Medicinal Cuisine! Part 1 – South Indian Cuisine
No doubt, with recent developments in medicine and its related technology the life expectancy of any person, is longer than ever before; but has it reduced the quality of life? Might we have overdone it?
More than one-half of the US adult population takes health supplements; that’s over 125 million people in the US alone. The health supplement industry is an astonishing USD 36.7 billion industry that is growing at an exponential rate! Today there are far fewer diseases and viruses threatening our livelihoods, food and water hygiene is on the rise everywhere, affluence is higher than ever, yet people are not as healthy as they once were. It is only when the question of why this is, that we start thinking about our way of life. Is what we are eating really good for us? How much can we depend on these unnatural substances which claim to be “healthy” for us?
Now don’t get me wrong, health supplements are an integral part of people’s lives who just can’t take in the right food due to various circumstances. But how about the rest of us? This brings me to the point of this article: Food is medicine! The food we eat, when taken in the right proportion, is the best medicine any doctor can prescribe for you. Each cuisine in the world has its own unique food that is of high medicinal value. And I aim to look into most mainstream cuisines to see how they help us in avoiding diseases and illness, which could save us thousands of pounds in treatments further down the line.
Starting with South Indian Cuisine; when we talk about Indian food many of us relate it to being full of oil, ghee or fat, which by any measure is not true. There are Indian dishes which are rich and decadent but most are made simply with herbs and spices that make South Indian cuisine one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. The inclusion of spices such as turmeric, saffron, and herbs such as cumin and cloves, makes south Indian food an antidote to many illnesses.
- Turmeric, besides giving colour and a zesty flavour to food, is an anti-inflammatory. Turmeric is used in Ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine) for a variety of health reasons. The National Institute of Health has found that turmeric aids in helping to treat arthritis, heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhoea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, and loss of appetite. Turmeric can also be used as a topical treatment for issues like skin inflammation, infected wounds, and ringworm.
- Herbs such cumin and cloves serve a variety of uses, they aid in dental care by preventing cavities and gum care.
Besides, using herbs and spices, South Indian food also includes a wide array of legumes, grains, and beans into its cuisine that helps the body achieve the right balanced diet. The inclusion of tropical grains such as ragi, bajra, makai, horse gram and many others help get essential minerals and fibre the body requires.
This is the tip of the iceberg when discussing food and how it benefits us more than any other potent medicine out there in the market. Do stay tuned to see how your own cuisine -be it American, British or Asian- helps you prevent common cold and flu, obesity, high blood pressure or maybe even cancer?