When it comes to popular dishes eaten in America, Indian cuisine is definitely one of them. With all the unique aromas and flavorful dishes like chicken curry, buttered chicken, saag paneer –and many more, Indian cuisine is surely one of the most sought after dishes in our country.
Believe it or not, Indian food does not only host the most scrumptious dishes out there. With Indian cuisine, you will surely reap so many benefits from the different ingredients used to make their delicious dishes. Who would have thought that something so delicious can be also healthy, right?
Indian cuisine is known for its distinct aroma. This comes from different array of spices used. If you are wondering why these delicacies are so distinct; it is because they get most of their flavor profiles from different spices. Unlike most western dishes, we rely heavily on salt, sugar and spices like garlic and onions. Below, you will see some of the most basic spices incorporated in Indian cuisine that have excellent health benefits.
Ginger. This spice is very obvious! You might remember that when you were younger, your mother would always prepare ginger ale for you whenever you get the flu – that’s due to the fact that this spice can improve your digestive tract and ease your nausea. Ginger, like turmeric, has also great anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric. Turmeric was first used as a dye thousands of years ago. With much use, Indians discovered that turmeric has natural anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, there are numerous studies that prove that spices can work just as well as over the counter drugs that our physicians prescribe to us. What makes turmeric so useful and healthy is its active ingredient called curcumin. It is considered a powerful antiseptic and a natural pain reliever. It boosts your metabolism as well. Turmeric has shown great potential in preventing cancer. Curcumin supplements can also help fight Alzheimer’s disease.
Bay Leaves. Bay leaves have their own history with the Romans and the Greeks. However, in India, bay leaves are not just an important ingredient to their dishes, they also provide many health benefits to them! Eucalyptol is the compound found in bay leaves. Eucalyptol is filled with essential oils. It is also a great painkiller and anti-inflammatory agent. It was also used in ancient times to help with their sleep. Bay leaves have great effects on one’s circadian rhythm. It is also a common relief for cough and colds.
Garlic. Also known as Allium Sativum, garlic is known to boost one’s immune system. Garlic is also a great anti-viral and antifungal agent. The best health fact about garlic is that it lowers your LDL or low-density lipoprotein and it helps increase your HDL or also called high density lipoprotein. This means garlic is good for your heart!
Chilies. Chilies are not just a great heat-addition to your dishes, they are also packed with antioxidants. It is believed that chilies can help fight off free radicals. In a way, they are great for anti-aging products. Chilies have antibacterial properties and they boost your immune system. There are also studies that chilies are great at maintaining weight because they help balance out the sugar in your body. They are rich in iron and vitamin E. This is good news for your skin and hair!
Indian cuisine has so much to offer! Aside from their spicy food, they also have hearty and decadent dishes for you. If you want a healthier option, choose those dishes that are not fried. You can also avoid those with creamy components.