Spices in particular have played a major part in the cuisine of India, and the types used were again dictated by climate, availability and religion However, curries need not be instantly hot; you can get very satisfactory spiced dishes that do not use hot chillies in the recipe. Today many of the spices used in curry are familiar to us for their heat: chillies providing instant heat, while ginger adds a slow mellow burn.The very nature of Indian foods means that they are packed full of vitamins and healthy fibre, while at the same time the array of vegetarian choices makes them a low saturated fat option
Chicken Saag is a spinach based poultry dish rich in phytonutrients which have been suggested to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol and increase muscle synthesis so helping burn fat! The spinach will provide iron, vitamin C and fibre, while the chicken provides a low fat protein source and essential vitamins and minerals. The calcium in the low fat yoghurt may also help facilitate fat burning.
Chana Daal and Squash Curry will boost your fibre intake and could help lower cholesterol. Lentils are said to aid in the management of blood-sugar levels thus preventing hunger pangs and the urge to eat more, and also provide good amounts of B-vitamins and protein. Squash delivers dietary fibre, and provides significant amounts of potassium, vitamin B6, and folates; all great for keeping you healthy.
In addition, the orange colour of squash indicates a far more potent powerhouse of nutrients: carotenoids, and beta carotene in particular. These have been implicated in the prevention of heart disease and certain cancers.If this was not enough, squash may also have anti-inflammatory effects because of its high antioxidant content which could help reduce risk of inflammation-related disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.
Chicken Tikka is a lower fat version of the familiar Masala, and can be enjoyed with a crisp green salad and onion. As with Chicken Saag you will get protein and vitamins from the chicken while the spices are alleged to have antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering properties. Chilli in particular is used in many supplements to increase metabolism and speed up fat burning.
Some Key Healthy Indian Ingredients and there Benefits
Has been shown to lower cholesterol
Has been used medicinally to strengthen and warm the whole body. Turmeric is currently being studied for its anti-cancer properties.
The seeds, which are often ground, aid digestion
All parts of the plant can be added to your healthy Indian food. This herb has been attributed with aphrodisiac properties and has been used to ease migraines
The slow mellow burn of ginger is familiar in most curries. Although the shoots, leaves, and flowers are eaten in many dishes, it is the rhizome which is most familiar to us, and has been proven through clinical trials to be effective against nausea. Ginger is said to treat indigestion and flatulence and to reduce fever.
The hot constituent of this fruit is a substance called capsaicin. It has been used as a pain reliever for centuries as well as an aid to increase circulation. It is also suggested that the consumption of hot peppers stimulates the body to produce endorphins which not only speed up metabolism but could be a contributory factor to our enjoyment of a good curry as the ‘high’ produced is addictive!
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