Friday, January 21, 2011

Curry's Copious Cures!

by Kris Pitcher

Curry powder is a vibrant and complex mix of spices which varies by country and region. One of the spices in curry is Turmeric which contains curcumin giving it its vibrant yellow color. Curcumin is partly responsible for some of curry powder's health benefits and every one's talking about it!

If it were up to me I'd wrap myself in sahris and crash parties as a super-socialite. But that would be crazy! I mean who would do that? So, instead of tripping over myself or risking unwrapping I'll settle for getting my Indian fix by indulging in curry's copious cures.

Curcumin reduces inflammation of the joints - it's an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent. It's also thought to deactivate genes that can trigger the onset and spread of breast cancer. Studies are being conducted at MD Anderson Center in Texas, a renowned cancer center, on its effects, finding that it turns these genes off.

Other studies suggest its effect in slowing progression of prostate and colorectal cancers. It's thought that it may make melanoma cells (skin cancer) more likely to self-destruct. Further, it may help prevent Alzheimer's disease because curcumin acts to clear the brain of protein deposits that are thought to cause the disease.

Turmeric has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries for treating inflammatory disease. Curry powder is a wonderful mix of spices and when used as powder doesn't add any calories to your meal. (A curry sauce is different.) America's Test Kitchen tried all kinds of custom blends and found the one in the supermarket spice isle was the best. So pick some up and start shaking! Spice things up and enjoy the anti-inflammatory benefits of curry!

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