Thai food that can boost your immune system

Thai Spices
Thai cuisine has a lot of spices and superfood ingredients that work together to give your immune system the boost that it needs to fight inflammation and promote fast metabolism for a healthy body.

Thai food that can boost your immune system

Thai food combines a pleasant blend of tastes and medicinal qualities, as the ingredients are mainly vegetables and herbs which can entice you with their aromas, whilst also providing many health benefits.
Scientific studies prove that some herbs and spices commonly used in traditional Thai cooking, like lemongrass, galangal, lime, garlic, and chili, have incredible health properties and contain high amounts of vitamin and antioxidants that are important to your immune system and keep you healthy while the COVID-19 situation continues to play a factor in our lifestyle decisions.
Here are some fruits, vegetables and herbs that can help improve your immune system.

Lemongrass
Lemongrass possesses antioxidant qualities and helps in protecting the body cells from oxygen-derived free radicals.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass is a good natural immunity booster since the herb is packed with vitamin C, vitamin A and other minerals which help boost immunity and protect the body from the common cold and flu. Other health benefits include preventing the growth of some bacteria and yeast, relief from pain and swelling, reducing fever, improving levels of sugar and cholesterol in the blood, improving digestion, and containing antioxidants.

Ginger
Ginger appears to speed up emptying of the stomach, which can be beneficial for people with indigestion and related stomach discomfort.

Ginger

Ginger is commonly used in many Thai stir-fries. Ginger has strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that can improve the immunity of the body. It has also been used in Thai traditional herbal medicine to help with stomach aches, vomiting, flu and common cold.

Galangal
Galangal contains anti-inflammatory properties.

Galangal

Galangal is included in many Thai curries and soups, but it is not typically eaten as a standalone as it is used to add aroma and flavor to the food. Galangal root is rich in antioxidants and vitamin C that make it an immunity booster. Galangal is also used in Thai traditional medicine to aid digestion, treatment for diarrhea and helps reduce inflammation and pain.

Garlic
Garlic is widely recognized for its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, fungi, and even parasites.

Garlic

Garlic is a healthy food used in many Thai cuisines as well as traditional medicine. Garlic contains compounds that help enhance immune function and can prevent common colds or flu, as well as reduce the severity of symptoms. Other claims for health benefits of garlic say garlic may have antibacterial effects, protect against atherosclerosis and stroke, reduce heart disease risk, and lower high blood pressure and cholesterol.

Turmeric
Turmeric has shown promise for its ability to ease joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation.

Turmeric

Turmeric is frequently used in Thai curry and savory dishes. Turmeric contains high amounts of nutrients including beta-carotene, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), calcium, flavonoids, fiber, iron, niacin, potassium, zinc among others. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties and can enhance immune responses. It is also known as a powerful antioxidant, guarding the body from toxins and free radicals, whilst also helping with many skin issues and aiding in fighting off cancer.

Coconut Milk
Coconut milk is full of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and provides several health benefits.

Coconut Milk

Coconut contains lauric acid which helps strengthen the immune system and reduces the risk of infection. Lauric acid also has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Coconut milk is a staple ingredient in Thai dishes from curry, soup to dessert. It is undeniable that coconut milk contains high levels of saturated fat, making it a high-calorie food whilst also being nutritious, rich in essential vitamin and minerals. Scientific research shows that coconut milk can increase the levels of HDL cholesterol and may help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body if consumed in low quantities. It can aid in weight loss, improve digestion, prevent anemia, and heart disease, and promote healthier hair and skin. However, do not forget that coconut milk is high in calories, so you should consume it in moderate amounts.

Coriander
Coriander leaves display an impressive nutritional profile.

Coriander

Thai chefs widely use coriander in their food, from curry, soup, stir fry to salad. All parts of coriander are edible but vary in taste. Coriander roots are extensively used in Thai soups and curry pastes, while the leaves are usually used as garnish. Coriander is very nutritious, high in dietary fiber, manganese, iron, and magnesium, and are a great source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and protein. The herb contains several antioxidants like terpinene, quercetin and tocopherols that can strengthen your immune system. Scientific research also claims that these antioxidants help lower inflammation and may have anti-cancer and neuroprotective effects.

Chili
Chillies contain capsaicin, a compound that likely accounts for many of their health benefits.

Chili

Chili is one of the most popular ingredients used in Thai cooking and there are many varieties of chilis with different levels of hot and spiciness, such as bird's eye chili, chili spur pepper, bell pepper. But most of them share the same nutrition and health benefits. Chili is a good source of vitamin B, vitamin C, and pro-vitamin A, magnesium, and potassium. Due to their high vitamin content, in particular vitamin A and C, the chili is a good immunity booster. The chili also contains the active compound capsaicin, which helps boost your metabolism, reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels, improves the digestive system, fights fungal infections, colds and flu, and aids joint pain relief.

Lime
Limes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants.

Lime

Lime is widely used in Thai cuisine, mainly salads and sour soups. Lime is high in vitamin C and is a good source of antioxidants that may help enhance your immune response. Studies also claim that lime may help reduce heart disease risk, prevent kidney stones, and promote healthy skin.

Tamarind
Tamarind is a rich source of magnesium.

Tamarind

Similar to lime in terms of cooking and health benefits, tamarind is high in vitamin C and antioxidants that are essential for a strong immune system and skin health. Tamarind also has antiseptic effects, aids digestion and weight loss.

Now we hope you get some ideas for your next delicious and healthy meal. Bon Appétit!

Popular Thai foods that make use of these good ingredients.

  • Prawn Yellow Curry
    Some immune boosters in this recipe are coconut milk, turmeric, chilies, corianders.
  • Massaman Curry
    Similar to yellow curry, Massaman curry has coconut milk, turmeric, garlic, and chilies.
  • Green Papaya Salad or Som Tam
    This dish consists of chili, garlic, lime juice, tamarind paste, tomatoes, and unripe papaya.
  • Tom Yam Soup
    The traditional Tom Yam is packed with super immune booters like lemongrass, galangal, garlic, lime juice and chilies.
  • Thai Fried Pork with Garlic
    A quick and easy dish that is full of flavor. The main herb is garlic, and chilies in dipping sauce.
  • Thai Beef Salad
    This spicy dish contains chilies, tomatoes, and lime juice (which are rich in vitamin C that support the immune response).
  • Tom Kha Soup
    Another flavorsome soup with immune boosters like coconut milk, galangal, lime juice, tomato, coriander.
  • Thai Salmon Ceviche
    This Thai twist dish is packed with full flavor and healthy herbs like lemongrass, garlic, chilies, coriander.
  • Prawn with Tamarind Sauce
    This easy, healthy dish contains tamarind, garlic, and coriander.