Chicken is an excellent source of protein and contains less fat than most meats, especially breast which contains half the fat of a steak. Chicken is a good source of niacin, which has cancer-fighting properties, as well as the trace mineral selenium.
It is also a good source of vitamin B6, which along with niacin is good for energy production by helping the body convert protein, fat, and carbohydrates into usable energy, as well as good cardiovascular health.
Onion and garlic
Onion and garlic are frequently used in curry recipes and both have protective effects: Onion has been shown to protect against stomach and colon cancers, for example, and garlic is well known for its antifungal and antibiotic properties. When cooked it is less powerful, but it is supposedly good for the cardiovascular system.
Onion has also been used for centuries to treat coughs, colds, and asthma, as well as angina, bacterial infections, and respiratory problems, while the World Health Organization recommends the use of onions for treating lack of appetite and to prevent arteriosclerosis.
While many people associate spices with the strong flavors of Indian food, they forget that, like all foods, they can provide significant nutritional value.
For example, both ginger and turmeric appear to have an anti-inflammatory effect that makes them suitable for treating arthritis. Unsurprisingly, ginger contains chemicals similar to those found in conventional anti-inflammatory medications, although it also works to thin the blood, while turmeric appears to suppress chemicals responsible for inflammation.
Cinnamon has also been identified as important in the inflammatory response and a small amount taken every day will help reduce the risk of factors that lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease by as much as 10 to 30 percent, although the jury is still deliberating antibacterial properties of cinnamon.
In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties, a component of ginger, known as gingerol, has been shown to reduce the effects of nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness, as well as possessing cancer-fighting attributes.
And cayenne pepper, responsible for much of the spiciness of curry, has also been used for centuries for its medicinal properties; appears to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease and may also be useful as a pain reliever.