My first experience of Turkish food at Efendy Balmain was an absolute delight for the senses - particularly my taste buds! A true “Turkish delight”, every dish sampled was full of colour, fragrant spice and nutrition…it’s a wonder I didn’t discover my love for this cuisine sooner.
The impressive thing about Turkish cuisine is that it not only tastes good, but is also good for you. Many of the main ingredients have amazing benefits, which would be a welcome addition to any healthy eating plan. Each of the Foodie Five members enjoyed the discovery of a different surprise ingredient at Efendy Turkish Restaurant last week, which we shared here.
So if you’re wondering what our surprise ingredients were and why you should be adding Turkish to your food repertoire, here are 5 very good reasons:
- Pomegranate – a food well known for its antioxidant properties and heart health benefits. The fruit and seeds have a high content of the two essential vitamins, C and K. Vitamin C aids in immune system function, wound healing, promotion of healthy gums and the manufacture of collagen and elastin, which is essential for lovely skin. It also helps to enhance iron absorption in the body. Vitamin K is vital for strong, healthy bones.
- Cumin – this small flowering herb of the parsley family is thought to be a powerful kidney and liver herb and can help to boost the body’s immune system. It’s also said to be helpful in rectifying digestive disorders such as indigestion and nausea.
- Nettle – a renowned “wonder plant”, the humble nettle is jam-packed with health properties. Considered an excellent anti-inflammatory, it’s also an important source of vitamins A, C and E, iron, calcium, and other minerals. All these qualities make it a powerful remedy against ailments such as arthritis, diabetes, anemia and kidney disease, to name just a few.
- Dill – a perennial herb, in which both the leaves and seeds can be used in cooking. Having a sweet, citrusy flavour, this simple herb is rich in calcium, boasts antioxidant properties, aids in digestion, and helps the body fight against respiratory congestion. It’s also rich in Vitamin B.
- Burghul (also known as Bulgur Wheat) - a whole wheat product which is dried and crushed. Since it undergoes minimal processing, burghul retains its maximum nutritional value and is a great source of B vitamins, particularly thiamine and niacin. It’s also rich in iron, zinc, magnesium and other minerals. Interestingly, burghul is an ideal choice for diabetics because it has a lower glycemic index than white rice. It is also higher in fibre than oats or corn, and contains lignans, which are antioxidants with anti-cancer benefits. Lignans also prevent bad cholesterol build up, which is good news for heart health.
Tell me, have you tried Turkish yet? And if you haven't, what are you waiting for?
Jennifer Reid is a wife, mum of 2 teens, Blog Reviewer on Sydney’s 103.2FM Radio in Australia, freelance writer and avid blogger at Life's like a Cupcake! and A Brush with Beauty. She is a career enthusiast, with the CV so far reading: Banker, Beauty Therapist, Makeup Artist & School Teacher! She loves life, and her passions are writing & all things food-related!