Spice up your life: the health secrets hidden in your curry

The Good Life Letter 

19th July 2015

Lara and I had taken advantage of a night when the kids were at various friends and we decided to visit one of our favourite curry houses.

Before us lay a rich lamb bhuna, a fantastic Goan fish curry, a bowl of sag daal and several chapattis – truly a feast for kings and queens...

...and two fifty year olds sneaking out like guilty teenagers!

We marvelled at the rice which had been marbled with saffron infused oil and jewelled with cardamom pods, dried fruits and coconut slices.

Tell me that your mouth isn’t watering right now... even if it is first thing on a Sunday morning!

Of all the world's cuisine I love the sights and smells of good Indian food, especially if the array includes the sweet and sour spicing which is common in Southern regional dishes – or that from the island province of Goa where fish is the staple meat.

When the meal is this good you know it will be doing you good as well.
Too often we are faced with pools of ghee, overly creamy sauces or spicing which is indistinct.

But here, in this little hidden away secret haunt our food was none of those things – just rich with fresh and natural ingredients.

Closing my eyes now I can see it spread out before me.

And that is when the thought struck me that all I had been saying in my letters over the last few months was borne out on the table before me.

Every dish was hand prepared by a chef who knew and loved his art, sourced from local suppliers (I know this for certain as I checked!) and presented with skill.

As a result I knew that this repast was going to support the three major pillars of my health.

Discover why you need to spice up your life – the secret to health revealed

The Bio-psycho-social model of health revealed

In 1977 The Clash were beginning to build a reputation that saw them headline music venues across Europe, The Sex Pistols were sacked by EMI and I was about to enter my troubled teenage years (probably as a result of the previous two events!).

Meanwhile an eminent psychiatrist called George Engel published his theory on health which said that unless there was a balance between your physical, emotional and environmental self you could not be at your best.

It caused a bit of a stir as it was the first time that a model like this was used to explain how mental illness could affect an individual and where its roots might lie, as well as explaining why long term health was about more than just the absence of disease.

This bio-psycho-social model gave as much importance to self-esteem and friendship as it did to medicine in the maintenance of health.

As you can imagine not everyone was completely bowled over by this, and the major pharmaceutical companies have done their best to undermine this approach ever since.

But, for me, sitting at that dinner table in an Indian restaurant I knew he was right.

First, I was with my dear wife and we were chuckling away at our good fortune. Plus we could talk without being interrupted by a stroppy teenager and therefore our conversation flowed and flowed.

That ticked the environmental/social aspect of my good health.

Next, by being able to enjoy the meal knowing I had the wherewithal to pay for it, felt comfortable with the food and the choices we made and was able to educate Lara on some of the finer points of Indian cuisine, this sorted out my psychological/emotional needs.

But the bit I knew most about, and could wholeheartedly embrace, was the physical and chemical aspect of my health.

You see, I had spent two years researching and writing all about the powerful health virtues of the food we had in front of us – and created The Spice Healer.

Why spices are more than a simple medicine

The thing that defeats the pharmaceutical boys and girls, and always will, is that they can never recreate the way a natural healing food works.

All the products of their test tubes and pill packets are single dimensional drugs that target one specific part of a biochemical or physiological pathway, rather than optimise global function.

As a result their products are of limited value to most people as these processes occur in slightly differing ways in all of us.

If, on the other hand, you begin to see how a functional food changes the way a body works it does so at many different levels within the process and can even reprogram the body to work in a totally different way.

To date no drug can even begin to get close to this.

Take one of the most common curry spices for instance – Turmeric.

Did you know that this yellow powder has over 20 active biomedical compounds within it, that affect the gut, the brain, the muscles, the nervous system and the blood vessels in numerous ways.

But it doesn’t end there! The lungs and respiratory system, the basic processes of energy generation, the kidney, urinary system and reproductive systems all benefit from these compounds.

Just imagine how much excitement there would be if a man-made drug could do all that!

Its properties are as a powerful anti-inflammatory, cleansing anti-oxidant, promoter of neurotrophic factors, coating protector of important lining/endothelial tissues and anti bacterial agent.
Surprisingly, these are just the beginnings of its powers.

The same is true for each of the common spices in food – ginger, garlic, pepper, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, chilli, fennel and cloves – plus many more.

Remember each of these has varied and proven health benefits and that is what this book is packed full of.

Next time you go for a curry, discover how you can boost each of your three basic health systems, impress your friends and family and feel confident that you really are doing the right thing.

Get The Spice Healer: How a Curry and 73 Other Foods Could Keep You off Prescription Drugs on a 30 day trial – click here

Yours, as always




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