Currying Favors

August 03, 2012

Curry powder is used extensively in Indian and Thai cuisine and is made from a base of tumeric with coriander, cumin and fenugreek. It contains many powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, mainly due to the curcumin found in tumeric that gives curry powder its yellow color.  Curcumin is an ancient folk remedy used to treat a wide variety of disorders from arthritis and digestive problems, to urinary complaints and skin conditions. Thousand of studies have concentrated on the benefits of curcumin, and research indicates that curcumin offers a cornucopia of health benefits! Curcumin is:
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-Bacterial
  • Anti-fungal
Additionally, extensive research has been conducted on curcumin's role in preventing and treating cancer. It may help block certain dangerous chemicals’ cancer-causing effects and along with the growth of cancererous tumors. It is believed that curcumin causes cancer cells to self-destruct and prevents them from multiplying! It has been indicated that curcumin may help prevent Alzheimers disease by directly decreasing the accumulation of the protein amyloid in the brain. It also reduces the COX-2 enzyme in the body, thereby lessening  the pain and swelling of arthritis. All this by itself is enough to add curried veggies to the dinner menu, but a new study shows that curcumin may also help prevent the development of Type-2 diabetes, the type of diabetes which is associated with obesity! This study included 240 participants who had been diagnosed with prediabetes -- blood sugar levels that are higher than normal, but not high enough to be defined as diabetic.  Participants were either put on a nine-month long regimen of six curcumin capsules per day, or given a placebo.  The results were striking! Researchers found that none of the participants on the curcumin regimen developed type-2 diabetes during the nine-month period in which the study took place while 16.4% of those who took the placebo did actually develop type-2 diabetes. Surprisingly, participants who took curcumin also lost weight and reduced their waist size during the nine months, while their counterparts in the placebo group did not! The best way to guard against diabetes remains a sensible exercise and weight control regimen.  In fact, losing 5% of your body weight, walking for 5 minutes per day and eating a healthy diet can reduce the risk of diabetes by 60%!  And that's before your curried veggies!    

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