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Cabarrus Magazine

Healthy, Tasty Thai

Feb 01, 2016 08:00AM ● By Kimberly Brouillette

Healthy, Tasty Thai

Thai cuisine is usually synonymous with spicy Asian food, but when comparing the health benefits of Asian cuisine, it is the healthiest, most flavorful and freshest available.

Noodle dishes – such as Phad Kee Moa – are made from rice grain and not wheat; therefore, they are naturally gluten-free. Recipes incorporate lean meats as well as healthy vegetables and herbal ingredients, which come together to form “superfoods.”

Some common Thai dish ingredients are so healthy with regard to their immune-boosting and disease-fighting power that they’re being scientifically tested. To maximize these health benefits, it is always recommended that Thai food be served with the freshest ingredients available and that the flour is ground from the rice grain daily, allowing for the best flavor possible.

Other healthy ingredients include Gingerol, the main bioactive compound in ginger. It has a long history in helping aid digestion, reduce nausea, and fight the flu and the common cold. Curcumin – the active ingredient found in turmeric – is an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agent, helping to relieve allergy symptoms and arthritis. In addition, it protects cells platelets in the blood, which improves circulation and overall heart health. Coconut milk is known to lower bad cholesterol (LDL), relax the nerves and muscles, control blood sugar levels, lower blood pressure and reduce joint inflammation.

Coriander is used in seed form and as a fresh herb (cilantro). It has historically been used to help with gastrointestinal and digestive problems, bacterial and fungal infections, and loss of appetite. Lemongrass is high in anti-oxidants. Like coriander, it is beneficial for digestive problems as well as inactive or troublesome bladder issues.

In recent human studies, fresh chilies have shown to aid in maintaining a healthier heart, as well as consistent insulin and glucose levels, and increased metabolism. They can also help alleviate restless sleeping disorders. It is not to say that one should overwhelm himself/herself with heat, but to build a comfortable tolerance with a progressive heat, so make sure to include a scale while ordering these dishes. Enjoy!

Sponsored by Mekong Thai Restaurant & Bar

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