Filipino cuisine ranks among the most flavorful and unique in the world. However, finding healthy food in the Philippines can be a challenge. Many traditional Filipino dishes such as fried plantains are rich in dietary fat. Dining on healthy food in the Philippines can help you move toward your health goals and enjoy the rich flavors of the local cuisine.
Pakbet is a Filipino vegetable dish bursting with flavor and a spicy aroma. The dish typically contains onions, eggplant, tomatoes, bitter melon and okra. Vegetables are a natural low-fat source of essential minerals, vitamins and dietary fiber. According to MyPyramid.gov, consuming vegetables as part of a heart healthy diet can help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, kidney stones and osteoporosis.
Ginataang is a traditional Filipino stew that contains seafood such as shrimp and fish. Seafood is rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Regularly consuming omega-3 fats can help reduce inflammation, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve diabetic blood sugar control, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. However, if you take blood-thinning medications, talk to you physician before adding significant amounts of omega-3 fats to your diet.
Roasted Lemongrass Chicken
You can't help but smell the wafting aroma of lemongrass chicken when you walk down streets of Manila at night. Chicken is significantly lower in total and saturated fat than pork or beef -- making it an ideal choice for those that are heart-health conscious. According to a test tube study published in the February 2008 "Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases," lemongrass combats growth of the fungus Candida -- a common cause of skin infections. However, no human studies have replicated these results.
Tortang Talong is a delicious Filipino breakfast and lunch dish containing eggs and eggplant. Eggs are a natural appetite suppressant that can help you manage your weight, the February 2010 issue of "Nutrition Research" notes. In this study, a group of men were given an egg-based breakfast. The scientists found that the egg eaters ate fewer calories over the next 24-hour period when compared to a group that ate a bagel for breakfast.
- MyPyramid.gov: Why is it Important to Eat Vegetables?
- University of Maryland: Omega-3 Fatty Acids
- "Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases"; Antifungal activity of the lemongrass oil and citral against Candida spp; C de Bona da Silva et al.; February 2008
- "Nutrition Research"; Consuming Eggs for Breakfast Influences Plasma Glucose and Ghrelin; J Ratliff et al; February 2010