The Goodness in Spices

Mallika Basu - The Goodness in Spices

Posted 24th October 2006

spice bowlsI was startled to find musings on the blogosphere yesterday casting doubts on the benefits of spices. The goodness in the masalas used widely in Indian cooking is well-documented and the subject of regular research.

I ain’t no geek but I do take a close interest in what I consume. (Apart from exotic cocktails, chocolate biscuits and chorizo – i am a really sucker for Spanish cured meats).

The main masalas in Indian food are the dried powdered spices, the whole spices and the “wet” ingredients like onion, garlic and ginger. Fresh herbs like coriander, curry leaves and mint are also used widely.

As a starter for ten, here’s the lowdown or shall I say upside (I am so full of PR slang today) on the beneficial properties of some every day Indian masalas from published research:

  1. Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory, antioxidant that can prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  2. Chillies: Release feel-good endorphins in the body as a reaction and – wait for this – boost the metabolism temporarily helping the body to burn fat
  3. Cumin: Rich source of the natural painkiller salicylate
  4. Curry leaf: Can lower cholestrol and help weight loss
  5. Coriander: Aids digestion and helps fight against allergic reactions

Not to dwell on my favourite subject of Indian takeway food, but you’re unlikely to enjoy any of these wonderful properties given their unfettered use of colour, oil and artificial flavourings.

So, please cook Indian at home. And enjoy a curry’s natural goodness straight from the masala box into the pan!

7 responses to “The Goodness in Spices”

  1. starsapphire says:

    hi there. thanks for bringing out the wonderful goodness of spices. I certainly will be cooking more Indian for my family 🙂

  2. starsapphire says:

    Just one more thing… I’ve always had constipation-related problems. Last Saturday after I cooked this Northern Indian Cashew Nut sauce that had spices and lots of onions, I went to the toilet perfectly. It was almost like a very good clean “detox”, àla naturale.

    Ok I know this isn’t exactly stuff one writes about publicly, but since we’re on the topics of the goodness of spice, I thought why not share this experience.

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  4. CRV Ganesh says:

    It would be better if we have scientific anaylysis of Indian-specific fruits, vegetables, spices and herbs – what Indian Medical Association is doing? Just to provide reactive actions, instead of proactive suggestions?? Let our Minister of Health Dr Anbumani shall initiate this.

  5. jeevan bankar says:

    i am a hotel managment student.i wantend to know abt masalas used in indian cookery.this is my project .pls help me

  6. Angela says:

    Great writing & Wonderful a site….

  7. Great blog here! Also your website loads up fast!
    What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as quickly as yours lol

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