Curry powder is a delicious mix of spices, perfect balance to give food just the right kick. Many cuisines have adopted this mix, and each recipe uses its variations. It is often presumed to be a powdered form of the curry leaf, but this is not the case. The curry leaf is a separate herb also associated with the same region as curry powder.
Curry powder is a staple ingredient in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi and even South African dishes. It, however, has become an internationally acclaimed spice mix so much so that recently England has chosen curry as its national dish.
Many cultures and spices are entwined in this flavorful mix. The roasted dry spices all have their signature flavors combined in this mix. This use of multiple spices blended to add flavor to a dish first originated in Pakistan and India, and curry powder is assumed to be of Eastern origin. A food researcher states that the word curry comes from the Tamil word Kari which means spiced sauce.
It was adopted originally in Europe as a thin dressing for vegetable or meat. There are recipe books from the 17th century in Portuguese that have a recipe for the curry powder. The Pakistani and Indian cuisine have many staple dishes that require a must addition of the curry powder. The name curry powder is a western invention, and the first English recipe using curry powder was published in 1747.
The curry powder is a westernized version of the spice mix known as garam masala that is a part of almost all Pakistani and Indian dishes. Curry powder is mostly ground by women themselves in the Eastern world, but as the world of food progresses it is now available packaged and ready to use. The composition and mix may vary from brand to brand.
It houses a blend of spices such as nutmeg, cinnamon, turmeric and much more. Theses spices on their own are packed full of health benefits. Here are a few reasons why curry powder needs to be an addition to your spice-rack.
11 Health Benefits of Curry Powder
For a spice mix, it is packed full of nutritional advantages. It is full of proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Per 100 grams, it contains 13 grams of protein, 1543mg of potassium, 52 mg of sodium, 33grams of dietary fiber, 19% vitamin A, 47% calcium, 60% vitamin B6, 63% magnesium, 164% iron and 19 % vitamin C. Curry powder is also fat-free.
2. Anti Bacterial
The herb and spices that make up the curry powder are full of many health benefits. Herbs like dried coriander possess antibacterial and antifungal properties that prevent infections from affecting the body. It is very useful in preventing diseases such as E.coli and other gut infections. Curry powder helps in fighting other infections present in the body.
3. Good Digestion
Spices in it are packed full of dietary fiber. Along with possessing antibacterial properties, curry powder also helps in regulating bowel movements and ensures a healthy gut and digestive system. It ensures healthy intestinal health. A healthy digestive system ensures that the body is absorbing adequate nutrients and stays disease free.
4. Detoxifies The Liver
The liver is the organ which processes all the food that goes into our body. It extracts the nutrients and all other elements of food to deliver to other parts of the body. The turmeric, which is an integral part of curry powder, contains an antioxidant compound known as curcumin. This prevents tumor growth, inflammation in the liver and also detoxifies it. Curcumin has been linked to liver health and has been observed to boost liver health.
It has an impressive amount of proteins and is very beneficial for the digestive system. This is helpful in increasing the metabolic rate and helps transport the nutrients from the food to the other parts of the body.
6. Healthy Bones
It contains ingredients that are vital to bone health; it helps in maintaining a sufficient bone density. The 19% calcium present in curry powder per 100-grams makes up a good part of the daily requirement for a grown adult. Phosphorus and magnesium are also beneficial in maintaining bone and muscle health and slow down the degenerative process.
7. Anti- Aging Properties
Along with a list of nutrients, curry powder also contains antioxidants that prevent the oxidative damage to the body both inside and out. The turmeric and vitamin C in the curry powder is very useful in slowing down the aging process and preventing the appearance of wrinkles.
8. Pain Relief
It is a good way to incorporate ingredients such as turmeric into your cooked food. Turmeric is very effective in relieving joint pains and is also used to treat inflammation and diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Turmeric has almost similar effects to antibiotics and ibuprofen. This makes curry powder a natural remedy for multiple diseases.
9. Healthy Heart
The fiber present in curry powder helps control the cholesterol in the body. Bad eating habits can be the main cause of heart diseases; the bad cholesterol often gets stuck in the arteries causes blood pressure and other heart diseases. The cardamom and basil in the curry powder are very effective as vasodilators that prevent heart diseases. They affect the proteins in food to prevent high blood pressure.
10. Cognitive Diseases
Curry powder has several spices that are beneficial for mental health. However, turmeric is one of the most effective in preventing mental disorders from occurring. Curcumin reduces the effects of free radicals on the nervous system; it helps build a stronger immune system that eliminates the toxins from the body. It has been observed to remove the plaque in the neural pathways that cause memory issues. People who add curry powder regularly to their food have been observed to suffer less from diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
11. Prevents Cancer
The vast varieties of antioxidants in the herbs and spices that make up the curry powder are very effective in preventing cancer. The curcumin targets tumors and cancerous growths in the body. Many antioxidants inhibit the growth of cancerous cells in the body. Adding it to your diet can reduce the chances of you getting affected by cancer.
Curry powder is not only a delicious addition to your food but is also full of nutrients that keep the body and mind healthy. The amazing composition provides you with the essential disease-fighting minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. Curry powder adds to the distinct flavor and heat to vegetable or meat dishes.