There are so many occasions when we go out with family and friends to have a meal at restaurants and enjoy ourselves. Nowadays, due to food delivery apps, the culture of visiting eateries has also subsided. However, trying new cuisines and staying guilty because you overate remain a constant. Have you ever thought that eating out yet eating healthy can be possible if you equip yourself with the knowledge of various cuisines? If you are somebody who tries new cuisines without knowing whether or not they are healthy, this article is for you.
We present the top healthy international cuisines so you can keep experimenting with tastebuds without worrying about health. So next time you visit a restaurant or order through apps, remember the following cuisines and order the best dishes from them to relish a scrumptious, healthy meal.
Mediterranean cuisine is a popular name in almost every household. It’s considered healthy cuisine worldwide for several reasons. Firstly, the main ingredients in Mediterranean cuisine include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, olive oil, and lean protein sources such as fish and poultry. These ingredients are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are essential for a healthy diet. Recenetly hummus got its popularity for taste and health benefits.
There is also a considerable influence of herbs and spices in Mediterranean cuisines. Garlic, rosemary, basil, and many such herbs add flavor to the dishes and provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and strengthening the immune system.
Another reason why Mediterranean cuisine is healthy is due to its emphasis on cooking methods that preserve the nutritional value of ingredients. For example, using olive oil for cooking and drizzling on dishes is a healthier alternative to other oils as it contains healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Grilling, baking, and roasting are standard cooking methods in Mediterranean cuisine. They are more beneficial than frying as they do not add excessive oil or fat to the dishes.
We’ve all seen how slim and fit the Japanese people look. Apart from their healthy exercise regimen, Japanese cuisine also plays a crucial role here. The traditional Japanese diet is rich in nutrient-dense foods such as seafood, vegetables, and rice and low in unhealthy fats, processed foods, and added sugars.
Seafood is a staple in Japanese cuisine, providing a wealth of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Sushi and sashimi are popular dishes that highlight the freshness and quality of raw fish, while other dishes, such as miso soup and grilled fish, are also frequently consumed.
Vegetables play a prominent role in Japanese cooking as well. Dishes like tempura, for example, showcase a variety of fresh, seasonal vegetables that are lightly battered and fried for a crispy, crunchy texture. Other popular vegetable-based dishes include stir-fry, pickled vegetables, and salads.
Whenever there is ample emphasis on seasonal food and fresh ingredients in a particular cuisine, we can determine that it’s healthy. Chinese cuisine advocates the usage of seasonal fruits and veggies, which makes it among the top healthy international cuisine. Secondly, Chinese cooking methods like steaming, stir-frying, and poaching retain the nutritional value of the food and minimize the use of unhealthy cooking oils. There is also significant importance to using whole grains like rice, noodles, and bread, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Another reason Chinese cuisine is healthy is that it emphasizes the balance of flavors, textures, and ingredients. Using various herbs, spices, and seasonings not only adds flavor to the dishes but also provides numerous health benefits. For instance, ginger is has anti-inflammatory properties, garlic lowers cholesterol levels, and green tea is rich in antioxidants.
Furthermore, Chinese cuisine also features a wide range of vegetables and lean protein sources, like tofu, chicken, and fish, which are low in fat and high in protein.
Though Indian cuisine is known for its extensive usage of oil and spices, it’s less known that all these spices add to the nutritional value of Indian food. Spices like turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon have anti-inflammatory properties, while cumin, coriander, and fennel can aid digestion.
Indian meals are balanced, incorporating a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Lentils and legumes are a staple in many Indian dishes, providing a good source of protein, fiber, and other nutrients. Fresh vegetables and fruits are often used in recipes, adding color and vitamins to the meal.
The use of ghee, a type of clarified butter, is common in Indian cooking. It is a healthy source of saturated fat and contains high levels of conjugated linoleic acid, which positively impacts heart health. Finally but most importantly, the Indian tradition of Ayurveda, which emphasizes a holistic approach to health, also promotes healthy eating habits. Ayurveda emphasizes using fresh, seasonal ingredients and encourages a balanced diet including all the essential nutrients.
Each one of us is crazy for Thai street food, but how many of us know that Thai cuisine can actually be a healthy option if choosing to eat out? Well, we believe many of us are aware of the nutritional benefits of Thai cuisine since green curry is everywhere. Incorporating fresh and nutritious ingredients and emphasizing flavor balance brings out Thai cuisine’s yummy taste and nutrition.
