Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Spicy Food

I used to love a good curry, not the kind that blows off the top of your head but strong enough to raise a really good sweat, the kind that needed me to alternate between a mouthful of curry and a mouthful of water, to cool my lips and tongue. I came to the conclusion that the water really did not help and may have aggravated the burn, nevertheless, the burn wouldn't let me go without the water. Banana helped, as did ice cream.

The curry was the second food to show up on my food testing as being bad for my skin. I guess that milder curry might have had more subtle effects but the stronger curry that I was eating showed up pretty quickly. Not all hot spices will have this effect, so you will have to test the particular spices that you use.

The yellow colour of curry comes from turmeric, also called curcumin. This is a worthwhile spice to have in a healthy diet because it is a strong anti-oxidant that protects against cancer. While I don't often eat curries any more, I do use turmeric in many dishes, on steamed vegetables and grilled fish or chicken. I also add it to rice while cooking, to make yellow rice. There have been claims by some people that turmeric has improved or even cured their psoriasis. This might be due to its anti-oxidant properties. My advice is to use turmeric as an ingredient in your cooking but leave out the hot spices that go with it in a curry mix.

Last year I was away from home on a camping weekend with some friends. One of them brought along a big pot of curry that he had made to a new recipe but had not tested. It turned out to be somewhat hotter than he intended and the kind that set my lips on fire and caused my eyes to water. Within hours I was feeling the itch.

If you can't do without your curries then at least tone it down, to a level that will result in a healthier skin.