While Indian cuisine in America is characterized by dense, fried food and oil-rich curries, traditional Indian cuisine incorporates a lot of fresh vegetables, legumes and some of the world’s healthiest spices. Indian cuisine is highly influenced by Hindu beliefs and culture, including the popular practice of vegetarianism in Indian society.
“Vegetables are the life and soul of Indian cuisine,” said Indian chef Suvir Saran in an article on CookingLight.com. “Indian food is best known for heady spices, bold seasonings, and hot dishes, yet ingredients work together to offer contrasts.”
As with any cuisine, you can prepare lighter dishes at home than you would receive in a restaurant because you have complete control over how much salt, butter, cream or oil you add to your dish.
Spices have always been an easy, low-calorie way to add flavor to your food without extra fat. According to the Daily Mail, a research team from Penn State University has found that a diet rich in spices, including turmeric and cinnamon, can reduce the stress that high-fat foods can place on the heart.
Scientists report that turmeric and cinnamon, two of the healthiest spices, may protect you from the physical damage caused by high-fat meals.
“Normally, when you eat a high-fat meal, you end up with high levels of triglycerides, a type of fat, in your blood,” study leader, Sheila West told the Daily Mail. “If this happens too frequently, or if triglyceride levels are raised too much, your risk of heart disease is increased.”
By adding healthy spices to a high-fat meal, researchers found that the triglyceride response reduced by about 30% when compared to a similar meal with no spices added.
By Steven V. Joyal, MD, VP of Medical & Scientific Affairs at Life Extension.
Spices add delicious flavors and tantalizing aromas to food, but many people don’t realize that spices offer a variety of beneficial, potentially lifesaving, health benefits. Consider your spice rack as a kind of natural medicine cabinet, and unleash amazing health benefits while you spice up your life with the following five spices!
Cinnamon: Derived from the bark of the tree bearing the same name, cinnamon is high in antioxidant activity. Clinical studies show beneficial changes in blood sugar control in patients with type 2 diabetes dosed with cinnamon spice from one to three grams daily. Experimental research suggests that cinnamon may reduce the likelihood that cells in the colon undergo cancerous changes. Essential oils of cinnamon have antimicrobial activity, too, and this helps provide a scientific basis for cinnamon’s traditional use as a natural treatment for diarrhea.
By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com
One year it’s this diet trend, the next year it’s that diet trend. The funny thing is that, aside from the all-celery and 8-grapefruits family of diets, all the smart diets end up saying pretty much the same thing: Eat bushels of fruit and vegetables, whole grains, less animal fat, and cut out refined foods. Genius!
Lately there’s been a flood of diet books based on the anti-inflammatory concept. The gist is that constant or out-of-control inflammation in the body leads to illness, and that eating to avoid constant inflammation inspires better health and can fend off disease. We generally think of inflammation as the painful part of arthritis, but inflammation is also a component of chronic diseases such as heart disease and strokes. Which is why proponents of the diet say it can reduce heart disease risk, keep existing cardiac problems in check, reduce blood triglycerides and blood pressure, and soothe sore and stiff arthritic joints.
Specifics vary from one anti-inflammatory diet to another, but in general, anti-inflammatory diets recommend:
By incorporating these herbs and spices into your diet, you get great flavors with healing properties. Researchers from the University of Michigan have found, for example, that basil has anti-inflammatory activity compared to ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin! (more…)
Since he won season 4 of the Next Food Network Star, Chef Aaron McCargo Jr. has been known for his preference for bold spices and robust flavors. On his cooking show, Big Daddy’s House, Aaron shares his passion for big, bold flavors and family-style cooking.
Now, he has partnered with the American Spice Company on his first line of spices, McCargo’s, that will add Big Daddy-style flavor to all of your favorite meals without additional calories or fat. I’ve sampled four varieties: Signature Blend, Signature Rub, Smoked Salt and Seasoning Salt and they were just as I expected – fresh, flavorful and potent – a little will go a long way and make these a staple in your kitchen cabinet. (more…)