Although most of us know all about the benefits of a nutritious diet, many foodies struggle to stick with bland meals like oatmeal, plain chicken breasts and tasteless salads. One of the easiest ways to eat nutritious foods and still enjoy what you are consuming is to branch out and explore international cuisine. Many countries dine on traditional foods that pack in plenty of nutrition as well as flavour. Here are some suggestions from popular diets around the world.
Japanese Cuisine: Portion Control and Low-Fat Diet
There’s been a lot of research into why the Japanese people were traditionally slender, free from heart disease and able to function well in old age. Many believe that it is due to their portion control and dietary ingredients that are naturally low in fat. Many Japanese follow the principle of Hara Hachi Bu, which means to eat until you are just eighty percentfull rather than overstuffed. Traditional Japanese foods include a low-calorie miso soup, small portions of white rice, raw or lightly grilled seafood, rich green steamed vegetables, and lots of green tea. To replicate their diet at home, try introducing more soy into your diet as a replacement for meat. Tofu and vegetable stir-fries pack plenty of flavour, or you could try edamame as a snack, which is green soy beans in their pods.
Greek Cuisine: Heart-Healthy Fats
Physicians from around the world recommend a traditional Greek diet to their patients, and it’s undoubtedly a healthy choice for anyone. Traditionally, Greeks focused on ingredients like dark leafy green vegetables, beans, grilled seafood and plenty of olive oil. These items are filled with vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids that can reduce heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. If you’re looking for a healthy Greek recipe, start with a basic Greek salad. Mix dark green leafy lettuce, sliced red onions and tomatoes, then add a homemade olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing. Top with chunks of feta cheese for extra protein and dig into a dish loaded with fibre, healthy fats and a low number of calories.
Thai Cuisine: Anti-Inflammation Diet
If you were to go to a Thai restaurant today, the number of fried dishes on the menu might look like the opposite of healthiness and nutrition. However, many Thai citizens still eat a more traditional diet that is full of whole, unprocessed and healthy ingredients. You will come across lots of fruits, vegetables, low-calorie rice noodles, lean meats and plenty of spices with anti-inflammatory benefits like turmeric, lemongrass and ginger. For a healthy dish at home, try a spicy Thai noodle soup. Start with a low-sodium chicken broth and then add in red pepper flakes, lemongrass, ginger and turmeric and let it simmer. Add in a portion of rice noodles and a portion of ready-cooked chicken breast right before you are ready to serve the meal.
Mexican Cuisine: Protein-Packed Dishes
If you associate Mexican food with cheese-laden nachos, fried meats and giant tacos, then you might be surprised to find it on a list of healthy food. Traditionally, however, Mexican cuisine was actually incredibly good for you. Flour tortillas are a recent invention, and most meals were full of protein thanks to fibre-rich beans, brown rice and lean animal protein. Vegetables like peppers, corn, onions and tomatoes are used frequently for extra nutrition. For a healthy Mexican dish you can make at home, sauté strips of chicken, green peppers and onions in a spoonful of heart-healthy olive oil, with a dash of salt, chilli powder and cumin. Spoon into corn tortillas and top with chopped onions, tomatoes and shredded lettuce.
It’s easy to see how replicating traditional diets from around the world can help you to achieve better health. Food can be a way to improve your quality of life, but it also has the power to raise blood pressure, increase your weight or cause cholesterol problems. If you are looking for the cheapest health insurance quotes in the future, the things that will help most include eating a variety of nutritious foods, staying active and making your health a real priority. Insurance providers take diet and exercise into account in order to give the lowest rates to patients who are unlikely to encounter major medical problems in the future.