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The Health Benefits of Persian Food Ingredients

Examining the benefits of Iranian food for health in a comprehensive and complete manner with examples of foods

Iranian food has gained a lot of popularity throughout the world, and from the Middle East to North and South America, these foods are almost always well-known. In addition to the popularity of Iranian food, they are also prepared with very healthy and nutritious ingredients.

These are very healthy benefits of Persian food ingredients that are used in most diets. What is more interesting is that these very simple and healthy ingredients create delicious and, of course, healthy and nourishing foods for the human body.

If you care about your health and want to get rid of unhealthy and fast food, then stay with me until the end of this article to learn more and better about the healthy ingredients of Iranian food. We pay for Iranian cuisine.

In the following, you will see a complete table and infographic on the health benefits of Persian food ingredients.

Persian Ingredient Health Benefits
Turmeric Prevents cardiovascular diseases, reduces inflammation, aids in weight loss, prevents cancer
Saffron Reduces stress, improves cardiovascular health, reduces PMS symptoms, contains antioxidants
Pomegranate Rich in antioxidants, it reduces cancer risk, improves heart health, and aids in weight loss.
Rice Strengthens immune system, improves hair health, balances women’s hormones
Nuts (Pistachio and Almond) Improves memory, treats anemia, provides healthy fats and protein
Barberry Treats anemia, regulates liver metabolism, contains antioxidants
Legumes Rich in iron, antioxidants, fibre, and protein, it regulates blood sugar
Fresh Vegetables Rich in vitamins C and A, reduces cancer risk, improves cardiovascular health

1. Turmeric: the most widely used and characteristic Iranian spice

One is a yellow spice that is used in almost all Iranian dishes and stews. Since ancient times, turmeric has been used as a flavor and colorant in Iranian dishes. 

With the passage of time and understanding of the nutritional importance of turmeric, this substance has become more and more used in Iranian dishes. In addition to Iranian cuisine in the Middle East and Indian cuisine, it is also a widely used spice.

Health properties of turmeric:

Preventing cardiovascular diseases: Turmeric is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Fatty and heavy foods usually cause blood vessels and heart congestion. The use of turmeric in food helps to prevent blood vessels from clogging. In addition, turmeric regulates blood pressure and helps in better blood supply to the heart and blood vessels.

Title Details
Turmeric in Iranian Cuisine The most widely used and characteristic Iranian spice
Description A yellow spice used in almost all Iranian dishes and stews, as well as Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines
Historical Use Used since ancient times as a flavour and colourant in Iranian dishes
Nutritional Importance Increasingly used in Iranian dishes due to its nutritional benefits
Preventing Cardiovascular Diseases Known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Blood Vessel Health Prevents the clogging of blood vessels, regulates blood pressure, and improves blood supply to the heart and vessels

It has powerful anti-inflammatory effectsTrusted Source and is a very strong antioxidant. That said, the curcumin content of turmeric is only around 1-6% by weightTrusted Source.

Most studies on this herb use turmeric extracts that contain mostly curcumin itself, with dosages usually exceeding 1 gram (g) per day, which means it would be hard to reach these levels just by using turmeric as a spice. That’s why some people choose to use supplements.

Sourced : healthline

Preventing various cancers: As mentioned earlier, turmeric has many antioxidant properties and these properties prevent the occurrence of all types of cancer and help to destroy cancer cells.

Turmeric and weight loss: any substance rich in antioxidants like turmeric causes weight loss. Combining turmeric with lemon juice or milk and consuming it in the morning or before going to sleep causes weight loss and removes fats from the human body.

2. Saffron: the best and most expensive raw material in Iranian cuisine

Persian saffron ingredients

One of the best and most expensive raw materials for preparing healthy Iranian food is saffron. Persian Brewed saffron is widely used in Iranian cuisine, especially stews such as Gheymeh nesar and Iranian desserts such as Shole Zard.

Brewed saffron gives a golden yellow color to rice and Iranian dishes.

In addition to excellent coloring, it makes food tasty and fragrant. The aroma of this material is powerful and mild, and it is also used in the preparation of Iranian syrups such as saffron syrup and khaki syrup.

