingredients to Incorporate into your Diet

Eating Thai cuisine can be a nutritious and tasty choice as there are plenty of healthy and delicious options to choose from. Many dishes are based around vegetables and lean protein and contain a variety of herbs and spices. Read on to find out what Thai ingredients provide immune boosting and disease fighting benefits.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS AND FIGURES

The basics: most Thai dishes contain a variety of fresh herbs and spices. Onions, shallots, garlic and ginger are among the basic starter ingredients, while coriander, spring onions, and basil are among the common garnishes. The following five ingredients are widely used throughout the Thai cuisine and provide numerous health benefits:

Turmericcurcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is an anti-inflammatory agent, which may help relieve allergy and arthritis symptoms (or any condition caused by excess inflammation) and improve cardiovascular conditions.

Galangal-this relative of ginger also boosts anti-inflammatory properties and may assist in digestion and help alleviate abdominal discomfort.

Coriander-this seed has been used to treat gastrointestinal trouble (including gas and bloating), digestive problems, bacterial and fungal infections, and loss of appetite.

Lemongrass-one of the most widely used ingredients in Thai food, lemongrass has been shown to help relieve everything from cold and flu symptoms, to fevers, headaches, and stomach conditions.

Chilies-not only are they excellent sources of Vitamin C, but chilies may also help you keep your heart healthy and help you maintain consistent insulin and glucose levels.

The following Thai options provide the necessary nutrients to boost immune function or provide disease fighting ingredients.

Basil or Thai rolls (not fried)
Satay with Tamarind Sauce
Steamed Mussels
Green Papaya Salad or Thai Beef Salad
Steamed/ightly stir-fried vegetables and lean proteins
Soups (Tom Yum Goong, Talay Thong, or Crystal Noodle)
Pla Muk Yang (grilled squid with chili sauce)
Ho Muk Pla (marinated fish filet)

Even though Thai ingredients have been touted as healthy, no food is beneficial if you eat it in excess. Beware of large servings and be ready to shrink your servings. Just because the restaurant serves a particular portion, doesn’t mean you need to eat it. Here are a few tricks to help you reap the benefits of Thai food without overdoing your consumption.

  1. Share your plate with a friend
  2. Divide the plate into sections and eat what you want first –checking in regularly to see when you are satisfied.
  3. Ask for a small appetizer plate. Put a serving of food on that plate. We eat with our eyes first and looking at a full small plate will help trigger satisfaction. If you’re eating from a larger plate with excess food, you may be tempted to continue eating even though you are full.

ALYSE’S ADVICE

Thai food is a wonderfully delicious cuisine. In order to reap the benefits of Thai cuisine try to incorporate the ingredients into your own meals. If you enjoy Thai cuisine, remember that the benefits do not permit you to overeat. When you make your choice at a restaurant, think of your meal as a shared plate. You do not need to eat everything that is served to you. And, when you’re satisfied, take the remaining food home.