If you were asked to name some vital components of a healthy and balanced diet, it would be unlikely that curry would be one of the first answers to pop into your head. However, like any other meal, if fresh ingredients are used and the curry is cooked in a healthy way you may be surprised to hear that eating curry regularly can be beneficial to your long term health. Here are 10 reasons why curry, believe it or not, can in fact be good for you!
It can help fight the onset of Alzheimer’s disease
Almost all curries, from the korma to the vindaloo, contain turmeric, and it is this herb that gives curry its distinctive orange/ yellow colour. Not only can turmeric help reduce relieve the painful symptoms of arthritis, but it also helps the liver to restore and clean itself naturally. Further to this, according to research conducted in Los Angeles at the University of California, a chemical that is found in turmeric called curcumin can help combat the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. According to the University’s research, curcumin can help alleviate the build-up of knots in the brain that can lead to the disease.
It can help boost your immune system
Many of the spices that are commonly found in curry, such as chilli and paprika, can help bolster your body’s natural defences against viruses. This is because they aid the production of extra mucus, which is used to help alleviate and sooth inflamed passages in your body as well as adding an extra defence against threats such as colds. Coconut milk is another frequently used ingredient in curries, and its anti-bacterial fatty acids can also help the immune system, as well as aiding the digestion of food.
Curry can lower your risk of cancer
Many curries are tomato based, and cooked tomatoes are a great source of a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Research has shown that if cooked tomatoes are eaten three or more times a week, the risk of developing stomach, pancreas, breast, bowel, prostate and lung cancer are reduced.
Your risk of heart disease is reduced
Another benefit of eating tomato based curries on a regular basis is that you are less likely to get blood clots, and research has shown that this can lower the risk of having a stroke by up to 48%. Salicylic acid is a compound that is found in ingredients that are often found in a curry, such as hot paprika and curry powder, and many scientists believe that it can reduce inflammation in the blood vessels that could potentially lead to arthrosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries.
A curry can raise your spirits!
A lot of curries are made with lean, red meats such as beef, lamb and pork. Various studies have shown that these meats, especially when they are prepared in a healthy manner such as having the visible fat trimmed off, can help promote a positive state of mind and enhance your mood. Also, the abundance of vitamin B present in red meat helps your body release energy from food, making you feel more spritely and active.
Your energy levels will receive a boost
A big cause of feeling tired and having a lack of energy is the fact that your iron intake is not high enough, and research suggests that as many as 25% of women get well below their daily recommended daily intake of iron. Curry, in particular those with red meat, can be a satisfying and beneficial way to give your iron levels a boost. For instance, a lamb curry could provide 50% of a typical woman’s daily requirement of iron. However, it is just not the meat can give your energy levels a boost. Many ingredients that are a staple of vegetarian curries, such as lentils and spinach, also prove to be an excellent source of iron.
Eating curries can help kill pain
Yet another ingredient that is regularly seen in curry is ginger, and this too possesses a lot of benefits for those looking to live a healthy lifestyle. Ginger contains an antioxidant that has been proven to help relieve the pain caused by arthritis. This pain relief occurs because the antioxidant reacts with the free radicals that cause the swelling of the joints and can cause tissue damage. Chilli peppers are also renowned for their medicinal qualities, and they can also prove to be a powerful pain killer.
Curries can be part of a healthy, balanced diet
One health benefit that might not be immediately apparent when curries come to mind is that they can be a part of a healthy diet, in terms of nutritional value and the fact that they can help you preserve with a diet. This is because the consistency and texture of a typical curry sauce lends it to being a very filling and satisfying meal, meaning that you will usually have a smaller portion than you would of other meals. Furthermore, if a curry is cooked with healthy and fresh ingredients, like the ones supplied in our Indian meal kits, it can be a very nourishing and rewarding meal.
Curry can aid in the burning of fat
As well as playing an active part in a well-balanced diet, curry is an excellent source of a wide range of vegetables and proteins that can aid in the burning of fat cells. A lot of curries contain a generous helping of black pepper, and research has shown that its main substance, piperine, reduces the levels of fat in the bloodstream as well as possessing antioxidant qualities. So don’t be afraid to add that extra shake of black pepper onto your curry!
Curry can help stimulate weight loss
Many studies have shown that your metabolic rate can be increased for up to three hours after enjoying a curry, and this means that calories can be burned off at a much faster rate. This is because of an ingredient called capsaicin, that is found in chilli peppers and black pepper, which improves the whole digestion process by stimulating both the stomach and the intestine. Garlic is another ingredient that is seen prevalently in curry, and this contains an ingredient called allicin which can also promote weight loss.