The Spice of Life
Scottish Daily Record
TUCKING into a chicken vindaloo is a better cure for headaches than aspirin and can even prevent cancer, scientists have discovered.
Experts at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen say spices in Scotland's "other" national dish boost your health.
They say ingredients such as cumin and turmeric are particularly rich sources of the painkiller salicylate.
The acid from which this comes, salicylic acid, is found in fruit and veg but curries are one of the best sources.
A portion of vindaloo or phal, Britain's hottest curry, can contain 95mg of the natural wonder drug. Aspirin has just 65mg. Professor Garry Duthie, who co-wrote the research, said the health properties of curry could be widespread.
He added: "The level of salicylic acid in curry is exceptionally high.
"But I don't think I'd recommend a curry a day for headaches."
Here are more reasons why curry is the hot way to stay healthy.
Gives curries a yellow colour. It also fights inflammation and could relieve arthritis.
Alzheimer's sufferers could also benefit from a regular curry. Scientists at a Californian university found turmeric helped slow the brain disease's progress.
The spice cuts the number of amyloid plaques, which clog the brain, by half.
It also fights infection and guards against heart attacks.
Turmeric tea is reputed to be a great remedy for stomach upsets and curcumin fights the bacteria that causes diarrhoea
Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric, has been shown to stop tumours spreading and has been successfully used in breast cancer trials combined with the chemotherapy drug Taxol.
Coriander aids digestion while its leaves contain an antihistamine, 1 vitamin C and bioflavonoid which reduces allergic reactions I such as hayfever. That can also help haemorrhoids, varicose veins and spider veins.
Used in mango chutneys, it can help prevent mouth ulcers and sore throats. It was also used to "cure" baldness.
Chemicals in onions and turmeric have been shown in clinical trials to prevent colon cancer. Patients given doses of both chemicals suffered reduced numbers of pre-cancerous growths.
Scientists at the University of Chicago found that eating curry leaf can lower cholesterol and aid weight loss.
While eating a curry, the spicy ingredients such as chillies increase heart rate and raise body temperature, boosting the metabolism for a short time and helping to burn fat.
Chillies act as a decongestant so are a great natural cold remedy. They break up mucus in the lungs, open up air passages and could help prevent bronchitis and emphysema.
Red chilli peppers are the best of the bunch. Some, like cayenne, reduce cholesterol and release endorphins which make the body feel satisfied and curbs appetite.
Mustard seeds are a good source of selenium, which eases asthma. They also contain magnesium, which can lower blood pressure.
Ginger has been used to treat a wide range of ailments.
Studies have shown it's more effective in preventing motion sickness than pharmacy products. It has also proved beneficial for morning sickness, colds, chest I congestion, diarrhoea, I tummy aches, vomiting, I headaches and rheumatism.
Taking a third of a tea-T spoon of powdered ginger ' when you feel a migraine coming on can stop the pain before it starts.
Both the black and brown types of cumin help to relieve gas, period pain and diarrhoea.
Saffron is beneficial to women as it boosts libido and fertility. In traditional Indian medicine, it is used I as an aphrodisiac, to reduce fevers, heal I the liver and combat a lcoholism.