Although we may not want to admit it here in the UK, it appears summer may be over. The leaves are on the turn, the days are getting shorter and, unless you are one of those savvy people who planned a relaxing trip abroad as a final farewell to the summer season, all you are left with are the gradually fading memories of summer fun in the sun.
Unfortunately, the excesses of the holiday season can often wreak havoc on our health. Those holiday cocktails, sunny cider afternoons and BBQ spreads can easily take a toll. In order to get ourselves back on the wagon (ready for the Christmas season which can be faintly spotted, its holiday sparkle glimmering in the fast-approaching future) perhaps it is time to consider a detox.
However, as any fan of delectable Indian cuisine will know, deciding to detox can prove tricky when faced with all your favourite foods as the weather begins to turn. Who can resist the call of one of London’s best Indian brasseries after a hard week of work and chilly weather? Those crispy, sugar-soaked gulab jamuns, decadent kormas and buttery naans have never looked so appetising.
Well, good news! You don’t need to necessarily forego Indian cuisine on your new, detox regime. There are several highly nutritious ingredients that are used to great effect in Indian cooking and can work wonders during a health kick. So, top up your dishes with the items below and enjoy the best of both worlds – health benefits as well as a fabulous feed.
This king of spices is a stalwart of the Indian store cupboard. For generations, the ancient Hindu medicinal practice of Ayurveda has prized this colourful spice for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to assist the liver in processing and neutralising harmful toxins – a detox hero if ever we’ve heard of one.
This handy herb is renowned for its medicinal properties, many of which originated from a sulphur compound that is released when the cloves are crushed, chopped or chewed. This compound is called allicin and is thought to help lower cholesterol levels and simultaneously support the circulatory system. Garlic is also notorious for boosting the immune system and warding off ailments such as the common cold.
Who doesn’t enjoy the clean, zesty taste of ginger? Whether freshly grated or ground to a powder, ginger features in a wide range of Indian dishes and provides a myriad of health benefits for the body by assisting the absorption of minerals. In other words, as you banish those nasty toxins from your body, ginger helps you replace them with the nutrients you need the most. It is also an excellent digestive aid and can help soothe nausea too.
This spice is most popular in Indian desserts,and drinks. You may be steering clear of those sweet treats when on a detox but why not sprinkle a little extra into a nice, hot cup of masala chai? Cardamom is an excellent remedy for removing harmful bacteria from the body, particularly when used alongside other spices. The regular consumption of cardamom is thought to help alleviate the symptoms of depression, boosting your mood as well as your health.