Healthy and balanced: two features of the Asian diet
If you’re a foodie, this article is for you. Do you love everything from recipes and ingredients to flavours and presentation? In all that variety of nuances and aromas, it’s a fair bet that you’ve wondered more than once which type of cuisine is the healthiest and most balanced.
Among the different varieties of global cuisine, we can tell you that the Asian diet is very healthy and nutritious. What’s more, each dish carries you away to the varied, colourful countries of Southeast Asia without you having to leave home. Easy, tasty and healthy meals all in one place! Sounds good, doesn’t it?
But what makes Asian food so special? Read on and we’ll tell you all about our time-honoured cuisine, which will delight you from your first bite. Get your notepad ready!
The cornerstones of the Asian diet, one of the oldest in the world
If you want a healthy, balanced diet, Asian cuisine is an ideal choice. You may be wondering why. Here are three features that make Asian food unique:
- It’s low in saturated fats.
- It’s also low in dairy.
- Its cooking techniques involve the food being steamed, boiled or stir-fried with very little oil, and without its distinguishing flavours being destroyed.
Do you still have doubts about the health benefits of Asian cuisine? Don’t worry! We’re going to reveal more secrets about this enduring cuisine.
Did you know that eating protein is considered very important in almost all Southeast Asian countries? In case you didn’t know, the main sources of protein are eggs, chicken, beef, fish, seafood and pork. Sugar, on the other hand, isn’t an essential part of Asian cuisine.
But what about dessert? you may be wondering. The crowning jewel of a good Asian-style culinary experience comes in the form of fruit-based desserts. The fruit is enjoyed in its natural state and its fibre content is high. Have you started falling in love with Asian food yet?
You see, the variety of flavour-packed colourful dishes is an experience in itself that both your body and taste buds will enjoy.
Ingredients and textures of the Asian diet
- Rice: a ubiquitous ingredient in Asian cuisine. And just in case you didn’t know, this traditional cereal is the only carbohydrate that plays a significant role in the Asian diet. It’s a wholesome component that brings nutritional balance to Asian food.
- But what about the noodles? In Asian cuisine, noodles are made from rice rather than wheat, which is the typical choice for pasta in the Mediterranean diet. Now we’ve come this far, can you see the numerous benefits of the Asian diet? Hopefully you can, but there’s still much more to come.
- Vegetables: another natural delight full of colour, flavour, aroma and texture. But the most important thing is that they contain a special invisible benefit: the vitamins and minerals that your body needs every day and that are found in Asian food. Thật biết ơn! (In Vietnamese, that means I’m very grateful!).
What’s more, vegetables can be served with rice or noodles, but you can also enjoy them stir-fried or in salads. An ambrosia that your body will thank you for!
To give you an idea of the importance of vegetables in Asian cuisine, if you visit the pantry in an oriental house, you’ll see that it looks like the produce stand at your local market. You can find a wide variety of vegetables of all shapes, colours, textures and aromas.
But the list goes on! Other ingredients used in Asian food are seaweed and soybeans in all their different forms. These are considered foods with a high nutritional value. Both provide the all-important calcium that Asian people don’t get from dairy. Among the most common herbs are lemon verbena, ginger, basil and parsley, all of which have antioxidant properties. A host of natural products with great nutritional benefits!
But we have even more interesting facts to share! To continue with the beneficial list of foods that form part of the Asian diet, our dishes are rich in nuts like cashews, peanuts, chestnuts and almonds. These provide plenty of minerals, dietary fibre and vitamins B and E. As far as pulses are concerned, the most popular are soybeans and lentils. An Asian home is always well stocked with those!
An interesting fact about Asian food is that you won’t normally find sausages or dairy products like butter or cheese.
As you can see, the Asian diet is packed with health benefits. The wide variety of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins Asian cuisine provides are what make it so special. People who eat it smile a lot and have a high life expectancy.
Would you like to experience Asian food and enjoy all its benefits? Jump in and become part of this healthy experience packed with flavour, aroma and colour! Qǐng xiǎngyòng! (Chinese for enjoy your meal!).