Australia has exploded lately in a health and gourmet food craze. Fuelled by Tv shows like Masterchef, MKR and The Biggest Loser. Aussies are now learning to eat healthier foods and enjoy them.What most don’t know however is that there is already a succulent and healthy option for lunch and dinner in restaurants all over Australia: Vietnamese.
Vietnamese cuisine is a healthy, low-fat, and delicious alternative to burgers and chips and many other classic takeaway options. Not convinced? Well here are just 5 healthy benefits of Vietnamese foods.
#1 – Freshness
Vietnamese food is as fresh as food can be. Not frozen or reheated food prepared fresh is part of Vietnamese culture and ingredients come from the local vendors at market stalls rather than supermarkets.
Instead of shopping once a week many Vietnamese will make a trip to the markets before heading home for the day. The freshness of the ingredients being bought daily means that all the nutrients, vitamins and flavour of the ingredients are served up on your plate in every meal.
#2 – Methods of Cooking
Traditional methods of preparing Vietnamese cuisine don’t include oils as heavily as other cultures. Using methods like boiling and broths Vietnamese food cooked without oils is light in calories and low in high-blood-pressure inducing cholesterol.
#3 – Gluten Free, Vegetarian & Vegan
More people than ever before are discovering they are gluten intolerant or celiac. One of the greatest benefits of Vietnamese food is that most is made fresh from rice flour, so it is Gluten free, and low in fat.
Many Vietnamese dishes also have vegetarian and vegan friendly variations that will fill you up and are free of animal products.
#4 – Variety of Vegetables and Spices
Vietnamese food also includes a wider range of vegetables that aren’t staples of a western diet and plenty of herbs and spices. These herbs and spices come with their own health benefits. Common herbs like mint (soothes the stomach and aids digestion), cilantro (helps remove bad cholesterol in the blood) and star anise (great for digestion also and joint pain) all have added health bonuses.
One of the healthiest and most delicious Vietnamese dishes is Pho, a delicious broth-based noodle soup full of antioxidant spices. Pho’s mixture of ingredients for its famous broth takes up to 24 hours to prepare but also provides a wealth of vitamins and minerals such as vitamins C, B3, Iron and Magnesium.
#5 – Eating Methods
A little-known fact of being healthier when eating is to eat slower, in smaller portions and the amount of time you spend chewing your food.
Vietnamese food is presented in multiple dishes that are shared with others. Creating a social ritual that encourages slow consumption and better digestion of foods by not overloading the digestive system in one go. This, in-turn, aides your stomach in the absorption of the nutrients from the fresh ingredients that are the foundation of Vietnamese cuisine.
The way to eat food is also a very important factor that can influence the nutritional value of food. Eating with chopsticks, using multiple dishes, and sharing with people allows you to eat more slowly, to chew the food longer and in the end, results in better digestion and assimilation of nutrients, without overloading the digestive system.