At the Ginger and Spice Festival we are passionate about spices, their flavours but also their health benefits.

Did you know that every time you have a curry, you are getting a really healthy experience?

Or that every time you enjoy a chilli con carne you are giving yourself a body boost?

Yes it’s true!  These dishes contain spices with properties which can help to give you hidden boosts and protections.

The Curry

Let’s start with curry

Curries traditionally contain the spices turmeric, garlic and cinnamon and this tasty trio can be surprisingly health giving.

Turmeric is a yellow spice which gives some curries their distinct appearance but it is much more than a colouring agent! It contains the active ingredient curcumin which, believe it or not, has anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-oxidant properties!

This means that when eating a curry, you could be aiding your digestion, and cleansing the body. Anti-oxidants protect against the proliferation of ‘free radicals’ which can affect the body’s DNA and potentially cause cancer so your curry is potentially a real life saver!

Also, if the use of turmeric is combined with black pepper, the combination of these spices can dramatically enhance the benefits of the turmeric. So because most curries include black pepper as an ingredient, you are getting a double health giving benefit!

Cinnamon is another very versatile health giving spice. Like turmeric, it has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It has been shown to cleanse the body of toxins and also slow the ageing process. It is also thought to benefit degenerative neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and dementia. It is also promotes a healthy skin and efficient brain function.

Garlic is another spice with big health benefits. It helps to lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and promote a stronger immune system.

So who would have thought that your traditional Indian meal could have been so health giving? Worth a thought the next time you dig into your Chicken Tikka Masala.

Chilli con Carne

Moving to the chilli con carne, this will also have garlic as a typical ingredient. But there is another key ingredient and this is cayenne pepper. This is a very versatile spice and has the following science backed benefits:-

Boost the metabolism, lower blood pressure, aid digestive health, relieve pain, improve psoriasis ad reduce the risk of cancer.

So just having read about the health benefits of two popular spice based meals, you can see how spices give not only a welcome zing, but can provide a surprising level of health protection as well.

From all of us at the Ginger & Spice Festival, Happy Spicing and may you look forward to enjoying not only the food, but also the health benefits.

If you enjoyed reading this, why not check out some of our other articles on spices by clicking below.