Using herbs and spices not only adds flavor but also contributes to the health benefits of the dishes. Thai cuisine uses various ingredients such as lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and chili peppers, all known for their health-promoting properties. One of the Thai food’s most significant health benefits is the high fiber content, which is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system. The ingredients used in Thai cuisines, such as vegetables, noodles, and rice, provide a good source of fiber, which helps regulate digestion and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also uses healthy oils such as coconut and olive oil, which are rich in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are excellent for heart health. The cuisine also relies on healthy cooking methods such as grilling, steaming, and stir-frying, which help retain the ingredients’ nutritional value. The highlight of nutritious Thai cuisine is the flavorful and fragrant soups and curries, usually made with a broth base containing various healthy ingredients. These soups and curries are also often served with fresh vegetables, making them a healthy and nutritious option.
Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world due to its emphasis on fresh ingredients, herbs, and spices. One of the key ingredients of Greek cuisine is olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, making it healthier alternative.
In Greece, many dishes are made with fresh vegetables, including tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplants, and peppers. These ingredients are rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, helping to maintain a healthy diet. Additionally, legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, and beans are a common ingredient in Greek dishes, providing a healthy source of protein and fiber.
Fish is another essential part of the Greek diet. The country’s location along the Mediterranean Sea means fresh fish is readily available and often grilled or baked, preserving its nutritional benefits. Seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, having numerous health benefits, reducing the risk of heart disease. Herbs and spices are also heavily used in Greek cooking, adding flavor without the need for excessive amounts of salt or sugar. Common herbs used include oregano, basil, and thyme, all known to have anti-inflammatory properties and help boost the immune system.
In addition to its use of fresh ingredients, Mexican cuisine incorporates a variety of spices and herbs, such as cumin, chili powder, and cilantro, which add flavor and antioxidants to the dishes. Using spices and herbs in cooking also helps reduce the need for added salt and sugar, which can contribute to chronic diseases.
Mexican cuisine also emphasizes preparing dishes in healthy cooking methods, such as grilling, roasting, and sautéing, which retain the nutrients and flavor of the ingredients. Fried foods are not a staple of Mexican cuisine and are typically eaten in moderation.
Mexican cuisine also emphasizes portion control, with smaller portions of meats and larger amounts of fruits, vegetables, and grains. This approach to meal planning is the “Mediterranean diet,” which has numerous health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases and weight management.
One of the key aspects of Korean cuisine is fermented foods. These foods are high in probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Fermented foods such as kimchi, miso, and soy sauce contain high levels of these probiotics, which maintains a healthy balance of gut bacteria and boost our immune system.
In addition, Korean cuisine is also known for its use of spices, such as ginger, garlic, and chili pepper, which have anti-inflammatory properties. These spices are a common ingredient in almost every Korean dish, making it a healthy choice. Also, Korean food typically features an array of vegetable dishes, including stir-fries, salads, and pickled vegetables. These dishes are not only rich in vitamins and minerals but also low in calories and fat.
Moroccan cuisine is generally considered healthy due to its emphasis on fresh ingredients and bold spices. The diet in Morocco features a variety of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins such as chicken and fish. Some traditional Moroccan dishes that are healthy include-
- Tagine: a slow-cooked stew made with meats (often chicken or lamb), vegetables, and spices. The slow cooking method helps retain the ingredients’ nutrients and infuses them with flavor.
- Couscous: a type of pasta of semolina wheat, a good fiber and protein source. When served with vegetables, it makes for a healthy and filling meal.
- Salad Matbucha: a salad made with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, and spices. It’s a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Harira: a soup made with lentils, chickpeas, and vegetables. This dish is rich in fiber, protein, and nutrients.
Olive oil is the star of Turkish cooking. Do we have to say anything else because it’s enough to make the meal way healthier than other cuisines? It is high in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease. In Turkish cuisine, olive oil is used in cooking and is also drizzled over dishes to add flavor and healthy fats. Turkish cuisine is also healthy because it is based on fresh, whole ingredients and uses a variety of spices to add flavor to dishes. A typical Turkish diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins such as chicken and fish.
Another important component of Turkish cuisine is legumes, such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans. These are rich in protein, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals your body requires at micro and macro levels.
Eating out because you’re lazy to cook, friends are at your home, or simply because you feel like should’nt be a matter of guilt. With the above knowledge of international cuisines, we hope you will overcome the guilt and relish each meal, knowing it will make you stronger and healthier.