It’s official… so you can have a second helping of Auntie Priya’s Curry or a bit more of Auntie Melee’s Som Tom… because Chiles & Ginger maybe the recipe for keeping cancer at bay. There is new research out which attributes the combination of these two spices has been able to vigorously able to curtail lung cancer growth in mice. The active ingredients in both spices, Capsaicin and 6-Gingerol, when combined, work well together to inhibit receptors in tumors that are responsible for growth.
The study published in the Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry determined that Capsaicin when combined with 6-Gingerol can lower the risk of cancer as a result of the 6-Gingerol’s ability to bind itself to Capsaicin to create a formidable compound that restricts tumor growth.
Scientists isolated groups of mice susceptible to lung cancer and gave them a diet of Capsaicin or Gingerol-6 or a combination of the two over a period of several weeks. 100% of the mice that consumed the Capsaicin alone were prone to develop lung tumors, but only 50% of the mice that consumed Gingerol-6 developed cancer. When Capsaicin & Gingerol-6 were combined in the diet given to the mice, only 20% of them developed cancer.
On their own though, Chilies and Ginger bring a lot to the table.
Chilies containing the alkaloid compound Capsaicin have been studied, and it is suggested there are anti-bacterial, anti-carcinogenic, analgesic and anti-diabetic properties to Capsaicin, as well as the ability to reduce LDL cholesterol in overweight individuals.
Fresh chili peppers, both green and red, are rich in Vitamin-C. How rich, you ask? Well, a 3.5 ounce serving of fresh chilies contain almost 250% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin-C.
Chilies are rich in Anti-Oxidants like Vitamin-A, ß-carotene, A-Carotene, Lutein, Zea-Xanthin, and Cryptoxanthin which protect against the effects of free radicals with are generated in the body during times of stress or in the wake of a disease, such as cancer.
Chilies are also rich in minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium, and high in B-complex Vitamins including Niacin, Pyridoxine (B-6), Riboflavin, and Thiamin (B-1).
Ginger can be used to treat nausea or morning sickness according to various studies.
Ginger may be able to reduce muscle soreness and muscle pain as well as joint pain associated with osteoarthritis. It also may be able to help with menstrual pain.
Ginger may be able to lower blood sugar, which is helpful to diabetics, lower cholesterol levels, and aiding in chronic indigestion.
So it maybe that cuisine such as Indian food or Thai food, which are both rich in Ginger, can be ideal in fighting cancer and a great way to combine these two spices in delicious way. For the beginner, preparing these types of food can be daunting. One great starting place of learning to cook Indian food can be found here at Indian Food Forever. And for those of you that would like to try your hand at Thai cooking, there is a wonderful site to be found here at Thai Table.