Thai food is amongst some of the most nutritious in the world and the ingredients can also help improve your immune system. How can you Thai food improve your immune system?
On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vegetables or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?
When you’re surrounded by nasty cases of the flu this season, your bodies immune system needs all the help it can get to ward off illness.
It’s important to be conscious of what you’re putting in your body, especially during this season of sickness. Reduce your intake of processed foods and focus on whole foods like fruits and vegetables. These will give your body a needed boost of vitamins and minerals.
Thai food to boost your immune system
Thai food is amongst some of the most nutritious in the world. The health benefits of not only the ingredients used, but the method in which they are prepared mean that they are rich in many of the vitamins and minerals we need to make an impact on the overall health of the body and its well-being.
As well as being rich in plant and vegetable matter, the herbs and spices used to create its distinctive flavors and aromas also have added health benefits too.
Thai cuisine is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. In fact, several Thai dishes, such as Tom Yum Soup, are currently under scientific study for their incredible health.
Of course, it’s already known that many of the fresh herbs and spices used in Thai cooking – such as turmeric, galangal, coriander, lemongrass, and fresh chillies – have immune-boosting and disease-fighting power.
Many people think that the ingredients used in Thai cooking are especially exotic, that they are expensive or not easy to find in shops. This is not true at all; many grocery stores carry all these wonderful, nutritional foods very inexpensively. Some of the main ingredients used are as follows:
Kaffir Lime Leaves
Citrus hystrix or Citrus amblycarpa belongs is a type of lime native to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. Called makrut in Thailand and limau parut in some regions of Southeast Asia.
Everyone at some point in their gastronomic adventures has eaten Thai red curry or the green one; sipped on the spicy Tom Yum and the Tom Kha soups and wondered what is it that makes these dishes so zesty and flavorful? It’s the lime leaves in the food that lends them that distinct flavor typical of the Southeast Asian cuisine.
Apart from culinary uses for which most people know this plant, it has other uses which make it a regular in most Thai homes, restaurants and backyards In popular Thai culture, this plant is known to cleanse the mind and the body and ward off evil spirit, which explains every house having one!
It is a digestive aid with many known health benefits; the leaves cleanse the blood while helping maintain healthy teeth and gums. In Thailand the leaves are added to shampoo (said to prevent hair loss) and used as deodorant.
Lemongrass is distinctively perfumed with a delightful citrus scent that is pleasing to the senses. It is commonly used to tone down stronger flavours within Thai dishes and impart a fragrance and delicacy. In terms of health, it is excellent to eat for anyone who suffers from digestive problems, or that suffers from issues with an inactive or troublesome bladder, as it will help and encourage it to function normally. It is also incredibly rich in anti-oxidants which can help in the fight against inflammation within the body caused by any number of illnesses or ailments.
Galangal is perhaps not well known to many people, but it is invaluable in the creation of many authentic Thai dishes. Again, it is a super-food in terms of it’s ability to help with any gastro-intestinal problems, particularly bloating, as it has a very calming and easing effect on the system. Within cooking it offers a slightly hot taste that can temper the stronger flavors of some of the more pungent meats and fishes used in Thai cuisine. Galangal is also highly anti-bacterial and so is perfect for those who may suffer from complaints like stomach ulcers. It is also incredibly rich in iron, so is a good choice to include in the diet if you are anemic or maybe do not eat a lot of meat and need to find it from other sources.
In Western cooking, ginger, more often than not is bought ready powdered and primarily used as an addition to sweet dishes and desserts. Which for some means it can be incredibly off putting. However, the fresh root, cooked in stir-fries is completely different. It has warmth to it and a delicate taste that is not pungent. Nor will it over burden the palate. In terms of health, ginger root is something that is well known to aid mental health and states of anxiety or depression.
It has a calming and soothing effect on the mind and the body when taken as part of a soothing drink, very often made up by steeping the root in boiling water with a little lemon and honey added to it. This also is an excellent tonic for anyone suffering the effects of a cold or sore throat as well as being an effective anti-spasmodic tonic to aid the symptoms of something like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Pandan is again something that is perhaps not as well known as it should be outside of Asian cooking. It is a leaf that is absolutely power packed with tannins, anti-oxidants and alkaloids, all essential for the health and strength of the immune system and good tonics for anyone suffering from issues with their bladder, as it can help maintain regularity and ease any discomfort.
They are also an excellent choice for anyone who is feverish or suffering from such illnesses as an ear infection. Also chest discomfort due to a cough or cold. The leaves can be chewed raw or turned into a soothing juice to help with toothache. Even more bleeding gums it will numb pain and have an anti-bacterial effect.
Goodness and health benefits
The staple ingredients of many Thai dishes number many more than are listed above, and can all be interchangeable in a variety of different recipes. Thai food is incredibly nutritionally dense because the foods are primarily stir-fried or cooked very quickly in steam over a high heat. This means that they retain all their goodness and health benefits.
Foods that are boiled or microwaved can soon lose their nutrients, not to mention their vibrant colors and tastes. By keeping the cooking to a minimum and only using high quality oils or seasonings. Even turning any one of the ingredients listed above into a soothing tisane or tea. With something like honey to sweeten, can mean that these foods are still just as good for you as if you ate them raw!