National Curry Week runs from 4–10 October 2021. Now in its 23rd year, the very first National Curry Week took place in October 1998 and was founded by the late Peter Grove. Peter was a prominent journalist who had fallen in love with curry. His vision was to drive awareness and appreciation of the burgeoning Indian restaurant industry, whilst also raising funds for poverty-focused charities.
Curries are a great way of bringing flavour, nourishment, and variety into the diet. They are also a great edition when menu planning for those living with Dementia.
Dementia and food flavours
Some people living with Dementia experience significant reductions in their taste and smell which can lead to a disinterest in food. When this happens, there could be a risk of weight-loss which is important to avoid. Maintaining a healthy weight helps us to recover from illness better and can also help with overall health and well-being.
Cooking for a person with reduced taste and smell can sometimes make meal planning difficult. Strong flavours like those used in curries are perfect for stimulating the tastebuds. This is where curries can be useful. Spices which are typically used in curries like chilli, cumin, fennel, garlic and coriander are full of flavour and nutrients. They are also protective against inflammation which can be a significant driver in Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Changing taste preferences
If a person hasn’t liked spicy food in the past it is worth trying it again. It can be common for people to change their food preferences as an Alzheimer’s diagnosis develops. Cooking up a few taster plates of mild to hot dishes can be a way of introducing flavours to see if a person responds well (be careful to not go so hot it is uncomfortable – flavour first!).
It can be interesting to discover that foods which someone has always greatly disliked can become firm favourites later in life.
Popular curries in our Nellsar Homes are chicken kormas, tandoori flavours, Rogan Josh lamb curries and Caribbean style!