Although we associate noodles with Italy, they seem to have been introduced from China by Marco Polo. Although udon originated in China, it is now best known as a traditional dish of Japanese cuisine. Udon is thick noodles made of wheat or brown rice. They can be prepared in many ways, but are usually served as soup, or stir-fried with vegetables, fish, or chicken.
Udon noodles are served both hot and cold, depending on whether they are eaten in summer or winter. The dish is popular throughout Asia because it is quick and easy to prepare and digest, inexpensive, and filling.
Udon noodles are very low in calories which makes them an ideal diet choice if you are trying to lose weight. A calorie-rich diet can be healthy only if you are physically active, and use most of the calories you consume. This is rarely the case with urban population, which is why obesity, and all the diseases related to it, have become such a big problem. However, excluding calories from your diet would not only be impossible but would be very unhealthy. The solution is to eat a healthy, low-calorie diet that provides all the necessary nutrients while ensuring you don’t put on weight.
Carbohydrates can be simple or complex, the main difference between them being how quickly they are digested and absorbed. Complex carbohydrates are much more nutritious and are found in fiber-rich foods. They take longer to break down, which is why they keep you full for longer. Udon noodles are rich in complex carbohydrates which means the energy they provide is released slowly and keeps you going for hours.
Proteins are building blocks of our body, and we need them for growth, tissue repair, and optimal functioning of all our organs. Udon noodles made of brown rice are a healthy source of non-animal protein, which is particularly important for vegetarians and vegans.
Udon soup is how the udon noodles are usually served. Soups help maintain good stomach health because they make digestion easy. Experiments show that udon noodle soup is digested three times better than meat or durum wheat pasta dishes. Besides, being made of whole wheat, udon noodles are rich in dietary fiber which helps keep you regular.
Complex carbohydrates are a good source of energy, and udon noodles are an easy and cheap way of keeping yourself warm during winter months. Udon is best eaten hot, and because it contains complex carbs, the heat, i.e., the energy provided by hot udon noodle soup, will keep you warm for longer than a dish made with other types of noodles.
Udon noodles contain almost no fat, which makes them ideal for those on weight management program. Being free of saturated fat, they help you lose weight while providing the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Although fat is essential in our diet, too much fat causes not only weight gain but can cause many serious health problems. Learning to prepare low-fat, nutritious meals becomes easy when you include udon noodles in your diet.
If you are gluten intolerant, you should eat brown rice noodles. Unlike the durum wheat noodles, which are full of gluten, brown rice udon noodles are easily digested, even if you have sensitive digestion. However, udon noodles made of wheat, do contain gluten. Fortunately, Asian restaurants and markets, usually offer gluten-free noodles and rice.
Udon noodles can be used in many ways, and are as delicious in soups, as they are in stir-fries, curries, stews or omelets. They can be used fresh or dried. There are hundreds of udon recipes, and they vary from region to region. When first introduced from China, udon was prepared as a rice cake but is now made into thick noodles, which are boiled or stir-fried.
Udon noodles are traditionally made of whole wheat flour or whole rice, which makes it a valuable source of vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3, B9). These vitamins are important because they boost energy, improve hormone production, and help fight inflammation in the body.
Made of whole wheat flour udon noodles are a rich source of important minerals. Some studies claim that regular use of udon noodles can prevent colon cancer because regular consumption of these noodles improves overall digestive health. However, all foods rich in dietary fiber, are a good choice for a cancer-fighting diet.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.