Vindaloo pork, made with bhut jolokia, or ghost pepper, may thrill the Food Channel's "Heat Seekers," Aaron Sanchez and Roger Mooking. But such super-fiery dishes scare many North Americans away from Indian cuisine, and that's a shame. Spices deliver powerful health-enhancing benefits. So, spice up your new year and ward off everything from Alzheimer's disease to irritable bowel syndrome.
Fenugreek: This plant's aromatic seeds are ground into soups, veggies, stews and curries. It's been shown to help control blood glucose levels and is advocated to aid breastfeeding and lower lousy LDL cholesterol.
Cumin: Often used to quell gassiness, it's most potent as black cumin seed oil. It's said to be an immune system modulator and a cancer fighter. Sprinkle the ground seeds in chili, barbecue sauce and on veggies. Along with turmeric, it helps boost memory-enhancing proteins that nurture your brain's neurons.
Turmeric: A dried root used in yellow mustard (Dr. Mike loves it in a marinade for grilled salmon), turmeric eases inflammation of osteoarthritis and ulcerative colitis (when used with conventional medications). Curcumin - not to be confused with cumin - is the active ingredient in the turmeric root. Try 1/4 teaspoon several times a day sprinkled in food.
Curry powder: Grind those three with coriander seeds, bay leaf, mustard seed, cinnamon and cloves; use in place of salt and pepper. Wow! (The recipe is on www.doctoroz.com.)
Mehmet Oz, M.D., is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D., is chief medical officer at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. To live your healthiest, visit sharecare.com. Distributed by King Features Syndicate Inc.