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Curry powder vs Cumin - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on September 02, 2021
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Curry powder
vs
Cumin

Summary

Cumin is relatively rich in minerals; it contains 65 times more Vitamin A, Vitamin Cprotein, and less sugar. Cumin is lower in saturated fat and glycemic index. On the other hand, curry powder contains 17 times more Vitamin K, more copper, carbs, and has less sodium.

Introduction

Earthy and aromatic spices add delicate flavors to any dish they are added. Cumin and curry powder are two spices that you can find in any kitchen all over the world. However, these spices are often confused with each other. This article can find differences and similarities between cumin and curry powder and their nutritional value.

Classification

Cumin is the dried seed of the Cuminum herb. Cumin is also known as jeera. Cumin belongs to the Apiaceae family, including celery, carrots, anise, dill, and other edible plants.

Curry powder is a spice mix, which main ingredients are ginger, garlic, and turmeric. Some blends also contain garlic and cinnamon. Curry powder originates from India, used to flavor food.

What’s The Actual Difference?

The most significant difference between them is that cumin is a single spice, while curry powder mixes multiple spices, including ginger, garlic, and turmeric.

Cumin and curry powder also differ in their taste. Cumin is earthy, spicy, and slightly bitter. Curry powder can be hot due to chili or black pepper, and it can also taste sweet due to spices like cinnamon. Cumin has a brown color, while curry powder is often a shade of yellow.

Uses

Cumin is widely used in cooking. You can add it to dry rubs for roasted or grilled meats, to soups, and the breading for fried foods.

Curry powder is used in a variety of dishes to give it its characteristic flavor and vibrant flavor. Curry powder is used to flavor soups, sauces, meat, and vegetables.

Nutrition

This section of the article will discuss a detailed nutritional description of cumin and curry powder. You can find a nutrition infographic at the bottom of this page that visually shows the main differences between cumin and curry powder.

Micronutrients

In comparison, curry powder contains five times more fiber than cumin. It also has more carbs. On the other hand, cumin is richer in protein and has less sugar. Both have no cholesterol.

Fats

Overall, cumin contains more fats than curry powder. Moreover, it contains less saturated fat. The amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are higher in cumin. Both spices have no trans fats.

Vitamins

The chart below shows how much of your daily needs are covered by 300 grams of cumin and curry powder

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
:
6
Cumin
Contains more Vitamin E +658%
Contains more Folate +460%
Contains more Vitamin K +1748.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +6584.2%
Contains more Vitamin C +1000%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +256.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +63.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +40.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +314.3%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 2% 505% 0% 3% 44% 47% 62% 65% 25% 43% 0% 250%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 77% 67% 0% 26% 157% 76% 86% 0% 101% 8% 0% 14%
Contains more Vitamin E +658%
Contains more Folate +460%
Contains more Vitamin K +1748.1%
Contains more Vitamin A +6584.2%
Contains more Vitamin C +1000%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +256.8%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +63.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +40.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +314.3%

Both cumin and curry powder are packed with vitamins; however, vitamin amounts are different. Curry powder contains 18 times more Vitamin Ksix times more Vitamin E, and more folate than cumin. On the other hand, cumin contains ten times more Vitamin C and 66 times more Vitamin A. It also has more Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B6. 

Minerals

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains less Sodium -69%
Contains more Copper +38.4%
Contains more Calcium +77.3%
Contains more Iron +247.4%
Contains more Magnesium +43.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +36%
Contains more Potassium +52.8%
Equal in Zinc - 4.8
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 158% 717% 183% 158% 104% 7% 129% 400%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 280% 2489% 262% 214% 158% 22% 131% 289%
Contains less Sodium -69%
Contains more Copper +38.4%
Contains more Calcium +77.3%
Contains more Iron +247.4%
Contains more Magnesium +43.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +36%
Contains more Potassium +52.8%
Equal in Zinc - 4.8

Cumin is relatively richer in minerals than curry powder. It contains two times more iron, more calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. On the other hand, curry powder is higher in selenium, copper and has less sodium than cumin. The required daily intake of iron is 8.7mg for men and 14.8mg for women. Cumin contains 66.36 mg per 100 g.

Both spices are equal in zinc.

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of cumin is lower than that of curry powder due to the low concentration of sugars in it. The GI of Cumin is equal to 0, whereas curry powder has a GI equal to 5. Both are considered low glycemic index food.

Acidity

Both spices are alkaline. On average, cumin is an alkaline spice; it has a pH equal to 7.3, while curry powder has a pH equal to 5.4. That means taking them in high doses may increase your risk of indigestion.

Calories

The number of calories of cumin and curry powder is almost equal. Cumin contains 375 calories per 100 g, and curry powder has 325 calories per 100 g. However, people often consume them in small quantities, so calories will not matter so much.

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

Most natural, sugar-free spices are acceptable during diets. In particular, cumin is considered to be a keto-friendly, paleo-friendly seasoning.

Curry powder usually contains turmeric, so that it will give a golden hue to your recipes. Curry powder is suitable in low calories and low-fat diets.

All fresh herbs in small amounts, including cumin and curry powder, are acceptable in the first phase of Atkins and beyond [1].

Anti-inflammatory Effects

Both cumin and curry powder contains bioactive compounds that are called curcumin. Curcumin is considered a potent antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that curcumin can block the action of free radicals and may stimulate the activity of other antioxidants [2].