Health properties of saffron:

Saffron has many properties for the human body, of which I will mention a few.

Anti-stress properties: Stress is one of the daily diseases in all of our lives. By consuming saffron syrup or tea, anxiety and stress can be reduced in everyday life.

In addition, saffron, with its warm nature, can regulate the nervous system and improve its performance. Proper functioning of the nervous system also reduces depression.

Title Details
Saffron in Iranian Cuisine The best and most expensive raw material for preparing healthy Iranian food
Uses of Saffron Widely used in stews such as Gheymeh nesar and desserts such as Shole Zard
Effect of Saffron on Food Color Gives a golden yellow color to rice and Iranian dishes
Aroma and Taste of Saffron Makes food tasty and fragrant, with a mild and powerful aroma
Other Uses Used in the preparation of Iranian syrups such as saffron syrup and khaki syrup
Health Properties of Saffron Anti-stress properties reduce anxiety and stress, regulate the nervous system, and reduce depression.

Saffron is known to help reduce the negative symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). In one study, 60% of the women who took saffron supplements reported a 50% or higher reduction in 17 PMS-related symptoms.

Sourced: webmd.com

Cardiovascular health: Free radicals in the body cause cardiovascular diseases in the human body. The use of saffron, due to its abundant antioxidants, reduces free radicals in the body and thus improves the health of the heart and blood vessels.

3. Pomegranate – the main ingredient in stews and stews in northern Iran

the main ingredient in stews and stews in northern Iran

The pomegranate is a winter fruit that is widely used in Iranian cuisine. Pomegranate paste, which is made from pomegranate, is a black and sour substance that is the main color and flavor of dishes such as Khoresh Fasenjan, Morgh torsh, and Anar bij.

Pomegranate seeds themselves are also used in foods such as Ash anar.

A red fruit that makes Iranian food delicious with its sweet and sour taste. Pomegranate has excellent properties for human health, some of which are mentioned below.

Health properties of pomegranate:

Contains antioxidants: Pomegranate contains many antioxidants and vitamins. We also mentioned above that any substance that contains antioxidants fights free radicals in the body and, improves heart function, and reduces blood fat and weight loss.

Reducing the risk of cancer: Pomegranate prevents cancer due to its anti-free radical properties. Research studies have shown that pomegranate has the potential to prevent prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer.

Title Details
Pomegranate in Iranian Cuisine The main ingredient in stews and dishes in northern Iran, especially in winter
Uses of Pomegranate Pomegranate paste is used in dishes like Khoresh Fesenjan, Morgh torsh, Anar bij, and Ash anar
Effect on Food Taste Adds a sweet and sour flavour to Iranian dishes
Health Properties of Pomegranate Contains antioxidants and vitamins, improves heart function, reduces blood fat, and aids in weight loss
Cancer Prevention Has the potential to prevent prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer due to its anti-free radical properties

4. Rice – the main ingredient of Iranian pilaf

Persian rice for foods

Rice is one of the main ingredients used to prepare food, especially Iranian pilaf. Cooked rice is one of the most well-known and main ingredients in the preparation of Iranian dishes, along with khoresh ghormeh sabzi and khoresh gheymeh sibzamini.

In addition, it is also widely used to prepare Iranian desserts and soups such as Shir berenj.

Health properties of rice

Strengthening the immune system: Rice contains useful nutrients and vitamins for the human body, and its consumption, along with other useful substances, strengthens the human immune system.

Hair health and preventing hair loss: Consuming rice in a balanced diet makes the skin and hair healthy. In addition, rice grains are also used to make hair masks and strengthening shampoos.

Properties of rice for women: Consuming rice is very effective in controlling women’s sex hormones and increasing their libido.

