CHICKEN AND SPINACH CURRY
Fenugreek ( Methi) is available as fresh leaves, dried leaves and also as seeds.
Fenugreek has both culinary uses and also medicinal uses.
In cooking, fenugreek leaves can be added to any meat curry to give a lovely distinctive flavour . The seeds can be added to the oil prior to browning the onions to give extra flavour to your curry.. and adding extra health benefits.
Medicinally, fenugreek seeds are high in soluble fibre which help lower blood sugar by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
Turmeric is the spice that gives curry a lovely yellow colour.
It has been used as a spice and for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Recently, clinical trials have started to back up traditional medicinal uses.
Curcumin, the main ingredient in turmeric, has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong anti-oxidant. Curcumin may also help prevent and perhaps even treat cancer. Trials are being carried out at hospitals in Leicester hospitals to prove the benefit of curcumin in bowel cancer patients.
Absorption of curcumin into the body has been found to be increased by an ingredient in black pepper called piperine. For this reason I include black pepper and turmeric in all my spice blends.
Fennel seeds contain numerous anti-oxidants and health benefiting volatile essential oil compounds which are known to have digestive and anti-flatulent properties.
Coriander seeds as well as leaves help in healthy digestion. Coriander is a great source of potassium, iron, vitamin A,K and C, folic acid, magnesium and calcium. Coriander has anti-diabetic and anti-bacterial properties.
Pepper is one of the oldest known spices. As well as stimulating the taste buds, as a medicine it also stimulates the digestive system promoting digestion. Pepper acts as an expectorant for coughs and clears the lungs of congestion.
A study published in Diabetics Care has indicated cinnamon may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Studies at Tel Aviv University have found an extract in cinnamon bark contain properties which can inhibit the development of Alzheimers.
Ginger is a herb that is used as a spice and also for its therapeutic qualities. According to the National Library of Medicine ( part of the National Institute of Health), ginger is widely used throughout the world for treating loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting after surgery and as a result of cancer treatment. Also for treating stomach upset and morning sickness. Ginger also helps with symptoms of coughs and colds.
Garlic is widely used for several conditions linked to the blood system and heart, including atherosclerosis ( hardening of the arteries), high cholesterol, coronary heart disease and hypertension. Garlic os also used by some people for the prevention of many types of cancer.
Cloves are known to have anti-oxidant, anti-septic, local anesthetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-flatulent properties. the active ingredient in cloves may increase gastrointestinal enzyme secretions.
Cumin is a herb and the seeds of the plant are used i many cuisines such as Indian, Mexican, North African, Middle Eastern and western Chinese. Cumin is known for its medicinal properties since ancient times. It is an excellent source of Iron. It aids digestion, boosts the immune system and has diuretic properties.
The main component in chilli is a chemical called capsicum, which is responsible for the intense heat felt. Studies have shown that capsicum may lower blood sugar levels by 60% ! As well as ant-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, chilli also helps clear nasal congestion. Capsicum is a thermogenic compound and increases the metabolic rate which aids fat burning. Studies have shown that eating chilli can raise the metabolic rate by up to 23% for about 3 hours!
Spices used in Indian cooking have been used as medicines to prevent and treat diseases for centuries.
A good balanced diet is iportant for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and well-being and incorporating spices into the diet can aid overall good health.
Spices are pungent or aromatic substances from dried seeds, fruits, roots , bark or leaves used as additives to flavor, colour and preserve food.