Want healthy variety?
Sick of eating the same sort of dishes all the time?
We went looking for the healthiest cuisines from around the world. Our search on the web came up with many common ones.
We’ve made up our own summary for you to create a “super” healthy cuisine rules to follow. The general variety is so wide, we don’t think you’ll fun out of ideas for dishes anytime soon.
As the name suggests, it’s the cuisine that evolved around the Mediterranean Sea.
The Mediterranean cuisine is widely considered to be one of the healthiest cuisines. They generally use fresh vegetables, fish, olive oils, wholegrain cereals and dairy products. All that and a glass of wine, what’s not to like.
There are many studies out there to show the benefits of such a diet.
This cuisine can be found from parts of Europe like Spain, Italy France to Turkey, Syria & Egypt.
Latin America is home to an abundance of health foods, many of which go way back to ancient civilizations. For years they have been incorporating a number of berries, fruits and grains into their diets, which offer a plethora of health benefits. We can learn a lot from the diets of Latin American countries.
Cuisine and diets from this continent has often been overlooked, especially here in Asia. There are 54 countries on the continent of Africa.
Common and staple ingredients on the continent are starchy like in Asia, but they use plantain, cassava, cereals and grains. They also use a lot of fresh vegetables
East African cooking tends to focus on grains, slow cooked stews and dairy. These would include countries like Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya, Dijbouti, Uganda, Rwanda & Burundi.
West African cuisine is primarily plant-based and vegetables are typically the star of the plate. Flavours come from spices, ginger, garlic, nutmeg among other things. Spicy but not too hot.
Countries including Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Sweden. Compared to the average Western Diet, it has less sugar and fat but double the fibre and seafood.
It is mostly based on a diet of fruits, vegetables legumes, whole grains, buts, seeds seafood, herbs and low fat dairy. Rarely do they eat red meats or animal fats. It is similar to the Mediterranean diet. The biggest difference is instead of extra virgin olive oil, they use grapeseed oil.
The cuisine has plenty of antioxidants and beta-carotene rich vegetables. The fibre-rich foods could keep you feel full for longer.
One of the main reasons people want to emulate the Japanese diet is the fact that they have one of the biggest population of centenarians in the world. They also have the lowest obesity rate in the developed world.
They generally believe in a balanced meal which is why their dishes can often contain fish, vegetables, and meat consumed in balanced portions throughout the day. Low in processed food and overall sugar intake.
Thai cuisine is full of flavourful fresh herbs and spices. Using the freshest ingredients, with little or no dairy, you can see why the Thai people have few problems with obesity and heart problems, despite their love for food and enjoyment of snacks throughout the day. But Thai cuisine is not only healthy because of its freshness and lack of heavy fats: the herbs and spices most used in Thai cuisine themselves all have medicinal qualities that will keep you in good health if you eat them regularly.
Light, fresh and tasty, the dishes in Vietnamese culture feature plenty of herbs and chilli which infuse both delicious flavour and healthy nutrients. The dish the country is best known for is a noodle-based soup called Pho, which although comes in fairly big portions, is particularly low in fat. Vietnamese noodles are made from rice, making them healthier and easier to digest than their gluten-based counterparts.
Kimchi, is probiotic and reports suggest these types of foods could aid digestion. Other vegetables such as garlic and ginger are also used regularly in cooking, and may help people consume higher levels of nutrients.
Using little fat and steaming food, the South Korean diet focuses on main meals and not on snacking or grazing.
A predominantly vegetarian nation, authentic Indian food is actually a lot healthier and the spices that feature so heavily in some of their iconic dishes are shown to protect against cancer, have anti-inflammatory properties and has even been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s. Staples like legumes, beans, grains, fruits and vegetables provide ample amount of fibre, fat, carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins and minerals. Lastly, the signature spices they use not only gives great flavour, they also have great health benefits.
Chinese food is healthier for multiple reasons. It is minimally processed and focused more on grains, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and fruit, and contains only small amounts of meat, if any, and no dairy products, such as butter, cheese or cream. Even the meat dishes tend to be garnished with lots of vegetables. Most dishes are steamed, stir fried or stewed.
We are not saying that all dishes from the mentioned cuisines & diets are healthy. Further, there are always healthy dishes and versions in all cuisines. So please don’t go eating Indian desserts all day and say you were having a healthy diet.
What are the commonalities?
Putting this together may help you create your very own super diet cuisine. Or just confuse you further, in you can just order in.
Eat more vegetables
Eat less meat, especially red meat
Use spices instead of just salt & pepper
Fermented food, like pickles and acar are great probiotics
Boil, grill, bake or stir fry. Very little deep frying
Eat legumes (beans, lentils) and whole grains
Less processed foods
What makes each cuisine distinct is the way they prepare their food, their combination of herbs and spices and presentation. Many of the cuisines evolved based on what they have and could cultivate. With the world getting so small, it is not hard to find ingredients.
With the lock down, why not download a few more interesting recipes and try.
Leave us a comment to let us know how we’re doing to help you on your journey.