Curry Up

“Would you like to sit at a quieter table?” A hostess or a manager asked as she grabbed menus. The smell of cayenne and cumin and cinnamon emerged from the noisy kitchen behind her. Stockton may have looked at me. I said something to indicate sitting anywhere in the restaurant would be fine. I felt comfortable in this place. I appreciated her thoughtfulness, assuming she recognized us–perhaps by my white cane–as regular customers.

I anticipated the flavors of dinner–spicy green chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, warm garlic naan, and basmati rice served alongside my entree. Stockton would be ordering vinaloo because he can take the heat. I usually alternate between curry and chicken tikka masala.

I have another reason to enjoy the food here. Recent research by Dr. Radha Ayyagari, highlighted by FFB’s Eye on the Cure blog, underscores the connection of turmeric with retinal health. Need I say more? I heard over the years the benefits of eating particular foods rich in carotenoids for eye health, but not curcumin, an ingredient in turmeric. Curries and chicken tikka masala both have it, so does American yellow mustard, who knew.

“Years ago, while reviewing scientific literature, Dr. Ayyagari discovered that curcumin is a catalyst for producing heat shock proteins, or HSPs, which play an important role in ensuring proper cell function. As so-called cellular chaperones, HSPs help prevent the misfolding of other proteins that occurs in the photoreceptors of people with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP).”

While I have not been diagnosed with RP, I fully support foods that boost retinal health like a spotter at the bench press. Don’t lock your elbows, just breathe, one mouthful at a time. The next time I dine  at the Indian restaurant with Stockton, I’ll enjoy the thoughtful service, and I’ll be on the lookout for yellowish dishes rich in turmeric to cross my palate. Bon appétit.


Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. Consult with a physician before embarking on dietary changes.


10 Comments Add yours

  1. Modwyn says:

    It’s always a plus when medical advice tastes delicious!

    1. It sure is Modwyn! Happy New Year to you as well.

  2. Happy new Year, Susan. What a good reason to eat curry! Do you ever cook it?

    1. HNY, Bridget! I haven’t cooked curry at home yet. Any good recipes?

      1. Try Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey for good recipes or, if you are a bit more ambitious, any of her cook books. Once you have all the spices it’s not so difficult but I have to say the smells tend to persist! I do admire Stockton for braving vindaloo! I love chicken tikka and it is easy to make at home. Good luck. Let me know if you try it.

      2. I’ve prepared vindaloo before so I’m hoping curry is easier. Will check out your recommendations soon.

  3. Joy says:

    I love this post, and turmeric is great for so many things! Since it’s an anti-viral and anti-inflammatory, I make turmeric milk when I feel like I’m coming down with a chest cold. Here’s the recipe! Turmeric milk
    2 cups milk
    1 tsp turmeric
    1 tsp cinnamon
    1/2 tap ginger
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    Warm it
    Then add 2 tbs honey

    1. This sounds fantastic, Joy. Thanks for telling me about it so I can try it the next time I feel under the weather. I hope 2015 is treating you and your family well so far.

  4. floridaborne says:

    Christian Wilde, website has been preaching the glories of turmeric for the heart for decades. I take it every morning and night in capsule form. I also love curry dishes and Indian cuisine. Now I know it’s good for the eyes, too. 🙂

    1. Turmeric seems to have many health benefits. Bring on the curry!

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