There’s good news for those who love Arab food and are into a healthy, clean eating lifestyle. Arab cuisine is often full of nutrient-rich, chemical-free, locally grown foods that ensure total freshness. What’s more, Arab recipes make for healthy meals and low-calorie snacks. This is because they include lean proteins, healthy fats, vegetables and grains in nearly every dish.
Further, when it comes to Arab food, healthy doesn’t have to mean bland. Indeed, you’ll find most dishes contain plenty of rich spices and herbs (think za’atar and cumin) packed in each bite.
Need more convincing? Check out these five tasty Middle Eastern dishes for a clean, healthy lifestyle.
Ah, the famous Arab falafel! It’s high in protein, carbs and fiber and full of good things your body needs like calcium, iron and vitamin B. Often served with pita bread and salad, these deep-fried chickpea balls make healthy snacks. Yes, we said deep-fried, but that doesn’t mean it’s not healthy – just opt for frying them in coconut oil. However, you can also bake them and reduce much of the fat altogether.
Looking for another healthy breakfast option? Then look no further than freekah. A better choice than wheat, this ancient Middle Eastern grain is full of iron, calcium and zinc. As a high-fiber supergrain, it’s easy to digest and keeps you feeling fuller longer. What’s more, you can serve it as a side dish or eat it for breakfast like oatmeal.
First, finely chop some tomatoes. Next, add parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion and season with olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Congratulations! You just made tabbouleh, a Middle Eastern salad that’s rich in vitamins. Want it even healthier with an extra added boost of protein and fiber? Well, then just replace the bulgur with couscous – a native grain of North Africa.
Lentil soup is a staple food found in many Middle Eastern. Not only is it tasty, but it’s also full of all healthy things like antioxidants and B vitamins. You can find these beans just about anywhere in the Middle East in a flurry of flavors. Plus, these legumes help enhance your immune system and are great for the heart.
Lastly, we have dolma. Dolma is meat or brown rice (sometimes both) wrapped in grape leaves and found on many Middle Eastern tables. Low in calories, grape leaves also provide their fair share of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6. Moreover, they’re also a great source of calcium, iron and fiber.
As you can see, it is possible to enjoy tasty Arab food and still enjoy your healthy lifestyle. However, there is one thing we forgot to mention. Though all of these foods can be found in Arab restaurants the really healthiest to get them is home-cooked. That is, practice your Arabic and hope your newfound Arab friends invite you to dinner.
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