People are becoming increasingly health-conscious, particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic, which highlighted the importance of health and wellbeing for many people. There are lots of ways you can improve your health, including exercise and prioritising sleep, but the food you eat is one of the biggest factors that can influence health. If you’re looking to eat better, here are 5 healthy cuisines from around the world.
The Mediterranean diet has been shown to have a range of health benefits including weight loss, anti-inflammatory properties and protection against a range of diseases like strokes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Greece is one of the countries with a Mediterranean cuisine that includes fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and protein from chicken, fish and seafood as well as good fats like olive oil, nuts and avocado. Not only is Greek food incredibly good for you, but it’s also delicious and easy to replicate at home.
Japan has the highest average life expectancy in the world and this could in part be due to diet as the traditional Japanese diet is rich in seafood and fresh vegetables. Japan also consumes less meat, dairy, sugar, sweeteners, and potatoes than other countries but more fish and seafood, rice, soybeans, and green tea.
If you want to recreate the benefits of the Japanese diet at home, make sure to centre nutrit ious ingredients such as fresh fish that is rich in good fats to keep your heart and brain healthy, along with colourful vegetables full of vitamins and antioxidants. It isn’t always easy to find Japanese restaurants or takeaways here in the UK so you’ll probably need to invest in a few Japanese cookbooks and some kitchen equipment like a bamboo steamer basket and good-quality cookware such as saucepans, for example.
Traditional Vietnamese cuisine avoids oils and dairy and instead makes use of the flavours of fresh vegetables and herbs to create light, balanced dishes that are aromatic and delicious. Most dishes are low in fat and gluten-free with immune-boosting ingredients. Vietnam’s national dish, Pho is a light, flavoursome broth dish with meat and noodles and is a great source of vitamins and protein.
Thai food is known for its vivid, intense flavours and heat. Alongside the herbs and spices like ginger, chilli, coriander and lemongrass, Thai cuisine uses lots of fresh vegetables along with ingredients like onions and garlic, both of which are great for health. Turmeric is another spice that features in Thai dishes and is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Ever wondered why Korean celebrities have such glowing skin? Their national cuisine could hold the answer. Kimchi is one of the most famous and healthiest Korean dishes. This fermented vegetable dish is thought to help gut health and contains lots of healthy ingredients like red cabbage, red pepper, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and spring onions. The good news is that you can make kimchi quickly at home and serve it as a side dish or store it in a jar for later. Koren cuisine also focuses on nutritiously dense dishes like soups, stews and rice bowls.