One always reads in health magazines and medical journals about several exotic foods all around the world, especially in the western hemisphere, that provide valuable health benefits. Well, the Arab world is no different than any other part of the globe. Our diverse communities on the Eastern side also share a collection of native delicacies that are good for our biological systems. Let’s take a look at some of these examples.
Apart from the fact that Koshary is one of Mohamed Salah’s favorite dishes, it is also one of the most famous street foods in Egypt for all classes and even foreigners.
Researchers from the World Health Organization (WHO), the USA’s National Institute of Health (NIH), and the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) in collaboration with the Egyptian Ministry of Health conducted a ten-year study where they assessed and evaluated global consumption of koshary from 2009 to 2019. The study was carried out with a sample of adults from ages 18-60 in 59 countries.
The study concludes what scientists already knew about the so-called K-Effect, where the orgasmic combination of ingredients produces a surge of endogenous morphine; or endorphins, to the brain, resulting in a feeling of euphoria. Furthermore, the data gathered suggests the unique blend of boiled loveliness is complete with the desired levels of saturated fat, protein, carbs, energy intake, vitamins, minerals, and all the other ‘good stuff’ the human body needs. Thus making it the healthiest meal in the world.
Another well-known Egyptian delicacy is Falafel which is considered one of the best options to add to your list of healthy foods. Firstly it is low in calories, especially the chickpeas; garbanzo beans, that are added to the falafel mix. Secondly, it is one of the highest-fiber meals around, making it excellent for promoting healthy digestion and preventing heart disease. Thirdly since chickpeas are a type of legume, falafel pertain a good deal of protein and minerals with hardly any fat at all. The list of benefits goes on and on including its richness in healthy fats, manganese, and iron. The most surprising advantage is its ability to improve women’s health. It helps reduce the risk of breast cancer thanks to the existent of antioxidants called saponins.
Similar to Falafel, hummus has a high fiber content. Furthermore, it has saponins, protease inhibitors, and phytic acid. Those guard cells against the kind of damage that can cause cancer. In addition to an enriched amount of protein that can help improve your bone, muscle, skin, and blood health. Helping to lower your cholesterol and to lose weight are additional perks of eating hummus. This due to the presence of garbanzo beans and sesame seed butter; called tahini, respectively. The tahini contains a fair amount of monounsaturated fats that is a popular substitute for trans fats and polyunsaturated fats which cause weight gain and increases in belly fat. This particular dish can also alleviate anemia, help balance your blood sugar level, and prevent allergic reactions due to it’s gluten-free, nut free, and dairy free nature.
Freekeh, or roasted green wheat, is a specialty of many countries in the MENA region including Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. Freek contains four times as much fiber as brown rice and twice the amount of protein as white rice. It also has glutamic acid, a non-essential amino acid. This is very well known among bodybuilders and athletes because it helps improve endurance and strength. Furthermore, its richness of antioxidants helps prevent age-related degeneration of the eyes. Finally, Freek treats existing digestive issues due to the existence of prebiotics that fuels the intestinal bacteria. It also may be useful for anyone suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diarrhea, inflammatory bowel disease, or Candida virus.