Traditional Vietnamese cuisine provides a brilliant balance of aromatics, flavours, spices and textures to delight your senses. Looking to achieve true yin and yang, these meals are created to be sweet yet salty, fresh yet fermented, delicious yet nutritious.
The infusion of sweet, savoury and sour ingredients blend to perfection and make for some of the very best cuisines. Although taste is certainly important when it comes to the foods we eat, Vietnamese cuisine also provides some of the very healthiest meals, too! Follow along to find out the top 5 reasons why you should start eating Vietnamese food today.
1. For Better Digestion
In a variety of Vietnamese meals, you’ll find plenty of rice, fresh vegetables, lean meats and fish to help nourish the body and mind. Considering the fiber-rich nature of these wholesome ingredients, Vietnamese meals help to improve digestion, keeping you from feeling tired or bloated after a meal.
In addition to fiber, many Vietnamese dishes also include plenty of restorative herbs and spices. Among these, coriander and mint are two helpful ingredients that work to promote a healthy functioning digestive system. Plus, these herbs also add a ton of great flavours to your meal!
2. To Boost Your Immunity
Our immunity is a complex network of cells, tissues and organs that work overtime to fight off infection and disease in the efforts of keeping us healthy. One of the best ways to help boost immune function is through diet, exercise and other lifestyle choices such as quitting smoking or limiting alcohol intake. Among these things, nutrition is one of the very best ways to promote a robust immune system.
In many authentic Vietnamese dishes, you’ll find an abundance of essential vitamins and minerals. In the Vietnamese stocks alone, you’ll find vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant to protect our cells from harmful free radicals, vitamin B6 which works to make new red blood cells, and magnesium which helps fight inflammation.
Among the different dishes that help to build and maintain a healthy immune system, Vietnamese salads are some of the very best! With only 200 calories per bowl, these salads make up a substantial percentage of your daily recommended intake of Vitamins B1, B6, B3, folate, biotin, zinc, copper, magnesium and potassium — talk about the total package.
3. For Younger, Healthier Skin
Healthy, glowing skin is something we all strive for. While drinking more water and adopting a quality skincare routine will certainly help, diet plays an important role in protecting our skin’s health as we age. Like the quote implies, “you are what you eat”, what we put into our bodies can make all the difference in our physical appearance.
Many different Vietnamese meals, such as soups, salad rolls and veggie stir fry dishes are jam packed with essential ingredients to help improve the health of our skin. Thanks to the assortment of fresh herbs, spices, vegetables and lean protein, many of these dishes are rich in vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, E, K, biotin and antioxidants. Together, these ingredients work to improve the skin’s hydration, smoothness and overall appearance.
4. For Weight Loss
The North American diet is composed of high fat, salt and sugar. Although these are all ingredients that make your meals extra delicious, the long-term effects of weight gain far outweigh the immediate gratification of the meal itself. But why can’t delicious food also be healthy? With authentic Vietnamese cuisine, it can!
By flavouring meals with fresh herbs and spices rather than excess oil or dairy, Vietnamese dishes keep fats and salt to the bare minimum without losing any flavour. For example, a large bowl of pho noodle soup can be anywhere between 300 to 600 calories with less than 3g of fat! As a tasty and filling meal, pho is one of many dishes that you can enjoy all while controlling your calories and losing weight along the way.
5. To Improve Energy
If you’ve ever had a greasy fast food meal, you’ve probably experienced the nearly immediate drop in energy that comes with it. Unfortunately, so many North American dishes do more harm than good for our levels of energy. Sure, it tastes delicious while you’re eating, but the lethargy and brain fog that comes shortly after is never worth it.
Vietnamese foods help to restore your energy even hours after your meal. While the abundance of fresh vegetables and whole grains are beneficial, they’re not the only reason these dishes help to energize our mind and body. Rather than deep-frying in oil or butter, Vietnamese cuisine is cooked by steaming or stir-frying to minimize any unnecessary fats that steal our energy.
The Bottom Line
Whether you’re in the mood for a hot bowl of Pho soup or a large banh mi submarine sandwich, Vietnamese cuisine has a ton of variety that’s jam-packed with nutritional value. Using a range of wholesome ingredients, beneficial herbs, zesty spices and delicious sauces, each meal emphasizes flavour, texture, and health! No matter if you’re looking to promote better digestion, boost your immunity, rejuvenate your skin, manage your weight or improve your energy, authentic Vietnamese cooking is just what you need.