Run for The Curry: Why is curry so good for you?A Portion of my Spice Cabinet
First let me point out that I am not expert in cancer causes or cures or anything medical at all. The longest I’ve kept my mouth shut was during a group dinner with an expert of genetics. I think I understood about five words of the whole conversation ie, ‘Hello, pleased to meet you’ and for the rest of the evening, I sat there wondering what everyone was talking about. I knew it was genes with a “g”, but that was about it.
My last two posts have been really popular and I’ve had a few people thank me and my interviewees for sharing such important information about the toxins in our everyday lives. I made the switch to natural makeup a while back and it can be said that on cleaning days my house smells like a fish and chip shop because of my love of baking soda and vinegar as natural and effective cleaning products. I genuinely want to avoid cancer causing toxins in my home and body.
The interview with Megan from The Green Kiss was particularly poignant given that it was provoked by a breast cancer patient visiting Megan’s natural cosmetics bar. This lady had made the visit on the advice of her medical practitioner. This month is breast cancer awareness month, so if you don’t check your breasts every month, you should start. In keeping with this, I want to talk about curry. I’ve been meaning to research and write about it’s health benefits for some time, so here goes.
In our house we eat a lot of curry. Being from the UK, curry is my national dish and I can’t go for more than a week without a good one. My husband, who is a fantastic cook has taken up curry cooking. ‘We’ make all our sauces from scratch with the pestle and mortar and are guided by a couple of really terrific recipe books, our favourite being 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi. This book not only offers amazing recipes, but it also talks you through each spice and ingredient and how and why it is used in Indian cooking.
I have heard a lot about the medicinal benefits of Indian spices including their potency against the multiplication of malignant cells in the body. I tried in vain to find the statistics on cancer in India, but the only information I picked up was that most cancer goes unreported or undetected until stage three or four.
I did however find some good information on the healing properties of different spices and I’d like to share that and some of the info with you.
- Turmeric: Although not a cancer, Alzheimers is a degenerative disease that affects many. Current research shows that turmeric has the potential to help Alzheimers patients by removing amyloid plaque, a major cause of the disease. Turmeric is also considered king of spices when it comes to dealing with cancers. Turmeric contains the powerful polyphenol Curcumin that has been clinically proven to retard the growth of cancer cells causing prostrate cancer, melanoma, breast cancer, brain tumour, pancreatic cancer and leukemia amongst a host of others. Curcumin promotes ‘Apoptosis’- (programmed cell death/cell suicide) that safely eliminates cancer breeding cells without posing a threat to the development of other healthy cells. Turmeric also helps lower blood pressure.
- Fennel: ‘Anethole’, a major constituent of fennel resists and restricts the adhesive and invasive activities of cancer cells. It suppresses the enzymatic regulated activities behind cancer cell multiplication. Fennel is also good for digestion, assisting in breast milk production and may help with kid’s colic.
- Cinnamon: A natural food preservative, cinnamon is a source of iron and calcium. Useful in reducing tumour growth, it blocks the formation of new vessels in the human body.
- Cumin: Anti-oxidant characteristics, cumin seeds contain a compound called ‘Thymoquinone’ that checks proliferation of cells responsible for prostate cancer.
- Oregano: Phyto-chemical ‘Quercetin’ present in oregano restricts growth of malignant cells in the body and acts like a drug against cancer-centric diseases.
Interview with Senior consultant surgical oncologist Dr. B. Niranjan Naik and senior clinical nutritionist, Fortis La Femme, Shipra Saklani Mishra, for The Times of India.