Unlike its other neighbours, Thailand is known for its healthier options when it comes to food. Indeed, at first glance, you may find the country’s cuisine to be all for satisfying one’s cravings due to its bursting of flavours, but in reality, that’s not all there is to it. In fact, Thai food offers a lot of health benefits, only that they are often downplayed.
But what exactly are the benefits of eating Thai dishes to your health? If you’ve been frequently munching on Thai food in Singapore lately, then you may want to get to know about these health perks below:
Curcumin, a powerful anti-oxidant
Curcumin is a powerful anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and it is well used in treating various health conditions and as a preventive measure against inflammation and allergies. Curcumin is also helpful in keeping the blood platelets at their optimum shape, and improves blood flow.
Curcumin is present in various Thai dishes, mainly because of the use of turmeric in many of the country’s meals. Turmeric is used as a major spice in curries, as well as a marinating ingredient for meat dishes. Since this spice is also used as a colouring agent, turmeric is also used in rice to make it yellow. As a result, this yellow rice becomes rich in curcumin as well.
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, curcumin has been found out to be a useful agent in fighting arthritis, bacterial infections in wounds, and as well as skin and breast cancers.
The hidden secrets of galangal
Galangal is a rhizome that’s mostly unknown in the western world, but it is immensely popular in Southeast Asia, particularly in Thailand. A relative of ginger, it is known for its ability to help ease out on digestion problems. It was even referred to as the “spice of life” due to its usage in various home remedies. These days galangal is being used in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, and in the Thai culture, it is a staple in the ever famous Tom Yum soup.
Among the benefits found in galangal are:
- Improve abdominal discomfort
- Ease out on digestion
- Treat seasickness, nausea, motion sickness, and vomiting
- Improve blood circulation
- Prevent diarrhoea
- Help treat stomach ulcers
People often think that lemongrass is just another flavouring agent for grilled meats and soup bases, thanks to its sweet but minty aroma. It is a staple in Thai cooking, and lemongrass can be found in just about every dish the country has to offer.
But aside from its strong lemony aroma and aftertaste, lemongrass also offers various herbal benefits, such as being a key treatment for cough and colds, a pain reliever for headaches, and in alleviating symptoms of abdominal pain and other stomach issues.
Persons suffering from such conditions are recommended to take a bowl of soup that has lemongrass in it, which is something most Thai dishes have.
Also known as cilantro, coriander is a staple in Thai food in Singapore, often because of its familiar taste among foreigners. But coriander is also useful in improving the senses, such as reducing flatulence and other gastrointestinal conditions, improving digestion, treating bacterial and fungal infections, and improving one’s appetite.
Lastly, there’s coconut milk, a staple in Thai curries. Coconut milk may be high in cholesterol, but it also offers a lot of health benefits when consumed regularly, such as lowering bad cholesterol, improving the immune system, and regulates metabolic functions. Coconut milk is also known for providing essential fatty acids that are not common in Western food.