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Indian food is a diverse and extraordinary one, reflecting a complex layering of cultures through history and based on religious beliefs, geography, climate and availability of ingredients.
India's range of cuisine can amaze even a connoisseur. Different regions in India offer their own specialties with their very own taste, subtlety and aroma. The exotic tastes, hues and textures of Indian food have ensured a steady growth in popularity in the West. The combination of fresh ingredients and are both a gastronomic delight and fulfill today’s requirements for healthy eating.
Indian food surprises us not only with its incomparable flavors and scents thanks to the use of specific combination of spices.
India's vast reservoir of spices made from its abundance of tropical herbs and contains medicinal and preservative properties. Herbs and spices make simple vegetarian dishes flavorsome and really exciting. Even nowadays when most Indian cuisine lovers can afford meat, each kind of meat can taste completely different when different spices are added. In general, Indian cuisine is not only tasty but also very healthy.
The meat is either cooked in a wok or in a special tandoori oven – therefore it’s not fatty, neither overcooked. It’s served along with vegetables and rice – giving a well-balanced mixture of carbohydrates and proteins.
It is widely known that Indian cuisine is very healthy and can protect you against heart problems, strokes, cancer, and obesity problems.
In India, a knob of fresh ginger added to tea is believed to relieve sore throats and colds, not to mention it’s aphrodisiacal properties! Turmeric is splendid against skin diseases and neem leaves are used to guard against small pox.
Spicy food may keep cancer away
A daily diet rich in spices may offer protection against cancer and other illnesses. This may be reason, why Indians suffer lower cases of many cancers. A chemical called capsaicin, which fives spicy food its kick, holds they key to the next generation of anti - cancer drugs. Timothy Bates and other researchers at the University of Nottingham found that capsaicin can kill cancer cells by directly targeting their energy source, indicating that people could control or prevent the onset of cancer by eating a diet rich in capsaicin.
Researchers tested the compound in laboratory on human lung cancer cells. A similar test on pancreatic cancer - one of the most difficult forms of cancer to treat - also produced results hailed as highly significant. As these compounds attack the very heart of the tumor cells.
Curcumin halts spread of breast cancer
Curcumin, the main ingredient of turmeric and the compound that gives curry its mustard yellow color, inhibits metastasis to the lungs of mice with breast cancer, report researchers at The University of Texax M.D. Anderson Center Cancer.
The study, published in the Oct 15 issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research, reports that the spice appears to shut down a protein active in the spread of breast cancer to a major target for metastasis. Metastasis is the spread of disease-producing organisms or malignant cell from one to other part of the body.
Though the study results are early, researchers found that the non-toxic natural substance not only repelled progression of the disease to the lungs, but also appeared to reverse the effects of paclitaxel (Taxol TM), a commonly prescribed chemotherapy for breast cancer that may trigger spread of the disease with use over a long period of time. Because Taxol is so toxic, it activates a protein that produces an inflammatory response that induces metastasis. Curcumin suppresses this response, making it impossible for the cancer to spread. In fact, researchers found that adding curcumin to Taxol actually enhances its effect. Curcumin breaks down the dose, making the therapy less toxic and jus as powerful while delivering the same lever of efficacy. [..]
Extracted from the roots of the curcoma longa plant, curcumin is a member of the ginger family. While it is not used in conventional medicine, it is widely prescribed in Indian medicine as a potent remedy for liver disorders, rheumatism, diabetic wounds, runny nose, cough and sinusitis. In ancient Hindu medicine it was used as a treatment for sprains and swelling. Traditional Chinese medicine uses curcumin as a treatment for diseases associated with abdominal pain.
source: India Post News Service - Oct 28, 2005, www.indiapost.com
Recent studies have determined that consuming as little as one-half teaspoon of Cinnamon each day may reduce blood sugar, "bad" cholesterol, and triglyceride levels by as much as 20% in Type II diabetes patients who are not taking insulin.
Cinnamon Spice Produces Healthier Blood
2003 - Cinnamon significantly reduces blood sugar
levels in diabetics. Sugars and starches in food are
broken down into glucose, which then circulates in the
blood. The hormone insulin makes cells take in the
glucose, to be used for energy or made into fat. But
people with Type 1 diabetes do not produce enough
insulin. Those with Type 2 diabetes produce it, but have
lost sensitivity to it. Even apparently healthy people,
especially if they are overweight, sedentary or over 25,
lose sensitivity to insulin. Having too much glucose in
the blood can cause serious long-term damage to eyes,
kidneys, nerves and other organs.
Cinnamon Helps Type 2 Diabetes - Also Helps Cholesterol
5th, 2003 - A spicy tip: Cinnamon can improve
glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood. For people
with type 2 diabetes, and those fighting high
cholesterol, it's important information. Researchers
have long speculated that foods, especially spices,
could help treat diabetes. In lab studies, cinnamon,
cloves, bay leaves, and turmeric have all shown promise
in enhancing insulin's action, writes researcher Alam
Khan, PhD, with the NWFP Agricultural University in
Peshawar, Pakistan. His study appears in the December
issue of Diabetes Care.
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