Curry is a national favourite in many countries, and it is not hard to see why: a properly made curry is delicious, warming the body without burning the tongue. But what a lot of people don’t realise is that many of the spices used in making curries have a lot of health benefits. Let’s have a look at them:
The basis of that unique curry flavour in the dish, these leaves offer so much more than a wonderful taste enhancement. They contain capsaicin, which gives it its warming properties, but it is also packed with vitamins, boosts the maintenance of calcium levels, and can even aid with controlling blood sugar levels in diabetics. (NB: never come off any medication without consulting your doctor first: while foods can and do benefit the general health, sometimes prescription medication is needed too!)
This unique spice is what gives many curries a yellow appearance, and adds a lovely mild flavour to the food. But turmeric is something of a super-spice, with many people mixing it with milk or other beverages to help with their medical issues. It is known to be anti-inflammatory and is also very good for controlling chronic pain, like arthritis or the after-effects of accidents or long-term disorder of the joints and bones. You can mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a teaspoonful of turmeric to ease your pain, or you could just indulge yourself and have a lovely curry two or three times a week!
Called ‘cilantro’ in the USA, this fragrant green herb enhances any dish that it is added to. It has been found to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and enhance ‘good’ cholesterol, and is also very good for promoting healthy liver function and is excellent for digestive issues, keeping regular users – well… – regular!
This spice has a wonderfully pungent scent and enhances the flavour of every curry it is used in. It also has digestive benefits and has been linked to helping overcome drug dependency when taken alongside a carefully monitored detoxing program.
The mix of all the above is excellent for the digestion, and there are early studies that show promise when it comes to treating and staving off the symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease – there is now thought to be a strong correlation between diet and brain function, making brain-friendly foods such as curries a double winner!