Curry is a mix of spices originating from India. This orange-yellow powder is obtained by crushing different spices and the composition of the mix varies on the basis of the type of curry, less or more spicy, and of the Country. In fact, this high aromatic mix is now widespread in all the South Est Asia with small changes in its formulation. However, the basic mix is given by turmeric, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, saffron, nutmeg, fenugreek, chili pepper and cardamom. As additional ingredients we may find, for example, garlic, lemongrass and shallot. Curry gives to the dishes a particular flavor but it is also well appreciated thanks to its beneficial healthy properties.
Curry is a source of mineral salts such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium and zinc, and vitamins such as C, group B, K, E and A (USDA Database). Moreover, the spices of curry make this mix an amazing ingredient rich in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties, especially thanks to its main constituent, turmeric. Turmeric contains indeed a powerful active substance, the curcumin, that gives the typical color to curry and, according to scientific studies, shows also the ability to counteract cancer cell growth and proliferation by inducing apoptosis, namely the death, and by inhibiting the angiogenesis, namely the formation of new blood vessels that should feed the cancer, without these new blood vessels the tumors lose their nutrition (Ravindran et al, AAPS J, Sep 2009 – Tayyem et al, Nutr Cancer, 2006) . Curcumin shows also vasoprotective properties and a neuroprotective effect. Indeed, on the basis of a scientific research (Ng et al, Am J Epidemiol), eating curry has improved the cognitive functionalities in a sample of more than a thousand of older people, so, a big sample and this gives strength to the study. Another active substance of curry is eugenol, an antioxidant compound contained in cloves and with a protective action on the lungs and the blood vessels, and therefore on heart (Nakayama et al, Nutr J, Jun 2014). Another scientific study has observed that a moderate intake of curry in a diet may play a role in reducing the blood sugar levels and also the triglycerides that, with years, tend to unbalance and to increase (Kwon et al, Nutr Res Pract, Apr 2016). Finally, thanks to some spices in the mix, such as chili pepper and ginger, curry has also a digestive and fat burning action.
Curry may be added to different preparations, such as pasta, rice, side dishes or soups. In the section Healthy Food you can find the yummy recipe Linguine pasta with mushrooms and curry, or also the veggie tofu curry with peppers and basmati rice, and don’t forget the curry sauce, perfect with fish and black rice. A lot of delicious recipes for all the needs! And the flavor of curry is really special, scented and a bit exotic, that prevents us from using the salt in the dishes, with a little help for blood pressure and water retention.
It is better to avoid curry in case of inflammations of the urinary tract because some spices, such as chili pepper, may worsen irritation. Be careful also if you suffer from gastric ulcer or gastritis and during pregnancy and breastfeeding.