In addition, chili pepper and coriander in curry powder also have potent anti-inflammatory effects. Capsaicin compounds in them can block the destructive effects of free radicals [3].

Hypotensive Effects

According to the rat study,  oral administration of cumin seeds has decreased systolic blood pressure and improved plasma nitric oxide, a factor responsible for lowering blood pressure. This study has also shown cumin can lower inflammation and oxidative stress [4].

Cancer

Studies show that the chemopreventive effects of cumin can be attributed to its ability to modulate the metabolism of carcinogens. Studies in mice show significant suppression of the growth of stomach tumors and cervical tumors with cumin [5].

Since curry powder contains turmeric, it also has an anti-cancer effect. Animal studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the growth of cancer cells. It also can reduce angiogenesis [6].

Diabetes

Many studies have shown that cumin can lower blood glucose levels. According to the rat study, cumin supplementation in alloxan-induced diabetic rats has significantly reduced blood glucose and increased total hemoglobin and glycosylated hemoglobin. It also prevented a decrease in body weight and reduced total cholesterol levels [7]. According to the study, turmeric extract helps stabilize blood sugar levels and make diabetes more manageable [8]. Curry powder can help with blood sugar management in type 2 diabetes because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

Cardiovascular Health

Estrogens in the body benefit lipid metabolism, therefore protecting the heart from coronary heart disease. During menopause, estrogen levels significantly decrease, leaving the person vulnerable to heart disease. According to the study, cumin extract has hypolipidemic activities, making it a potential element for treating certain menopausal disorders [9].

The main component of curry powder, curcumin, has beneficial effects on cardiovascular disease. It improves the function of the endothelium that lines your blood vessels. Studies have shown that curcumin may improve endothelial function [10].

Brain Health

According to the study, curcumin, one of the main compounds of curry powder and cumin, can protect your brain. It can significantly improve markers of mental decline and reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease [11].

Downside and Risks

The allergy reaction of cumin is caused by a compound called profilin. People who are sensitive to profilin can also experience allergic reactions triggered by coriander. Cumin allergy can also have a cross-reaction with pollen allergy. Symptoms usually include itching, swelling, and tingling of the mouth area.

Curry powder can have some side effects if taken in high amounts. In rare cases, people can have side effects such as stomach upset, dizziness, or diarrhea.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1744388114000668
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17044766/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5407112/
  4. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/10641963.2013.764887
  5. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1207/s15327914nc4702_10
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6429287/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12220968/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3857752/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841243/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23146777/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5950688/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: September 02, 2021

Infographic

Curry powder vs Cumin infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Curry powder Cumin
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in price ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Curry powder Cumin Opinion
Net carbs 2.63g 33.74g Cumin
Protein 14.29g 17.81g Cumin
Fats 14.01g 22.27g Cumin
Carbs 55.83g 44.24g Curry powder
Calories 325kcal 375kcal Cumin
Starch g g
Fructose 0.79g g Curry powder
Sugar 2.76g 2.25g Cumin
Fiber 53.2g 10.5g Curry powder
Calcium 525mg 931mg Cumin
Iron 19.1mg 66.36mg Cumin
Magnesium 255mg 366mg Cumin
Phosphorus 367mg 499mg Cumin
Potassium 1170mg 1788mg Cumin
Sodium 52mg 168mg Curry powder
Zinc 4.7mg 4.8mg Cumin
Copper 1.2mg 0.867mg Curry powder
Vitamin A 19IU 1270IU Cumin
Vitamin E 25.24mg 3.33mg Curry powder
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 0.7mg 7.7mg Cumin
Vitamin B1 0.176mg 0.628mg Cumin
Vitamin B2 0.2mg 0.327mg Cumin
Vitamin B3 3.26mg 4.579mg Cumin
Vitamin B5 1.07mg mg Curry powder
Vitamin B6 0.105mg 0.435mg Cumin
Folate 56µg 10µg Curry powder
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 99.8µg 5.4µg Curry powder
Tryptophan 0.11mg mg Curry powder
Threonine 0.35mg mg Curry powder
Isoleucine 0.63mg mg Curry powder
Leucine 0.89mg mg Curry powder
Lysine 0.7mg mg Curry powder
Methionine 0.19mg mg Curry powder
Phenylalanine 0.58mg mg Curry powder
Valine 0.75mg mg Curry powder
Histidine 0.29mg mg Curry powder
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0g g Cumin
Saturated Fat 1.648g 1.535g Cumin
Monounsaturated Fat 8.782g 14.04g Cumin
Polyunsaturated fat 3.056g 3.279g Cumin

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Curry powder Cumin
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
87
Curry powder
51
Cumin
Mineral Summary Score
231
Curry powder
480
Cumin

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
86%
Curry powder
107%
Cumin
Carbohydrates
56%
Curry powder
44%
Cumin
Fats
65%
Curry powder
103%
Cumin

Comparison summary

Which food contains less Sodium?
Curry powder
Curry powder contains less Sodium (difference - 116mg)
Which food is cheaper?
Curry powder
Curry powder is cheaper (difference - $1.4)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Cumin
Cumin is lower in Sugar (difference - 0.51g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Cumin
Cumin is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.113g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Cumin
Cumin is lower in glycemic index (difference - 5)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Cumin
Cumin is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Curry powder - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170924/nutrients
  2. Cumin - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170923/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.