Stay winter-warm with curry

Nothing beats a good curry to keep you warm in winter! From meek and mild to eye-watering hot, curry not only warms you up from the inside, it also produces an explosion of taste in your mouth. Did you know that going spicy is also good for your health?

Curry is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, and recent studies show that it's also good for people with diabetes. According to a team of researchers from Columbia University, the spice turmeric, which gives curry its yellow colour, contains a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant ingredient called curcumin, which may lessen insulin resistance, improve blood-sugar control and help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

Hot, spicy foods containing chillies or cayenne pepper also trigger endorphins (the feel-good hormones that put you on a high after exercise), whereas the sweet spice cinnamon is also known to improve blood sugar control.

If you have the winter blues, invigorate yourself with a comfy curry dish. Just remember to choose low-fat cuts of meat and chicken, to remove all fat and skins before cooking and to go easy on the butter (rather use a little olive or canola oil), coconut milk (rather use the light version and dilute half with skim milk) and cream (rather use the low-fat version) –   even better, opt for a tomato-based curry sauce.

 Curry favour with your loved ones this winter with one of our delicious curry recipes: Vegetable curry (from Eating for Sustained Energy 1 by Liesbet Delport and Gabi Steenkamp), Chicken curry (from SA Cookbook for Diabetes & Insulin Resistance 2 by Hilda Lategan) and, last but not least, Full of flavour beef curry (from Healthy Family Meals by Christelle Erasmus).

(This newsletter was compiled with the help of the GI Smart Club. For more information on the Glycemic Index and other health tools visit Join the GI Smart Club and receive a 50% discount on the newly updated SA GI and GL Guide and other books.)

View recipes:

- Chicken curry
- Vegetable curry
- Full of flavour beef curry


Chicken curry: nutritional information per serving

One serving (about 300g) is equivalent to 4 low-fat proteins, 1 starch and 1 medium vegetable.

GI low (50)

Kilojoules 1 424

Carbohydrates 24.3g

GL 12

Protein 31.5g

Fat 9.3g

Fibre 9.6g



(Birgit Ottermann, Health24, Diabetes Newsletter, July 2010)

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