As we get older and go through menopause, we definitely have to keep an eye on our health. In particular, we need to watch our risk of something called metabolic syndrome (MetS), which can lead to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and numerous other complications if we’re not careful. However, according to a new study, one food may help lower the likelihood of developing MetS, and it’s something you probably didn’t expect: curry.
Up to one-third of American adults have MetS, a common condition where several serious health problems — particularly heart health issues — occur at the same time. High blood pressure, weight gain around the midsection, and unregulated blood sugar levels can all contribute to it. While everyone’s risk of having MetS goes up with age, menopausal and postmenopausal women are especially susceptible.
Because of this, researchers looked into into how lifestyle changes, such as eating certain foods, smoking, and drinking alcohol, can impact the risk of developing MetS. In a new study for Menopause: The Journal of the North American Menopause Society, scientists investigated data following the lifestyles of 7,131 premenopausal and postmenopausal South Korean women between 2009 and 2017.
When looking at participants’ overall food consumption, they discovered two key findings. First, those who regularly ate curry in any form tended to have a significantly lower risk of MetS than those who ate little or no curry. They believe this is due to the fact that curry dishes often contain turmeric, an ingredient with well-documented anti-inflammatory and cell-protecting qualities. In turn, these can help keep cardiovascular issues at bay as we age.
On top of that, researchers found that menopausal and postmenopausal women who increased their vitamin B2 intake by just one milligram per day decreased their likelihood of developing MetS by 45 percent. They’re a little more unsure of why B2 made such a difference, but their current hypothesis is that its compounds also shield cells from damage and deterioration as time goes on.
Eating curry once won’t necessarily make a difference, so now’s a perfect time to start adding it into your regular meal rotation. There are so many different types to try; just look at these 37 recipes that include everything from curried meatballs to cauliflower and chickpea curry. If nothing else, this research may be the perfect excuse to order takeout of your favorite curry dish!