Spices to Control Cholesterol
A dash of this, and a dash of that. When I was younger, I use to wonder why so many spices needed to be added to a simple curry. Turns out, not only were these spices added for taste, but they were added for their health benefits. If you have cholesterol, trying incorporating some of these spices into your diet. Even if you do not have any cholesterol problems, you can include these in your diet as preventive medicine.
This is a golden spice, virtually used in most Tamil recipes. Turmeric has many healing and antibacterial properties. It is used to clean meat, treat wounds, treat sleeping disorders and many other ailments.The curcumin in turmeric has been regarded as anti-cancer agent and helping with controlling cholesterol among a multitude of other health benefits. My mother-in-law drinks a cup of warm milk, turmeric and a bunch of other spices in the evening, an hour or so before she goes to bed.
You probably have noticed that you add cinnamon to many recipes, especially meat dishes. Besides adding an earthy flavour, cinnamon has a multitude of benefits. Cinnamon helps mainly to control blood sugar, and is recommended for people with diabetes, but it has also been used to help people with cardiovascular disease, including heart disease and cholesterol.
Ginger is used in many curries and tea for its many health benefits. Ginger helps control problems, including cholesterol, indigestion, nausea and sinus related problems. A trick to peeling ginger is to used a spoon to scrape off the outside skin rather than a knife.
Venthiyam (fenugreek) are small yellow seeds that are used widely in Tamil cooking and home remedies. It is used to treat a variety of ailments including dandruff, menstrual cramps, blood sugar and anemia. I’ve already written a blog post on the benefits of fenugreek, but controlling high blood cholesterol is one of the great benefits of adding this to your diet.
Other foods you can include in your diet that can help control cholesterol include onions, garlic and beans. Bitter foods, like spinach and pavakai (bitter gourd) are all also good at preventing the accumulation of cholesterol in your body. Also, use little oil in your cooking. Reserve more oil for special occasions, but for your daily meals, try to cook with very little oil. Again, all diets should be paired with good lifestyle choices, including exercise.
While these spices have been used in home remedies for many years, it is always good to speak with your health care professional when trying something new to make sure it does not interfere with your own treatment plans.