Yes, Curry Powder is Paleo!
Blend of Spices
Curry powder is a mix of spices used in South Asian cuisines long before the arrival of Europeans in India. Most curry powders include coriander, turmeric, cumin, sweet basil, fenugreek and chilli peppers. Some spice mixtures of curry may also include ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg, mustard seed and black pepper. Curry has a blend of complex flavor from sweet, mild and hot.
Health Benefits of Curry Powder
The many spices included in curry powder makes it a potent source of nutrients and has a number of valuable benefits including protection from heart diseases, aids digestion, reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, pain reliever, reduced inflammation and even cancer protection.
Curry powder contains curcumin found in turmeric which has excellent antioxidant benefits. Curcumin can help protect the body against the harmful damage of free radicals.
Pain Relief and Inflammation
Another benefit of turmeric, the major ingredient in curry powder is that it has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and inflammation associated with arthritis.
Cardamom and sweet basil are spices mixed in curry powder. These two act as vasodilators that reduce the tension in the blood vessels. This result to a regulated blood pressure hence reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Curry powder is also found to be helpful in lowering levels of blood cholesterol.
Most ingredients found in curry powder including black pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon, coriander and turmeric promotes proper digestion and treats digestive problems such as bloating, gas, heartburn, diarrhea, indigestion, stomach pains, vomiting and upset stomach.
Blood Sugar Level
As a main spice in curry powder, turmeric can lower risk of diabetes through its curcumin compound. It prevents blood sugar spikes and improves insulin sensitivity.
Coriander which is also a spice in curry powder helps in removing toxic heavy metals from the body and protects against oxidative stress from lead exposure. Turmeric has been linked to liver health by removing excess liver toxins.
Another benefit of turmeric is that it is packed with essential vitamins and minerals that promote bone health by supporting bone growth and repair and reduced risk of osteoporosis.
Coriander has shown to have antibacterial qualities. It fights off bacterial infection in the stomach particularly E.coli and keeps a healthy immune system.
Curcumin in turmeric is associated with reduction of plaque deposits in the brain’s neural pathways caused by free radicals. It also stimulates the elimination of the amino acids that make up this plaque therefore reduced risk of cognitive decline and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
A further amazing benefit of curcumin is that it has cancer-preventive qualities. Consumption of curry powder can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells.
Caution on Curry Powder
Albeit the nutrition and health benefits of curry powder, it also poses few potential side effects. Curry powder is an anti-coagulant. If you are already taking anti-coagulant medication, consumption of curry powder should be limited to avoid the dangers of excessive bleeding. Curry powder has also been studied to be an irritant to the gall bladder. For people with existing gall bladder problems such as gallstones, this might cause pain or obstructed bile ducts.
Simple Steps to Make Your Own Curry Powder
Making your own curry powder is very easy! All you will need are some spices to blend. Feel free to add chillies if you’d like your curry to be spicier.
What You Will Need:
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground black pepper
- Combine all spices in a small bowl or plastic bag.
- Stir or shake until they are well blended.
- Store your curry powder in an airtight container in a cool dry place.
Voila! Your curry powder is now ready!
Click here to find out which other spices are Paleo.
All you ever wanted to know about Curry Powder and Paleo
Jane’s Healthy Kitchen. Curry Powder – Nightshade-free
Paleo on the Go. Nightshade Free Curry Powder (AIP Friendly)
Paleo Porn. Is Curry Powder Paleo?
Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Curry Powder
Healthy Eating. SF Gate. Curry Powder Health Benefits
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photo credit: Héctor de Pereda Spices