Key ingredients in Thai soups include limes, lemongrass, and a variety of peppers "The ratio of the cancer pattern in Asians, especially southeast Asians, is very low compared with the pattern in the European and Western countries," Jiwajindra said.
In fact, Thais have a much lower incidence of digestive tract cancers than people do in other countries. Traditional Thai cuisine -- famed for its heavy use of herbs and spices -- has long been known to have health benefits, Jiwajindra said. And despite its spicy taste, Tom Yum Gung continues to be popular, said Schmitz, calling the soup "definitely the best seller if you look into the statistics." Every month, the soup is "at the top of the charts," he added. "A day, I'd say we are making 50-60 cups in a restaurant like the Spice Market," said the chef.