Our regular customers know how much we love Indian food. We know many of you do too. What is not love? The foods are bright, colourful, tasty and versatile.
Indian food offers great health benefits.
Research published in the British Medical Journal in 2015 revealed:
- People who eat spicy food have
- Lower risk of cancer, heart disease and respiratory disease
- In the month of Stoptober those who don’t drink reduce the risk even further
- Spicy foods
- Are anti-bacterial
- Support the prevention of digestive problems, diabetes and skin disease
We focus on three ingredients this week. Everyone has heard of turmeric. Curcumin is the ingredient that gives turmeric its fame.
The health benefits of curcumin are widely reported. It is associated with reducing inflammation in diseases such as arthritis and many other chronic diseases.
Curcumin is a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help us by
- working against all the free radicals we are exposed to every day.
- reducing the risk of many diseases
- reducing the effects of aging
- helping keep our immune systems strong – vital for keeping colds at bay
Channel 4 recently ran a programme called Superfoods. This highlighted the health benefits of turmeric as being anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. More good news for battling the cold season!
The programme identified turmasin a water soluble ingredient within turmeric. Early indications show a significant impact in reducing inflammation from use of only 1.5 tsp a day. Water soluble nutrients don’t get stored in the body. This means you need to take them regularly. See our blog on inflammation for more info!
Curcumin is a fat soluble substance and is most easily absorbed into the body when it is combined with other ingredients our favourite is: A jar of coconut butter to which we add 3 parts turmeric and one part black pepper. Mix it together and keep in the fridge, take a spoonful each day.
The black pepper contains an important ingredient called piperine.
The benefits of piperine
- This substance is amazing; it enhances the action of other nutrients.
- Black pepper also stimulates your digestion allowing you to absorb more nutrients from your food.
- Piperine can also enhance the action of drugs. You could take less medication but still achieve the same effect. What great news for us and the NHS!
- Please don’t reduce medications without consulting your doctor
Ginger is another important ingredient.
Health benefits of ginger
- Traditional associations with nausea and travel sickness. Many a pregnant lady has munched her way through packets of ginger biscuits or sweets to stave off morning sickness.
- The gut really benefits from gingerol and it supports a variety of stomach issues from indigestion, gas, bloating and constipation.
- Gingerol is the active ingredient within ginger. This substance is associated with anti-inflammatory and anti-antioxidant properties
- Most of us have experienced the warming effect of ginger on aching joints and muscles
- Offers anti-fungal properties
Ginger is very easy to incorporate into your diet it is so versatile being either a sweet or savoury ingredient.
Ginger is a great winter warmer and an essential part of my winter health kit. It is great for sore throats and general immune boosting. When I am feeling really ill I make up a hot drink of lemon juice, eucalyptus oil, manuka honey and grated ginger or ginger oil and I drink it.
I have to be ill to drink this because it is quite potent! Make sure you don’t overdo the eucalyptus oil and only use one or two drops of ginger oil. I know I am on the road to recovery when I can’t drink it anymore!
Do you need more convincing?
Indian foods help you stay healthy because they:
- Fight off colds
- Maintain a healthy immune system
- Keep arthritis and rheumatism at bay
- Ease aching joints and muscles
- Reduce the effects of aging
- Support your digestion and gut
Regular readers will know the importance we place on good gut health. We believe that if your gut is working well your overall health will improve significantly. In all cases research is ongoing but there are some exciting developments on their way and all from foods we love to eat!
So once again, we hope we have shown you that we are what we eat.
Do you like Indian flavours but don’t know how to use them?
- they can all be added to smoothies
- soups can be really enhanced with some tasty spices
- stews and dhals are perfect winter meals to use spices in
- turmeric and ginger come in various teas
- you can use the powders / oils in your cooking
- use the diluted oils on your body
- why not check out our range of organic fruit, vegetables and spices
Of course, if you are local the easiest thing is to enjoy our Indian street food for lunch– have you tried it yet? Look out for our daily posts on Facebook to check out what is on offer.
Maybe you don’t enjoy Indian food?
I know there are people that don’t relish Indian flavours but we can help you too. The key nutrients like turmeric, pepper and ginger can be found in supplements. If you really don’t like the taste this gives you another option.