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Travel File: Cambodia's gold standard diet

The Cambodians have nutrition principles down. Everywhere I turn, their diet was the gold standard.

Cambodian food is naturally very healthy; it’s light, tasty and full of healthy nutrients.Their diet consists of lots of fresh fruits and veggies, fish, and not too much meat.

The signature “Khmer” (Cambodian cuisine) dish is Fish Amok. As with other main Cambodian dishes, it uses plenty of herbs (like anti-inflammatory turmeric!), leaves, dipping sauces, edible flowers and other garnishes and condiments. Ours was served in a banana leaf bowl, which is also typically how it is eaten here. Green mango salad is also a very popular dish in Cambodia – known best for preventing dehydration and helping with gastro issues.

Another big win for Cambodian nutrition is their use of fermented foods (yay Cambodia!) – I was pleasantly surprised to find that they incorporate fermented foods at almost every meal, recognizing its importance for proper digestion (see my earlier post on fermented foods).

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention how Cambodia’s markets are bursting with tropical fruits, piled high in vibrant shades of red, orange, yellow, green, brown, pink and purple! And with the SUPER hot temperatures here, fruit was certainly by biggest craving.

Fresh fruit is easily available everywhere - even on mobile fruit stands moving around the crazy city streets!

These ‘tropical’ fruits, for the most part, have become common place in North America – though nothing beats eating it fresh from where it comes from! Most popular here: Durian (the smell!!! 🤢), Dragon Fruit, Papaya, Pineapple, Jack Fruit, and Mango.

Eating fruit is so important for overall health – they are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium. Some (Papaya & Pineapple) also contain important digestive enzymes, and fruits are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which can help to maintain a healthy gut. I encourage you to find these delicious fruits in your local stores and add them to your diet when possible.


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