Curry is not a single herb but a blend of spices. Although curries can differ by color (red, yellow, green) and spice mix, the primary ingredient is turmeric. Other common ingredients include ground cumin, coriander and cardamom.
Curcumin is what gives turmeric its distinctive yellow color and is associated with the health benefits of curry. Curcumin is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curry powder can be used to quell the inflammation of the joints. Some studies indicate that populations with large consumption rates of curry have a significantly reduced risk of having certain cancers.
According to NutritionData, curry powder has strong anti-inflammatory properties (371 rating for 1 tablespoon vs. 493 for 3 oz. of Atlantic salmon), so incorporating curry into your meals is part of an anti-inflammatory diet. This spice is also a good source of manganese, iron, vitamin K and vitamin E.
You don’t have to make a traditional curry dish to enjoy this spice. Curry, when used sparingly, adds flavor to seafood dishes. Try our Shrimp Scampi recipe which is a new twist to this traditional garlic, lemon and white wine based dish. Or, try our Curry Chicken Salad which can be served on a bed of lettuce.
As a member of the ginger family, turmeric is a mild digestive that acts as a stimulant and is a carminative (relieves intestinal gas).
David H. Rahm, M.D. is the founder and medical director of The Wellness Center, a medical clinic located in Long Beach, CA. Dr. Rahm is also president and medical director of VitaMedica. Dr. Rahm is one of a select group of conventional medical doctors who have education and expertise in functional medicine and nutritional science. Over the past 20 years, Dr. Rahm has published articles in the plastic surgery literature and educated physicians about the importance of good peri-operative nutrition.