With the rising awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle, people want their food to have a wide range of benefits. So, when it comes to exploring healthy eating trends, Middle Eastern cuisine is one of the most popular and healthiest in the world. This is because it focuses mainly on using fresh vegetables, flavorful spices, healthy fats, lean meats, and whole grains.
Middle Eastern food also offers the perfect combination of delicious and healthy meal options. It’s no surprise why it has gained tons of popularity over the years and why its dishes and tastes are becoming more widespread.
Let us dive into the health benefits of Middle Eastern cuisine and understand why it is ideal for people wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.
Instead of preparing food with cream or fatty butter, Middle Eastern dishes are cooked with olive oil and vegetable oil. Olive oil is generously used in Hummus, Labneh (Strained yogurt), and Salads. It is packed with monounsaturated fatty acids. This can help improve heart health and lower cholesterol. Olive oil can also help in controlling blood sugar levels and blood clotting.
One of the most popular ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine is Tahini and, it serves as a foundation for many dishes. Tahini is made by grinding toasted sesame seeds and is rich in nutrients like vitamin B6, magnesium, thiamine, and phosphorus. It also helps in lowering cholesterol and is known to have antibacterial properties as well.
Another essential ingredient in Middle Eastern dishes is Black Dried Lemon. They not only add flavor to dishes like Soups, Stews, and Kabsa Rice, but they have amazing health benefits as well.
For instance, it helps in reducing toxins in the intestinal tract and liver, making it a simple yet effective digestive tonic. They are loaded with calcium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, and magnesium, all of which aid in generating new cells in your body.
Black lemons also remove harmful bacteria, waste, and toxins from the body, making them an excellent detoxing agent.
The two most popular Middle Eastern dishes - Falafel and Hummus, are prepared by ground chickpeas. Since legumes are high in fiber, they help maintain a healthy digestive system. They are also high in vitamins like copper, carbohydrates, zinc, vitamin B, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.
Also, according to studies, a person can receive 31% of nutrients from just a half-cup serving of legumes. This is a lot more compared to the nutrients we receive from regular food.
Packed with protein, legumes are also ideal for someone with a vegetarian diet. Middle Eastern cuisine offers a lot of vegetarian options as well due to a large number of meals featuring lentils, fava beans, and chickpeas.
Spices and Middle Eastern food go hand in hand, making it the key ingredient. One such authentic spice is Zaatar - a condiment made of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram combined with toasted sesame seeds.
It has some truly impressive health benefits, including its ability to improve the immune system, boost skin health, build strong bones, increase circulation, clear out the respiratory tracts, soothe inflammation, boost energy, improve mood, aid memory, and treat chronic diseases.
Parsley is another ingredient used in a popular Middle Eastern salad known as Tabbouleh. This versatile herb has vital nutrients such as potassium, folate, and vitamins A, C, and K.
Another spice that is widely used in Middle Eastern food is Garlic. It is used in savory dishes like Hummus, Ful Medames (Stew of cooked fava beans), Moutabel, and Labneh.
Garlic is also used in the preparation of Toum sauce, which is common in authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. The sauce contains garlic, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and is loaded with natural antioxidants. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties and can help in reducing blood sugar levels.
We all know that the key to good health is a balanced diet that consists of fresh vegetables and fruits. With a wide variety of delectable dishes, Middle Eastern Cuisine offers a healthy diet that is packed with plant-based proteins and natural fibers.
Popular dishes like Fattoush salad, Feta salad, and Tabbouleh are prepared using freshly chopped greens, various vegetables, and fruits like tomatoes, spinach, pomegranates, watermelon, lentils cooked to offer healthy and delicious meals.
Middle Eastern cuisine has always utilized the freshest of ingredients to offer meals that are high in nutritional value.
In Middle Eastern cuisine, the choice of meat has always been lean meats like chicken, mutton, and fish, making it ideal for anyone who wants to follow a healthy diet.
Leans meats are full of iron, selenium, choline, vitamins B3, B6, and B12. They are also a great source of protein. For instance, dishes like Za’atar Chicken can provide you with 25-30 grams of high-quality protein.
Eating a diet that is lean and low in unhealthy fats leads to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. This also minimizes the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
What’s more, you can also find an abundance of omega 3’s for a healthy heart with dishes like Grilled Fish, where the lean meat is marinated in spices, garlic, and lemon, making it another popular healthy choice.
We hope you have gained some noteworthy insights into the health benefits of Middle Eastern cuisine. Having a balanced, healthy diet is vital to maintain good overall health.If you are seeking the best place to enjoy healthy and authentic meals, then order from Toum. Here, each dish is prepared keeping your health and taste buds in mind. We assure you that you will receive nothing but quality Middle Eastern food at Toum!