The healthiest food in the land, nurtured on northern slopes, has been delivered to Bangkok
THE ROYAL Project Gastronomy Festival continuing until December 7 at Siam Paragon in Bangkok focuses on the nutritious “superfoods” the Royal Project Foundation continues to develop.
The Highland Brown Rice sold in the past years has now been joined by new strains Highland Yellow Wild Rice and Highland Kaipa Wild Rice. Once again, the benefits include reduced cholesterol levels and risk of contracting Alzheimer’s, and they contain anti-oxidants, potassium and iron to help balance body fluids and grow more red blood cells.
Hilltribe people cultivate Highland Brown Rice.
Also on offer is increasingly popular quinoa, a high-nutrition grain full of minerals and 10 essential amino acids, and thus good for diabetics.
Red kidney beans are another superfood, able to protect the nervous system and rich in protein, B-complex vitamins, fibre and iron, while white kidney beans have lots of folate and manganese as well.
Portobello mushrooms, packed with protein and free of fat and cholesterol, make a good substitute for meat. Monkey-head mushrooms, known in Japan as yamabushitake, tackle cancerous cells, strengthen the immune system, protect against ulcers in the digestive tract and control cholesterol.
Mushroom chilli paste is also featured.
As for vegetables and herbs, there are tomatoes, broccoli, red cabbage, iceberg lettuce and Chinese kale.
The Royal Project tomatoes and cherry tomatoes are firm and naturally sweet. The red hue indicates the presence of lycopene, which lowers the risk of cancer.
Tomatoes also contain vitamins B1, B2 and K to help nourish blood cells and Vitamin A for good vision.
Broccoli has loads of Vitamin C to boost the immune system. Red cabbage has twice the Vitamin C that green cabbage does, as well as anthocyanin, an antioxidant that fends off cancer.
Iceberg lettuce is rich in iron and folate to help generate red blood cells and white blood cells in the bone marrow. Chinese kale contains beta-carotene to prevent cancer and improve the eyesight.
The “super fruits” on sale extend to figs, Hass avocados, kiwis, cape gooseberries and passion fruit.
Figs are high in fibre and a good source of several essential minerals such as magnesium, calcium (twice the amount found in fish) for bone density and potassium, which lowers blood pressure. They’re also a good source of energy and have no fat or cholesterol.
Hass avocados contain lots of fibre and are rich in vitamin and minerals. Their unsaturated fatty acids reduce cholesterol and antioxidants prevent cancer and heart disease.
Kiwis are loaded with health benefits and will improve the complexion. The fibrous kiwi is also great if you’re trying to shed weight.
Cape gooseberries have double to Vitamin C of lemon and help prevent flu and allergies.
Low in calories but high in nutrients, passion fruit packs vitamins A and C, both good for the vision and the skin.
The processed chicken products on offer include black bone chicken and stewed black chicken, both made with Chinese herbs, smoked Bresse chicken, pheasant and organic chicken.
Originally reared in Mongolia, black bone chicken is high in protein and in China is believed to nourish the blood, a boon to older folks.
Bresse chicken originally from France is tender and juicy, while pheasant is enjoying a renaissance among chefs around the world. Far less fatty than other game fowl, it boasts meat that’s firm yet tender with a unique and enjoyable taste.
The organic chicken was developed from three Thai breeds, all raised free-range and fed on organic foods, resulting in a lovely taste and firm texture.
Grilled rainbow trout with sweet fish sauce and rocket salad
The main fish products remain rainbow trout and sturgeon. The trout is rich in omega 3, which reduces cholesterol, helps the nervous system and decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s and depression.
Sturgeon shares its roe as black caviar for a mere Bt50,000 per kilogram, but the flesh of the fish is second to none in firmness as well as being rich in collagen.
For a healthy drink, you can buy the subtle but unique-tasting Assam green, which is full of the stress-beating amino acid theanine, which also helps you sleep well.
Tomato juice is one of the Royal Project’s most popular products, helping nourish the skin and containing lycopene to ward off signs of ageing.
The processed tomato products include ketchup, jam and puree, all rich in vitamins A and C and free of preservatives.
There is also Coffee Flower Honey made with 100-per-cent-pure honey collected from the bees that nest in the Royal Project coffee plantations.
Fruity cereal bar
In terms of healthy snacks, the highlight is a fruity cereal bar ideal for breakfast and for energy boosts before exercising. It’s packed with, dried strawberries, banana and pineapple, whole wheat, half-milled highland rice, roasted pumpkin kernels and passion-fruit squash.
A WORLD OF WONDERS
The Royal Project Gastronomy Festival @Siam Paragon continues until December 7 at Parc Paragon.
An exhibition on 10 different superfoods is in the Hall of Fame until December 6.