If you happen to be a foodie you will certainly be inquisitive to know about the top most palatable cuisines from around the world that you will love to devour.
But shouldn’t a foodie be concerned about ones health. In present times when people are educated and aware of the health issues, the choices about food and cuisines are made keeping in mind its health and nutritional perspective.
Eating Healthy is beyond salad and grilled chickens. It is in fact much more if we consider the ethnic, time tested cuisines from around the world. When you enjoy a global cuisine in its purest form, you get a healthy meal that is light, nutritious, absolutely yummy and something new for your taste buds.
There are a number of ethnic cuisines existing in the world representing the taste of a particular country or region, a tribe or culture; but not all have managed to attract the food explorers and the conscious eaters. The best cuisines are thus not only the ones that are relished the most for their culinary aspects but also for enhancing your life spans and longevity.
The World’s Top Ten Most Healthy Cuisines in order of their country’s are listed herein.
Read on to find out if its the Japanese, The Koreans Or The Greeks that make it to the Number 1 position:
Traditional Lebanese food is popular for being delicious, but it is also a fantastic choice for those looking for a healthy food option. The cuisine emphasizes on using fresh local ingredients that ensures maximum nutritional benefits from each bite. With olive oil being used for maximum number of cooking, Lebanese food can do wonders to control cholesterol, blood sugar and boost overall heart health. Lebanese meal uses more of lean protein and less of carbohydrate again making it good for those watching their calorie intake. The fresh herbs used in cooking, not only enhance the taste or flavour of the food, but also is beneficial for immunity and overall health. Not to forget, Lebanese cuisine makes good use of Chick peas in its recipes like hummus and falafel providing you with calcium, magnesium, phosphate, iron and vitamin K which together helps in strengthening bones, lower blood pressure, fight cancer, lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation.
A typical French Diet consists of fish, fruit, vegetable oils, full fat dairy and un-processed food. The French are known for culinary expertise as the heart of French cooking involves use of fresh quality ingredients so that the essential flavours and textures stand out. More than the ingredients, French eating emphasizes on meal pattern and strictness to adhere. Frenchmen do not snack in between and eat only at fixed timings with their meal portions kept smaller. Consciously the meal time is made family time to make the environment harmonious and stress free. A French meal is overwhelming and involves multigrain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and non-fried foods and moderate amount of red wine. The beauty of French cuisine is to keep things simple and un-processed reaping maximum nutritional benefits.
Food prepared in Indian sub-continent is known for its rich use of spices and herbs which makes it tasty, delectable and globally unique. Indian Cuisine in itself includes a vast variety of food ingredients and cooking methods that vary from state to state and region to region. Using a variety of locally available staple, vegetables, fruits and spices makes it nutritionally beneficial too. The diversity of Indian meal supports immunity and brain function. Indian food typically uses a lot of wholegrain cereals and millets like bajra, corn, jowar, etc. Locally available fresh fruits and vegetables are also beneficial for health and immunity. Even the combination of foods like cereals and pulses together make a meal complete and rich in macronutrients like protein for those who are strictly vegetarian. A traditional Indian thali can be the best example of nutritionally balanced diet if properly planned and prepared.
This cuisine too emphasizes on smaller portion size called “Tapas” (small plates of food). Traditional Spanish cuisine applauds of sampling small portions of tasty and healthy food and making a dinner of it. The diet is full of good fats such as olive oil, nuts, fish; and rich in fibre due to high consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Hence the Spanish diet reduces the risk of heart ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes. When choosing a dish in a Spanish menu, go for Gazpacho (a soup of raw and blended vegetables) and Paella (Valencian rice dish using chicken, shrimp and chorizo).
A traditional Italian eating pattern boasts of meal-timing as a leisure activity. When you enjoy your food, you can reap the maximum benefits. Though most of the time Italian recipes are considered to be carbohydrate rich, it can actually be very healthy if the ethnicity is maintained. Italian cuisine makes a good use of star ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, oregano, parsley and basil. These fighter ingredients are highly effective in protection from cancer, heart disease, lowering cholesterol and reducing belly fat.
