It's National Curry Week - Did you know curry can help prevent these diseases?
Posted on 14th October 2015
Monday 12th to Sunday 18th October is officially National Curry Week. At Chakra, we’re thrilled – a whole week dedicated to some of the most delicious Indian dishes! But although curry is one of the most popular meals in the UK, many people see it as a takeaway treat and not a staple of their diet. Maybe they should, because curry actually has some incredible health benefits. You might be surprised at what a simple curry can do for your mind and body. Incredibly, it can help prevent three of the five diseases that kill most people in the UK annually.
Dementia affects around 850,000 people in the UK. There is no known cause, but the risk of developing it increases the older you are. In Britain, 7% of people aged 65 and over have Alzheimer’s disease – but in some Indian villages, it’s just 1%. Researchers at the University of California think this is because of turmeric, a spice commonly used in Indian cooking. The chemical curcumin, which has been found in turmeric, can reduce the build-up of knots in the brain that lead to Alzheimer’s by up to 50%. But turmeric doesn’t just help towards a healthy brain; it can also aid digestion, fight infection and prevent heart attacks.
Cancer killed nearly 162,000 people in the UK in 2012 – almost half of them from cancer of the lung, bowel, breast and prostate. However, lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can lower the risk of developing some cancers – and it’s found in tomatoes. There is more lycopene in cooked or processed tomatoes than in the raw fruit, so a tomato curry is a great way to get more of it into your diet. Research has shown that you only need to eat cooked tomatoes two or three times a week to lower your risk of prostate, lung, pancreas, stomach, bowel and breast cancers.
Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. The best way to prevent it is to have a healthy lifestyle: quit smoking, take regular exercise, and eat a balanced diet. As well as preventing cancer, lycopene can help lower your risk of heart attacks and stroke, preventing the formation of blood clots by as much as 48%. But cooked tomatoes aren’t the only star of the show. A number of spices, including curry powder, hot paprika and thyme may also reduce the risk of heart disease as they contain salicylic acid, which can prevent inflammation in blood vessels.
Feel like a curry now? Why not come to Chakra for a delicious korma or gosht – after all, it is National Curry Week!