Title Details
Rice in Iranian Cuisine The main ingredient in preparing Iranian pilaf and other dishes like Khoresh Ghormeh Sabzi and Khoresh Gheymeh Sibzamini
Uses of Rice Widely used in Iranian desserts and soups such as Shir Berenj
Health Properties of Rice Strengthens the immune system with its nutrients and vitamins
Hair Health Promotes healthy skin and hair, used in hair masks and strengthening shampoos
Benefits for Women Effective in controlling women’s sex hormones and increasing libido

5. Nuts (pistachio nuts and almond slices)

Nuts are widely used in Iranian Majlesi dishes and Iranian desserts and sweets. Ingredients such as pistachio slices and almond slices decorate Iranian pilafs and stews, such as Morsa Polo and Gheymeh nesar.

Walnut is one of the other nuts that both its kernel and walnut powder are used in Iranian dishes and stews. For example, walnut powder is the main ingredient of Fasenjan stew. Walnut kernels are also used in kuku sabzi.

Almonds and almond powder are also used in Harireh badam, which is a nutritious dessert for children and babies. Almond and pistachio slices are also used in Iranian sweets, such as Shirini danmarki and Shirini gerdooee.

Health properties of nuts

Increasing memory with nuts: We used to improve our performance by consuming the nuts prepared by our mother during school exams. Nuts have a positive effect on brain neurons and increase our memory performance.

Treatment of anemia: almond kernel, hazelnut, raisin, and pistachio can supply the iron needed by the body and thus cause anemia treatment.

Slimming snack: In fact, nuts are an excellent snack for slimming and diets by providing useful fats and protein needed by the body.

Title Details
Nuts in Iranian Cuisine Widely used in Iranian Majlesi dishes, desserts, and sweets
Types of Nuts and Uses Pistachio and almond slices for decorating pilafs and stews like Morsa Polo and Gheymeh nesar.
Other Nuts Walnut kernel and powder in dishes like Fasenjan stew and Kuku Sabzi
Almond Uses Almond powder in Harireh badam, a nutritious dessert for children
Uses in Sweets Almond and pistachio slices in sweets like Shirini danmarki and Shirini gerdooee.
Memory Enhancement Nuts improve brain neurons and increase memory performance
Treatment of Anemia Almonds, hazelnuts, raisins, and pistachios provide the iron needed for anemia treatment.
Slimming Snack Nuts are an excellent snack for slimming and diets, providing useful fats and protein.

6. Barberry – the main ingredient for decorating Iranian dishes

A plant with a red color and excellent sour taste is usually placed on rice and stews to decorate. Barberry is also used for dishes such as Zereshk polo ba morgh and placed on the side of Kuku Sabzi and Koofteh tabrizi.

Barberry water can also be used as a healthy Iranian drink.

An Iranian snack called lavashak is also prepared from barberry, which has a sweet and sour taste and is very popular.

Properties of barberry for health:

Anemia treatment: Barberry is used to treat anemia due to its strong antioxidants, such as anthocyanins.

Liver regulation: Barberry can be used to regulate liver metabolism. Consuming red barberry reduces cholesterol and purifies the blood.

Title Details
Barberry in Iranian Cuisine The main ingredient for decorating Iranian dishes
Uses of Barberry Placed on rice and stews, used in dishes like Zereshk Polo ba Morgh, Kuku Sabzi, and Koofteh Tabrizi
Barberry Water Used as a healthy Iranian drink
Barberry in Snacks Used in the Iranian snack lavashak, which has a sweet and sour taste
Anemia Treatment Contains potent antioxidants like anthocyanins, used to treat anemia
Liver Regulation Regulates liver metabolism, reduces cholesterol, and purifies blood

Antibiotics: Taking barberry with antibiotics may decrease the effectiveness of the antibiotics. Talk to your doctor about taking barberry in conjunction with antibiotic therapy.

Anticoagulants (blood thinners): Barberry may alter the effectiveness of blood-thinning medication. DO NOT take barberry if you take anticoagulants.

Sourced: mountsinai.org

7. Legumes – a source of protein in Iranian soups and stews

Legumes include lentils, yellow split peas, chickpeas, beans, and beans, which are the main ingredients of Iranian dishes and stews.

For example, yellow split peas are used in Khoresh gheymeh and Abgoosht. Yellow beans are used in dami baghali, and green beans are used in baghali polo ba mahicheh.

