Those who love curry can thank Portuguese explorers for bringing this spice back to Europe from India in the 15th Century. It was a move that helped enliven continental and particularly British cuisine. Today, curry has found its way into dishes worldwide thanks to its use in marinades, potato salads, roasts, stews and soups. Of course, there are many types of curries ranging from sweet and mild to hot and strong depending on regional differences and exactly what spices are included in the mix. Regardless of its origins, curry powder typically includes coriander, cumin, fenugreek and chili pepper. Usually ginger, black pepper, mustard seeds, curry leaves and fennel seeds also find their way into the powder. However, the most critical ingredient in all curries is turmeric. It is responsible for curry’s characteristic yellow-orange color and the wide range of health benefits the seasoning serves-up. Read on to learn more.
Assists With Arthritis
The curcumin in curry’s turmeric can help relieve the pain and inflammation that is caused by arthritis. None other than the Arthritis Foundation advises using curry to lessen pain, inflammation and stiffness that come with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and bursitis.
Good For Hearts
Curcumin’s anticoagulant effects help lessen the risk of stroke for those suffering from cardiac arrhythmia. Beyond this, the cardamom and sweet basil in many curries can lower blood pressure, which, in turn, helps to reduce the chance of developing cardiovascular problems like atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Curry’s ingredients offer up a potent antioxidant that can battle free radicals and possibly stimulate other antioxidants. Among other benefits, the impact may also help slow down elements of aging and lower the risk of developing other diseases.
Controls Blood Sugar
Another benefit of curcumin in curry is that it may help control blood sugar, which is a boon for those with diabetes or who are at risk for it. The ingredient generates the body’s natural insulin, which in turn helps control blood sugar levels. Curcumin also helps reduce insulin resistance and the progression of high blood sugar, which leads to diabetes.
Admittedly at first glance, a one-gram teaspoon of curry powder doesn’t appear to offer up a lot of nutritional benefits, but again the curcumin supports strong digestion by building up a related healthy microbiome. The ginger in many curry powders can also help settle upset stomachs. Of course, too much curry may not be great for the tummy either.
It has long been believed that curry powder supports weight loss and control. More research is needed but recent studies indicate that meals with curry powder were viewed as more satisfying than non-curried dishes, which lessened the urge to eat more for those involved. It is unclear, however, how this satisfaction occurs.
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