Is the Indian diet healthy?

Indian cooking with healthy spices

Status: 09/20/2019 12:35 p.m. | archive
Spices give Indian dishes their typical aroma.

Indian cuisine is considered tasty, balanced and healthy. It is particularly known for its delicious vegetarian dishes, but also for variants with fish and chicken and lamb meat. In India, the need for protein is mainly met by legumes such as chickpeas and lentils. Basic foods such as rice and cereals are complemented by a wide range of dairy products. Instead of salt, aromatic spices are used in Indian cuisine, which often have a healing effect.

Masala: Curry mixture made from many spices

When asked about a typical Indian spice, many answer: curry. But this is neither a plant nor a spice: Curry is a mixture of many spices. There are as many curry mixes as there are chefs. As a rule, a curry mixture ("masala") consists of six to ten different spices, which are freshly mixed for each dish.

Healing spices of Indian cuisine

The best known spices used in Indian cuisine are:

  • Cumin (cumin) is supposed to help with digestive problems, relieve joint pain, and counteract diabetes and inflammation. Cumin seeds are even said to help you lose weight.
  • pepper contains the substance piperine, which stimulates the flow of saliva and the production of gastric juices and promotes fat burning.
  • saffron has been used as a natural remedy for centuries. It should inhibit bacteria and viruses, promote mood and libido, support memory, the liver and digestion, act as an antioxidant to prevent cancer and strengthen the cardiovascular system.
  • chili: The capsaicin contained in chilli has a variety of effects on the body and mind. It contains protective substances for the mucous membrane and is therefore used to treat stomach problems. Its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects protect the body from bacteria and fungi. Chillies also contain plenty of vitamin C and strengthen the immune system. They stimulate the metabolism and alleviate rheumatic pain, lumbago, migraines and shingles. Used daily, chili peppers can also improve blood sugar and fat levels, improve mood and help you lose weight.
  • Turmeric (turmeric): The curcumin contained in the root has a strong anti-inflammatory effect and is used as a support for the prevention and treatment of cancer or diseases such as metabolic syndrome.
  • Coriander seeds and Corian herb help detoxify the organism by binding molecules of toxins and heavy metals and directing them out of the body. Coriander contains a lot of iron and helps against anemia. Linoleic acid and the ingredient 1,8-cineole known from eucalyptus oil reduce swelling and water retention caused by kidney problems. In addition, coriander lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels, normalizes digestion and protects the eyes.
  • Fenugreek seeds are used in Ayurvedic medicine for joint and spinal problems as well as to support diabetes and high blood lipid levels.
  • Mustard seeds: Mustard is an ancient remedy, already known in ancient Rome, which can help against osteoarthritis, migraines or bronchitis in the form of compresses or baths. Mustard also helps prevent infections and cancer.
  • Asant is a dried plant resin that can help prevent abdominal pain. Because of its digestive properties, it is often used in bean dishes to make them digestible. In addition, Asant is said to relieve asthma and whooping cough, help with menstruation and mental illness.
  • ginger is mainly used against nausea and colds.
  • garlic contains the sulfur compounds allicin and ajoene, which have a slight blood-thinning and antihypertensive effect. This protects against thrombosis, cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Above all, however, allicin fights viruses, bacteria and fungi. This is why garlic is also known as a natural antibiotic. Garlic also contains the secondary plant substance saponin, which is supposed to lower excessively high LDL cholesterol levels - but only in larger quantities.
  • cardamom belongs to the ginger family. Like cinnamon, cardamom also has a high proportion of essential oils and therefore has a strong antibacterial and expectorant effect. The active ingredient gingerol contained in cardamom can also help against nausea, promote digestion and prevent bad breath.

Using Indian spices correctly

In Indian cuisine, spices are crushed and then roasted with little fat. Important: With too much fat, the taste becomes bitter rather than beautifully intense. And if the curry is too spicy, you can simply add yogurt as needed.

Experts on the subject

Seetha Langley
Indian vegetarian cooking classes
Bahrenfelder Strasse 71
22765 Hamburg
(040) 39 59 14

Thomas Sampl
Hobenköok restaurant
Stockmeyerstrasse 43
20457 Hamburg
(040) 22 86 55 38

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Visit | 09/24/2019 | 8:15 pm