More and more people are discovering the delights of traditional Asian-Indian fare — its unique and flavourful influence (particularly curries) popping up on menus around the world.
But what most curry-lovers don’t realize, notes Dr. Smith, is that not only is Indian cuisine trendy, it may prevent a vast array of diseases.
Recently, several scientific studies have heralded turmeric, the primary ingredient in Indian curry, for its healing powers. According to these reports, curcumin — the component of turmeric responsible for its characteristic yellow hue — may avert a vast array of health conditions, ranging from heart attacks to Alzheimer’s disease.
Turmeric is harvested from the root of a leafy plant known as Curcuma longa. Related to the ginger plant, the first recorded use of this spice was in 600 B.C. It has a long history of medicinal use in Ayurvedic medicine. It is also used to dye fabric and to flavour curry dishes, chutney, pickles, relishes and American mustard.
Although curcumin is available as a dietary supplement, scientist agree that the best way to reap turmeric’s disease-busting reward is the old fashioned way: incorporate as many traditional Indian dishes into your diet as possible. This is because turmeric, other curry spices and components of classic Indian dishes — such as vegetables, whole grains and tofu — also contain a host of known (and yet unidentified) health-boosting nutrients.