Over the years Thai cuisine has gained much popularity for its taste but it is actually healthy too. A traditional favourite Thai soup called Tom Yung Gung is considered very effective against cancer. Thai cuisine makes a good use of herbs like lemon grass, coriander, cilantro, etc which are considered very good source of antioxidants and phytonutrients that fight free-radicals the main culprits of cancer-tumour growth. Thai cooking uses ginger that aids in digestion, turmeric that cures inflammation, and lemon-grass that is good for treating cold and other gut problems. Well Thai cuisine also uses coconut milk extensively that is rich in saturated fats so be cautious of dishes you choose when you are dining out.
Most of the Mexican restaurants provide dishes that are high on calories and are fat stuffed but that’s not the true picture. In fact, an authentic Mexican meal is supposedly heart healthy and fat reducing as it consists mainly of fresh veggies that are eaten raw or just after blanching, beans, soups and tomato based sauces as dressing or topping. Hence a traditional meal might be very effective for weight loss and protect against heart diseases and cancer.
Around the globe, Korean food is known for being spicy and delicious. But science proves that Korean cuisine is healthy as well. Low obesity rate of Koreans is a proof for that. Koreans are healthy than their American or European counterparts mainly because of their diet. The most common ingredient of Korean cuisine is vegetable. Many of the vegetables like cabbage, beans and spinach are usually fermented and then used in salads and other dishes making them easily digestible and also full of micronutrients that are essential for metabolism and immunity. Recipes also use generous amounts of garlic, ginger and other beneficial herbs and spices. Apart from vegetables, Koreans also eat meat but then the variety includes lean beef, chicken breast and fatty fish, all of which keep our heart healthy. Even their cooking techniques render their food healthy or help in retaining maximum nutrients. Stewing, grilling, stir-frying and fermenting are the main cooking procedures.
The traditional Japanese cuisine especially of the Okinawa island is considered super healthy owing to the life expectancy of 100 years of the people living there. Diet is considered to be rich in cancer fighting fruits and vegetables and also prepared in a healthy manner just steamed or quickly stir fried. The staple that goes in making a Japanese diet includes yam rich in antioxidants, green tea, cruciferous, veggies like bok choy which is rich in calcium, iodine rich seaweed, seafood rich in omega-3 fats, shiitake mushrooms (a rich source for iron, potassium, zinc, copper and folic acid)and whole-soy foods. Also the Japanese people practice a food habit called Hara Hachi Bu which implies eating only 80% of your appetite. This way too, Japanese people stay healthy and fit in life for long. Try a miso soup or simple veggie and tofu stir fry next when you visit a Japanese restaurant.
It is Greek cuisine from where the Mediterranean diet has been evolved. The Mediterranean diet is always considered healthy by the medical practitioners. Traditional Greek food consists of dark green leafy veggies, fresh fruits, high fibre beans, lentils, whole grain, olive oil and omega 3 fats which provide a lot of immune – boosting and cancer fighting ingredients. In fact, the traditional Mediterranean diet can help in reducing the risk of heart diseases, hypertension and high blood sugar and cancer. Greek cuisine also emphasizes on smaller portion size, often called meze (i.e., small plate size) which include only a bite of meat with slowly digesting carbohydrate with olive oil and nuts.
PN: This List has been prepared by N4M Media’s survey team comprising of expert nutritionists and doctors. Every effort has been made to take into account aspects and essentials of palatability and health considerations, a combination that effectively enhances longevity. The list has been further reviewed and endorsed by famous nutritionist and lifestyle celebrity Shubi Husain.
Disclaimer: The list is purely recommendatory and for food lovers. Nothing to degrade any national food or cuisine by placing it above or below in hierarchy is intended. Any feedback is most welcome at [email protected].com
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