Curry powder vs Cumin - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Earthy and aromatic spices add delicate flavors to any dish they are added to. 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. In this article, you can find differences and similarities between cumin and curry powder and their nutritional value.
Cumin is the dried seed of the Cuminum herb. Cumin is also known as jeera. Cumin belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes 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 biggest difference between them is that cumin is a single spice, while curry powder is a mix of multiple spices, which includes ginger, garlic, and turmeric.
Cumin and curry powder also differ in their taste. Cumin is earthy, pungent, 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.
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. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, it can be an ingredient in chili powder.
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.
In this section of the article, we will discuss a detailed nutritional description of cumin and curry powder. At the bottom of this page, you can find a nutrition infographic that visually shows the main differences between cumin and curry powder.
In comparison, curry powder contains 5 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.
Overall, cumin contains more fats than curry powder. The amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are higher in cumin. Moreover, it contains less saturated fat. Both spices have no trans fats.
The chart below shows how much of your daily needs is covered by 300 grams of cumin and curry powder
Both cumin and curry powder are packed with vitamins, however, vitamin amounts are different. Curry powder contains 18 times more Vitamin K, 6 times more Vitamin E, and more folate than cumin. On the other hand, cumin contains 10 times more Vitamin C, and 66 times more Vitamin A. It also has more Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B6.
Cumin is relatively richer in minerals than curry powder. It contains 2 times more iron, more calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus. On the other hand, curry powder is higher in selenium, copper, and has less amount of sodium than cumin. The daily required 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.
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.
Both spices are alkaline. On average, Cumin is an alkaline spice, it has a pH equal to 7.3, while curry powder has pH equal to 5.4. That means taking them in high doses may increase your risk of indigestion.
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 little quantities, so calories will not matter so much.
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 it will give a golden hue to your recipes. Curry powder is suitable in low calories and low fats diets.
All fresh herbs in small amounts, including cumin and curry powder, are acceptable in the first phase of Atkins and beyond .
Both cumin and curry powder contain bioactive compounds that are called curcumin. Curcumin is considered a strong 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 .
In addition, chili pepper and coriander in curry powder also have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Capsaicin compounds in them can block the destructive effects of free radicals .
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 .
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 as well as cervical tumors with cumin .
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 .
Many studies have shown that cumin can lower blood glucose levels. According to the rat study, cumin supplementation in alloxan-induced diabetic rats has resulted in a significant reduction in blood glucose and an increase in total hemoglobin and glycosylated hemoglobin. It also prevented a decrease in body weight and reduced total cholesterol levels . Curry powder can help with blood sugar management in people with type 2 diabetes, because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. According to the study, turmeric extract helps stabilize blood sugar levels and make diabetes more manageable .
Estrogens in the body have a beneficial effect on lipid metabolism, therefore protecting the heart from conditions, such as 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, which is making it a potential element for the treatment of certain menopausal disorders .
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 .
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 .
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
Being a mix of different spices, 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.
Cumin is relatively rich in minerals, it contains 65 times more Vitamin A, Vitamin C, protein, 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.
Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Rich in vitamins||Equal|
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|
People also compare
All nutrients comparison - raw data values