Sara Middleton via NaturalHealth365 – What is curry? Contrary to popular belief, curry is NOT native to India! Instead, modern-day foodies and historians assert that “curry” was introduced to the Western World in the 1700s by the British in an attempt to mimic the spicy and savory dishes explorers found in India. And while traditional Indian dishes are loaded with healthy spices, they don’t use curry powder — although you certainly might want to.
From boosting heart health to promoting improved blood sugar control, it’s time to explore the possible health benefits of curry and the mix of spices it contains.
Curry Contains Several Spices with Powerful Health Benefits
Curry powder isn’t a single type of spice. Instead, it’s a blend of healthy spices, including turmeric, coriander, and chili pepper. Together and individually, the spices that make up this spice offer some impressive benefits to human health. Here are a few you might want to know about:
Would you like to improve blood flow?
One 2014 randomized trial published in Nutrition Journal found that consuming a meal containing this powder improved arterial blood flow in the arm, possibly due to the powder’s high antioxidant content.
What about achieving better cholesterol levels?
A 2016 review from Nutrition Research and Practice found that triglyceride levels appear significantly lower in people who regularly consume curry. This relationship remained even after the researchers adjusted for confounding factors like chronic disease, physical activity level, and smoking.
A natural way to promote better blood sugar control.
The same 2016 review concluded that blood sugar levels were consistently lower among people who ate curry anywhere from 2 or 3 times per month or once per week.
If you feel like you eat too much … keep reading.
A 2018 randomized controlled trial published in the peer-reviewed journal Foods found that eating 6 to 12 grams of curry powder with a meal was associated with reduced hunger and a reduced desire to eat among men.
Reduce the risk of oxidative stress.
In 2018, the journal Frontiers in Physiology published a study that found that consuming a meal with 6 to 12 grams of the powder was associated with lower levels of a compound called allantoin, a marker of oxidative stress.
Individual spices in curry, including curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) and coriander, are also well known for their powerful antioxidant, antifungal, and antibacterial effects.
Need Some Kitchen Inspiration? Check Out These Delicious Ways to Use Curry in Your Cooking
Curry is a versatile powder that will taste a little different depending on where it’s made and what spices it contains. Once you find a brand you like — ideally, one that contains high-quality and sustainable ingredients — you can add it to a variety of dishes for enhanced flavor. Try it on:
- Basmati, brown, or wild rice
- Cashews, or almonds
- Fruit (try tart apples or pineapple!)
- Stews and soups
As with any herb blend or dietary supplement, you often get what you pay for in terms of quality, so look for curry powder from reputable brands. And if you’ve had some curry powder in your pantry for a while, be sure to check the label — on May 21, 2020, the FDA issued a recall of certain bottles of Radhuni brand powder due to concerns of contamination with Salmonella.
Sources for this article include: