Thais cook up 'taste therapy' online

Thailand's Department of Cultural Promotion highlights Thai foods as medicinal and beneficial for one's health through an online portal. Chai Nakhonchai, Director-General of the Department of Cultural Promotion, said that Thai food is an intangible cultural heritage praised worldwide for its diverse flavours. The wonder of Thai cuisine doesn't end with excellent taste. He explained that nearly every dish contains vegetables, herbs, and spices with nutraceutical properties (food containing health-giving additives and having medicinal benefits). The ingredients used in Thai cooking can aid the body to fight off diseases and help maintain a level of health and vitality, Nakhonchai added. “It's not an overstatement to refer to Thai cuisine as "The World's Tastiest Medicine,” he enthused.
According to research from Mintel, 46% of Thai consumers surveyed recently agree that the types of food they regularly consume has the most significant impact on their health. The need to be healthy drives 70% of Thai consumers to say they are working on achieving a balanced diet to affect their health positively. An equal number say they consume food and drinks with added benefits for better health.
Healthy recipes featured on the new online portal include an immune-boosting chicken soup with turmeric, an ingredient said to help the immune system work efficiently. The sharp, tart, smoky flavour comes mainly from the garcinia fruit, with an overall balanced deliciousness coming from galangal. The lemongrass in the recipe contains quercetin which is said to enhance immunity. This ingredient is known to help prevent inflammation caused by bacteria and viruses and helps prevent allergic reactions.
Another dish is the five-spice jungle curry – a popular spicy dish containing a host of spices and herbs to balance the strong scent of fish or meat and enhance appetite. Key ingredients include fingerroot, a kind of ginger containing quercetin (helps relieve cough and cold symptoms), galangal, turmeric, lemongrass, and peppercorn (helps ease nausea and headaches, poor digestion).
Aside from easy-to-follow Thai food recipes, the website has an online directory to purchase ingredients used in the dishes. (Image from Unsplash)

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