As a Thai woman, I grew up surrounded by the aroma and flavors of Thai cuisine. From sweet and sour stir-fry to spicy soups, Thai food has remained one of my most beloved aspects of my country's culture. One Thai dish, in particular, that has been widely enjoyed around the world is Thai curry.
But, did you know that aside from its delicious taste, Thai curry offers a range of health benefits too? Surprisingly, many of the herbs and spices used in Thai curry have medicinal properties that can help improve overall health and well-being. From reducing inflammation to boosting immunity, the health benefits of Thai curry are definitely worth knowing about.
In this blog post, I will take you through some of the surprising health perks of Thai curry. Whether you are a foodie curious to know more about the dishes you love, or someone who is wondering how you can improve your health through your diet, this post is for you. So buckle up and let's explore the healthy side of Thai curry!
Boosts Immune System
One of the surprising health benefits of Thai curry is that it can boost the immune system. The ingredients found in Thai curry, such as garlic, ginger, and various spices, all have immune-boosting properties. Garlic contains allicin, which has been shown to have a positive impact on the immune system by helping to fight off infections and viruses. Ginger is another ingredient that is known for its immune-enhancing properties. It contains compounds called gingerols and shogaols that help to stimulate the immune system.
One of the key ingredients in most Thai curries is turmeric. Turmeric contains a compound called curcumin, which has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin has been shown to help improve immunity by enhancing the activity of immune cells.
Reduces Inflammation and Pain
Another benefit of Thai curry is its ability to reduce inflammation and pain. Thai curry contains various spices that have anti-inflammatory properties, such as turmeric, coriander, and cumin. These spices help to reduce inflammation in the body by blocking the action of inflammatory molecules.
In addition, Thai curry contains ingredients that have pain-relieving properties. Ginger, for example, has been shown to have pain-relieving effects similar to those of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Capsaicin, the compound that gives chili peppers their heat, also has pain-relieving properties by blocking the transmission of pain signals to the brain.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Thai curry can also help to lower the risk of heart disease. The spices found in Thai curry, such as turmeric, garlic, and coriander, all have heart-healthy properties. Turmeric, for example, has been shown to improve blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels. Garlic also has heart-protective properties, as it can help to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels.
In addition, many Thai curries contain coconut milk, which is rich in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs have been shown to help reduce cholesterol levels and improve heart health by increasing levels of "good" HDL cholesterol.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
Thai curry can also promote healthy digestion. The spices found in Thai curry, such as ginger and coriander, can help to decrease bloating and gas by relaxing the intestinal muscles. Ginger can also help to speed up the digestive process and reduce inflammation in the gut.
Coconut milk, another key ingredient in many Thai curries, has been shown to improve gut health by reducing inflammation and aiding in the absorption of nutrients. Coconut milk contains lauric acid, which is known for its antibacterial and antiviral properties.
Enhances Brain Function
Thai curry can also enhance brain function. The spices found in Thai curry, such as turmeric and cumin, contain compounds that have been shown to improve cognitive function. Turmeric, in particular, has been shown to have a positive effect on memory and attention.
In addition, many Thai curries contain fish sauce, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been shown to improve brain function by increasing levels of neurotransmitters that are involved in cognitive function.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Finally, Thai curry can help to regulate blood sugar levels. The spices found in Thai curry, such as turmeric and cumin, can help to reduce blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity.
Coconut milk, another key ingredient in many Thai curries, has also been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. Coconut milk contains medium-chain fatty acids, which can be easily converted into energy by the body, thus helping to prevent blood sugar spikes.
In conclusion, Thai curry is not only delicious but also packed with surprising health benefits. From boosting the immune system to enhancing brain function, Thai curry is a dish that can help to improve overall health and wellbeing. So the next time you're craving a spicy and flavorful meal, consider giving Thai curry a try!