Why Your Body Will Love You For Eating Lebanese Food
The staples of Lebanese cuisine are fresh vegetables, seeds, legumes, low-fat dairy, nuts, and fruit. Instead of cooking with fatty butter or cream, olive oil is used. While olive oil is still high in fat content, it is full of monounsaturated fatty acids which can lower cholesterol and improve heart health. Olive oil can also help control blood clotting and blood sugar levels.
When eating a Lebanese diet, fresh veggies, fruit and legumes are consumed in a much greater quantity compared to meats and high-fat dairy ingredients. Even high-starch carbohydrates are not very common in this class of cuisine. Small amounts of rice and lentils are more common than white bread, noodles, or potatoes.
Lebanese food is extra tasty and appreciated by the palette because of the variety of spices and fresh herbs that are included in so many of the common recipes. The parsley used in the traditional dish, Tabouli, aids digestion and provides a crisp, green flavor. Parsley is also high in antioxidants and an incredible amount of vitamin K (which plays a key role in bone health and protects the brain fro neural damage).
Mint is a common herb found in Lebanese dishes, and while this plant may seem like it is just a garnish or an aid to freshen your breath, it is actually helpful with digestion and full of carotenes and vitamin C.
The traditional sauce, Tahini, is made from sesame seeds, which have the highest oil content of any seed, also can enhance a dish with its rich, nutty flavor. Sesame seeds, and therefore tahini, are rich in Omega 6 fatty acids as well as protein. Tahini is also a good source of copper, methionine, calcium and manganese.
The use of lentils in Lebanese cuisine also contributes to the health benefits of this type of food. Lentils are easy to cook with because they easily absorb the flavors of the other ingredients in the dish, and take well to seasoning. Lentils are high in fiber, protein, and B vitamins. Plus they have almost no fat content at all, and are relatively low in calories.
Lemon stars as an important ingredient is several traditional Lebanese dishes. It is used in the preparation of hummus, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves, and baba ganoush, among others. Lemon is full of potassium. It has antiseptic and antibacterial properties which helps keep food fresh and keep your insides free from infection. Getting a daily dose of lemon can aid constipation and inflammation. Adding lemon to your diet is also an aid in weight loss and a booster for your immune system.
[Photo Credit: cudo]