Happy Dragon Boat Festival 2022! Zongzi is a sticky rice dumpling. It is a popular food dish in Taiwan and is eaten traditionally during the Dragon Boat Festival.
It is delicious and one can end up eating more than one zongzi during a meal. But dietitian Ko Hsiao-tung from Taiwan has warned people against consuming more than 1 zongzi in one go.
Zongzi and the history
Zongzi is a popular food delicacy in Taiwan. It is a Chinese dish that is made from glutinous rice.
It is stuffed with different fillings, wrapped in the leaves of a bamboo tree, and steamed or boiled. Sometimes, reed or other flat large leaves such as lotus leaves are used for the wrap.
This traditional dish originated around 771- 476 BC. People made it during the worship of Gods and ancestors. Its association with the Dragon Boat Festival began during the rule of the Jin Dynasty in 266 – 420 AD.
It can be made sweet or savory or mixed with both of these flavors. The savory version has a filling of marinated pork belly and shiitake mushrooms.
And the sweet has red beans and Chinese dates. This is served with sugar or honey and can be warm or cold. You can eat it as a snack or for dinner.
Calories and nutrition of zongzi
The zongzi made weights 250 g. It has 500 calories of energy each. This is equal to a meal. And depending on the inner filling, the protein, vitamins, fats, carbs, and minerals might vary.
When it has streaky pork, peanuts, and salty egg yolk the calories might be more high. And the ingredients used in the making are first stir-fry. Thus their caloric content increases further. A sweet zongzi has at least 300 to 400 calories each.
Therefore this food item is high in calories and fats. It might cause digestive problems if eaten more. Food imbalance would occur.
Ko Hsiao-tung and her advice on zongzi
Taiwanese dietitian Ko Hsiao-tung is attached to Cancer Care Foundation. Recently, she issued a press release to remind people not to eat more than one zongzi at one time.
They are caloric-dense and the fats in them are saturated type and unhealthy. Another nutritionist, Chao Han-Ying added that glutinous rice is of the hard type and not easy for many to digest.
Chao also said that people should have two servings of vegetables and one serving of fruits along with one zongzi so that the fiber and vitamin C in this meal is enough to counteract any ills due to the delicacy.
This restriction on the amount to consume is especially important in diabetic patients and those who have heart maladies and high blood pressure. For them, it is best to just have half of this traditional dish.
Note on Dragon Boat Festival
The famous Dragon Boat Festival also goes by the name Tuen Ng. It comes every year on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month. In 2022, it is on 3 June.
It is to mark and mourn the death of Qu Yuan, a Chinese poet, and minister. He was highly patriotic and contributed to classical poetry. His name is included in the list of national heroes.