Eating lots of curry may help you lose weight, research suggests.
The curry powder (so dubbed by British colonialists) most familiar to Westerners is generally a mix of turmeric, paprika, fenugreek, coriander, pepper, cumin, ginger, celery seed, cloves, caraway, and red pepper. Curry powder may be most associated with Indian cuisine.
Scientists believe that haldi, or turmeric, which is used in most Indian meals, has an active ingredient that can help fight obesity.
A meal that includes turmeric will lead to less weight gain than one without the yellow powder.
This is because turmeric contains a plant-based chemical called curcumin which suppresses the growth of fat tissue in mice and human cell cultures, according to a study by Tufts University in Boston, published in the Journal of Nutrition.
Curcumin is also easily absorbed by the body, the researchers said, after experiments on mice.
“Weight gain is the result of the growth and expansion of fat tissue, which cannot happen unless new blood vessels form, a process known as angiogenesis,” said senior study author Mohsen Meydani of the Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts.
“Based on our data, curcumin appears to suppress angiogenic activity in the fat tissue of mice fed high fat diets,” he said in a statement.
In particular, turmeric is effective when added to a high-fat meal, suggesting it could help fight obesity.
Researchers gave one set of mice high-fat diets and another set the same food with 500mg of curcumin added to each meal.
After 12 weeks, the mice which were fed curcumin weighed less than those which did not eat it.
The next step will be to perform clinical trials on humans, said the researchers.