Are natural traditional foods important in our diet?
I was going through Facebook, and several health posts popped up about turmeric. So I decided to do a bit more reading about turmeric and its benefits. Research has shown that Turmeric, or turmeric, is a natural anti inflammatory; the active ingredient in turmeric – curcumin – could potentially ward off dementia and has many more benefits.
I had never thought of turmeric as a separate "element" in the diet, nor was it something new to me, as turmeric has always been part of my family's diet. We don't take turmeric by itself; we have curries almost every day, even right now in Australia, which include turmeric. Interestingly, one of the main and important ingredients in curry paste is turmeric, with other delicious spices.
I am very passionate about going back to basics – and back to traditional home cooked meals. I have also just started to read this book – Deep Nutrition – Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food by Catherine Shanahan MD.
In this book, it talks about the values and importance of traditional food and their benefits – the food that our ancestor's ate and passed down to us to enjoy. The author shows us how the habits of our ancestors can help us lead longer, healthier, more vital lives.
So what is traditional food?
It is basically the food that deeply nourished our ancestors based on whole food that was native to their surrounding; ie whole and nutriently dense, unrefined and sustainable through time. It is also cultural food, the food that you were brought up with and has been passed down from your ancestors.
I remembered following my grandmother to the seaside waiting for the sampan (wooden boat) to come back to shore with the catch of the day. Our fish were so fresh, we did not need to overdo it with the sauce/marinade, and most times we just steamed the fish with light soy sauce and ginger. Sometimes we cooked curry fish, assam fish, grilled with sambal etc.
Now back to turmeric… So many of my friends we talking about adding turmeric to their diet, and few of them bought turmeric tablets for their daily supplement. Yet turmeric is in the Malaysian diet.
Malaysia is a melting pot of culinary delight, we are exposed to food from regions like Thailand, Indonesia, Burma, India, China and our diets are filled with spices.
During my grandmother's time, we were lucky enough to be exposed to delicious home cooked authentic traditional dishes, such as curry kapitan, poh pniah, and plentiful of curries cooked with meat, seafood and vegetables.
That's why I am passionate about bringing traditional food back into our diet. I have started sourcing a range of pastes that are authentic in taste and you can bring back your childhood dishes in under 30 minutes.
Do check out the pastes, and let's get back to the kitchen and reintroduce our traditional dishes back onto our long table.