Health Benefits

Health Benefits

Indian Cuisine, including Spicy Nothings sauces, use ingredients like garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chili etc which have long been believed to have medicinal properties. Ayurveda, the ancient medical science of India, harnesses the power of various spices and herbs to treat various ailments. We are not claiming that eating our sauces will cure or prevent diseases. But they sure are healthy and good for you. Below are some interesting articles from various esteemed sources.

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Curry 'may slow Alzheimer's'

Featured article from www.bbc.co.uk

A team from the University of California at Los Angeles believes that turmeric may play a role in slowing down the progression of the neurodegenerative disease. The finding may help to explain why rates of Alzheimer's are much lower among the elderly in India than in their Western peers.

Previous studies have found that Alzheimer's affects just 1% of people over the age of 65 living in some Indian villages.

Vindaloos

Turmeric is found in everything from mild Kormas to the hottest Vindaloos. The crucial chemical is curcumin, a compound found in the spice.

Alzheimer's is linked to the build up of knots in the brain called amyloid plaques.

Turmeric reduced the number of these plaques by a half. The researchers also found that turmeric had other health benefits. It aids digestion, helps fight infection and guards against heart attacks.

In the study, middle aged and aged rats were fed a diet rich in curcumin. All the rats received brain injections of amyloid to mimic progressive Alzheimer's disease.

Not only was there less evidence of plaque build up in the curcumin-fed rats, they also outperformed rats on normal diets when carrying out maze-based memory tests. Curcumin also appeared to reduce Alzheimer's-related inflammation in the brain tissue.

Researcher Dr.. Sally Frautschy said the compound had potential as a treatment for the prevention of Alzheimer's disease - particularly in tandem with anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.

Dr Richard Harvey, director of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said:

“Curcumin has both anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.”

“Drugs with similar properties could potentially be used as preventative treatments for Alzheimer's disease.”

However, Dr Harvey warned that it could be many years before such drugs were made widely available.  

Health Benefits of Chillies

Featured article from www.chilly.in

Over the years there have been many different views on the effects that regular chillie consumption can have on the human body. Here we try to pick through his research to see if indeed the humble chilli is good for us.

Effects on blood sugar

Researchers at the University of Tasmania have recently completed a study (published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2006) that suggests the regular consumption of chillies can help your body control insulin levels after eating which could benefit the overweight or diabetics. To be more precise the chilli reduces the amount of insulin the body needs to lower blood sugar levels after a meal by up to about 60%.

During the study candidates that followed a diet high in chilli content had lower blood glucose levels than that for a bland, chilliless diet. The author of the study Kiran Ahuja said "Chilli meals possibly result in lower C-peptide and insulin secretion and higher hepatic clearance of insulin, and the effect is larger if chilli is eaten regularly."

Although scientists are still trying to understand exactly why this effect occurs the results of the study are surely good news for the overweight and diabetes sufferers.

Inflammation

Capsaicin, the substance that give chilies their heat is well known to contain a neuropeptide associated with the inflammatory process. Chilli related alterations in plasma proteins have been reported in patients with autoinflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid and arthritis.

Congestion

Now you don't have to be a scientist to work this one out. If you eat a dish loaded with hot chillies the heat from the capsaicin causes secretions, or in other words sweating and a runny nose, that help clear the nasal passage.

Prostate Cancer

A study published by Canser Research in March 2006 concluded that capsaicin helped stop the spread of prostate cancer. The capsaicin triggered suicide in both primary types of prostate cancer cell lines. "It also dramatically slowed the development of prostate tumors formed by those human cell lines grown in mouse models" said Sören Lehmann, M.D., Ph.D., visiting scientist at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the UCLA School of Medicine. The dosage on mice that produced these effects equated roughly to about 5 habaero peppers a week for an average man.

Stomach Cancer

This appears to be the major stumbling block when it come to the health effect of chillies. Opinion seems to vary greatly as to whether chillies help prevent or cause stomach cancer.