How to have a Healthy Diet on Koh Phangan

2 Jan 2020

It sounds quite simple doesn’t it? Go and stay on a tropical island and you can be healthy.

Of course this is true (or not if you decide to survive on a diet of thai fried chicken and vodka redbulls) but there are ways in which you can make sure you have a healthy diet here.

Many of the locals sell fresh fruit, sometimes at the roadside. This fruit would of been picked either that day or not long ago so you know it is fresh and importantly, in season.

Nutritionist Therapist Audrey explains why eating things that are in season is important -

‘We have very nice fruits, coconuts, bananas papaya and mango. People forget what is in season and what isn’t but the things in season give you the vitamins and minerals of that moment’.

Enjoy the island's plentiful supply of coconuts! Not only are they healthy but they also have natural electrolytes which helps to keep you hydrated, especially needed in the heat. Coconuts have many benefits so enjoy them in all forms whether it be raw, drinking the water or in oil form.

Fruit shakes are also easy to get and a good way to get some vitamins into you without having to sit down and eat.

Papaya is good for easing your stomach (on those days where you’ve had too much spicy food for example) and banana helps release natural endorphins in the brain that make you feel happy! Depending on yourself, you may want to ask for them not to add sugar as some fruit shake places add sugar to bring out the sweetness of the fruit.

The local thai food is generally healthier than what most of us become used to in the west so make the most of this delicious cuisine.

Phanganist’s friend Eva who is a nutritionist as well as a fitness queen gives us some more tips -

MUST HAVE tips for diet on Koh Phangan:

-- MSG is a popular ingredient so it is better to mention that you don’t want it.

-- It is better to go for brown rice rather than the popular white rice, if they don't have it then buy some nuts and seeds at Macro and have three tablespoons of nuts/seeds to substitute the rice.

-- Best meal on the island: BBQ chicken or catfish with papaya salad (called som tam).

-- Try different soups as they're very filling and healthy. My favourite is Tom Yam with extra chicken. Remember to sprinkle with nuts and seeds instead of having rice.

-- Buy some cold-pressed coconut oil and add two tablespoons of oil to your meal to substitute white rice

-- Go vegan for a day and hit up all the amazing vegan restaurants on the island. Sri Thanu area is the vegan/yoga centre. My favourite vegan restaurants are Orion Detox Center, Green Gallery, Eat.co and Green Leaf Cafe.

When having fruit shakes tell them to make it without sugar and no ice. Cold foods are bad for digestion.

Most important nutrition tip: Fat doesn't make you fat! Sugar does! But make sure it's good fats that come from raw (not roasted) nuts and seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, hemp, chia, walnuts, cashews, pecans, almonds), avocados, olive oil, coconut oil and ghee are Eva's top choices