By Sneha Sadhwani, Clinical Nutritionist
There are so many different food ingredients around the world that not only satisfy the taste buds, but they are also nutritious. Each cuisine in the world is different and delicious.
Different cooking techniques are used and unique and native spices are added to the food ingredients, which makes each food preparation different from the other.
It is not possible to list all the food cuisines, therefore, here are top 5 healthy cuisines around the globe:
The Greek cuisine is loaded with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts and oilseeds, fish, pulses and legumes. Everything under this cuisine is cooked in olive oil.
A healthy Greek diet, also known as a Mediterranean diet is generally low in saturated fats and red meat is seldom on their food list.
The most commonly used herbs in Greek cuisine are basil, oregano, dill and parsley. Milk and milk products, wine and poultry are consumed in moderate amounts.
Because so many wholesome foods are a part of this cuisine, it provides nutritional and physical wellness benefits. It improves the heart health, helps in weight management, boosts immune function and reduces the risk of cancer.
The first thing, which hits the mind when we hear the word ‘Lebanese’ is the world’s favorite healthy dip- hummus.
A variety of herbs and spices are used, which makes this cuisine so creative and flavorsome. Tahini is their traditional sauce, which is made using sesame seeds, that are full of protein and omega-6 fatty acids.
The staples of this delicious cuisine are legumes, nuts and oilseeds, vegetables, fruits and low-fat dairy products.
Lebanese dips and sauces are healthy as they made from different legumes, herbs, vegetables and oilseeds. A few examples include:
- Baba Ghanoush
This cuisine is usually high in protein coming from legumes and poultry and rich in dietary fiber. Fresh vegetables are a part of this cuisine, which provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Many people think that Indian cuisine is loaded with deep-fried foods and desserts, but this is not entirely true. The old and traditional Indian diet is rich in dietary fiber from whole grain cereals, plant protein from dals, legumes and pulses and calcium from dairy products.
Vegetable oil and pure ghee are the major sources of fat used for cooking. Pure ghee is easy to digest plus it enhances bone health, cognition, gut health and the immune system.
Breads and refined sugar have now become a regular part of the Indian diet, but our original diet is actually rich in whole grain cereals like pearl millet, sorghum and broken wheat. Vegetables are a part of each meal in the form of ‘subzi’ or raw salads.
Thai food is filled with intense flavors coming from coconut milk, turmeric, ginger, lemon grass, basil, and chili peppers. Their food preparations are loaded with a variety of colorful and nutritious vegetables.
All these ingredients have strong antioxidant properties, which inhibit oxidative stress and protect the body against harmful attack caused by free radicals.
Ginger, lemongrass and turmeric that are used frequently in this cuisine possess therapeutic properties. Seafood, fresh vegetables and spices used in Thai cuisine stimulate the metabolism and provide vital nutrients.
Mexican food is filled with the goodness of beans, fresh tomatoes, avocado, corns, jalapenos and coriander. Ditch the cream and the cheese and load your plate with these healthy ingredients.
Kidney beans are a great source of plant protein and dietary fiber. They contain nutrients like vitamin K, manganese and potassium, which regulate the blood pressure.
Salsa is a famous sauce of this cuisine and tomato is the main ingredient of this sauce. Tomatoes are loaded with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant and an anti-cancer agent. Avocados contain dietary fiber, good quality fat and vitamin E, which keeps the heart healthy.
Each cuisine has some unhealthy ingredients. The main strategy is to limit the intake of such ingredients and to fill your plate with the major healthy ingredients. Choose wisely from a wide range of foods and enjoy their fresh flavors. Even though these cuisines are healthy, overeating may just reverse their health benefits.