An Iranian dish in which most of the legumes are used and is very famous is called Ash Reshteh because all the legumes are rich in protein and vitamins.

Properties of legumes

Legumes and iron: It is abundantly found in most legumes, which prevents anemia and increases the strength of the body.

Plenty of antioxidants: Legumes like turmeric and pomegranate, which I mentioned above, are full of antioxidants. Antioxidants in legumes kill free radicals in the human body.

Fiber and protein: Legumes are very high in fiber and protein, and they also regulate blood sugar. Fiber is also very useful in slimming diets.

Title Details
Legumes in Iranian Cuisine Source of protein in Iranian soups and stews
Types of Legumes and Uses Lentils, yellow split peas, chickpeas, beans, and more
Specific Uses Yellow split peas in Khoresh Gheymeh and Abgoosht, yellow beans in Dami Baghali, green beans in Baghali Polo ba Mahicheh
Famous Dish Ashe reshteh, known for using a variety of protein and vitamin-rich legumes
Iron Content Prevents anemia and increases body strength
Antioxidants Full of antioxidants that kill free radicals in the human body
Fibre and Protein High in fiber and protein, regulates blood sugar, beneficial in slimming diets.

8. Fresh vegetables – the main ingredients of most Iranian stews and soups

Fresh or dried vegetables are used in most Iranian dishes. Vegetables such as mint, coriander, parsley, and other types of dried vegetables are the main ingredients used to prepare Ghormeh sabzi.

Fresh vegetables such as leeks are also among the main ingredients in Kuku Sabzi. Fresh vegetables are also used in most Iranian dishes.

A mixture of fried dry mint is used to decorate soups and stews and food such as Kashke bademjan.

Properties of fresh vegetables

Source of vitamins: Fresh vegetables are a rich source of vitamins C and A.

Reducing the risk of cancer: Fresh vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants that reduce free radicals in the body and reduce the risk of cancer.

Improving cardiovascular health: fresh vegetables are rich in antioxidants needed by the body, and these things improve the digestive system and cardiovascular health.

Title Details
Fresh Vegetables in Iranian Cuisine The main ingredients of most Iranian stews and soups
Types of Vegetables and Uses Fresh and dried vegetables like mint, coriander, parsley, leeks
Specific Uses The main ingredients in Ghormeh Sabzi, Kuku Sabzi, are used in most Iranian dishes
Decorative Uses Fried dry mint is used to decorate soups, stews, and dishes like Kashke Bademjan
Vitamin Source Rich source of vitamins C and A
Cancer Risk Reduction Excellent source of antioxidants that reduce free radicals and the risk of cancer
Cardiovascular Health Improve digestive system and cardiovascular health with rich antioxidants

Conclusion :

Thank you for staying with me until the end of this article. In the end, I will point out some important points for you to have healthy ingredients for Iranian and other foods.

Try to use fresh ingredients, especially for vegetables. Fresh ingredients have better vitamins and properties than other ingredients that are not fresh.

If possible, use quality materials. For example, use first-grade saffron and barberry, which have better taste and aroma. Fresh and first-grade saffron has the best aroma, color, and properties compared to second-grade and normal saffron.

The last thing is to keep ingredients like beans, turmeric, and spices in a clear glass container away from sunlight.

This will keep them fresh and help the properties of these materials to last. In the end, I hope this article was helpful for you. If you liked it, rate my article and turn the stars yellow.

Also, please leave comments about your experiences and valuable information about the raw materials and dishes of Iran for me. Send to discuss.

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Chef Haghighi

I am Chef Haghighi with ten years of cooking experience and setting up many restaurants and fast food in Iran and Turkey. I am interested in writing recipes on my website. I have the TCA international culinary qualification.I have the experience of successfully launching more than 20 restaurants and fast food in USA and Turkey. I have opened all kinds of traditional restaurants and fast food in Iranian and Turkish style. You can contact me for advice on equipping restaurants and fast food In the shortest possible time and for free, I will provide you with advice on buying fast food equipment and setting up a fast food restaurant.

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