Cumin is a power-packed ingredient which has dozens of medicinal uses. The flavourful spice is almost a staple in Indian and Middle Eastern cooking, imparting several health benefits while at the same time adding a delicious flavour to foods. Whoever said that only stuff that’s bad for you which tastes good never tasted a glass of buttermilk with powdered cumin or tucked into a plate of potatoes or lentils seasoned with roasted cumin.
Health Benefits of Cumin
Health Benefits of Cumin
Here’s why you should think about incorporating cumin into your cooking, if you’re not a big fan already.
This is the most well-known and common health benefit of cumin. A dash of cumin in food helps with digestion. It also helps to soothe stomach pain, can alleviate nausea and bloating, and regulate bowel movements. Science is only now discovering that cumin is indeed a wonderful digestive aid which firstly, stokes the release of enzymes from the pancreas which helps with better digestion and secondly, also allows the nutrients in food to be better assimilated by the body.
Cumin is High in Iron
Although the iron content in cumin cannot provide you with the entire recommended daily allowance, it will contribute to it. Your body relies on iron to make haemoglobin, which in turn transports oxygen to your blood. Without enough iron, you are at a high risk for anaemia and a low haemoglobin count, both of which lead to a range of ailments from fatigue, headaches, low libido, poorer memory, difficulty concentrating and a weakened immune system. The latter itself is worrisome since it puts you at risk for a host of other diseases. So a little cumin everyday will take care of your blood and keep all of that at bay.
Cumin has Cancer-fighting Properties
There is plenty of scientific research to support this fact. Cumin acts as an anti-carcinogen. This means that it can prevent cancerous growths from forming. The seed is known to be quite effective against free radicals which are everywhere today and which raise everyone’s risk of cancer regardless of individual lifestyle. So it makes sense to be proactive and protect yourself against them by including anti-carcinogens and antioxidants (which also fight off free radicals) in your diet.
Cumin Detoxifies the Liver
The liver is the body’s primary detoxification organ. When your liver does not work properly, it leads to weight gain, indigestion, a sluggish metabolism and illness. Cumin naturally and safely boosts the secretion of the liver’s detox enzymes, thus ensuring that your body’s internal cleaning system is always in top form.
Cumin Builds your Immune System
Apart from iron, cumin contains magnesium, potassium and calcium – all of which contribute to boosting your immune system which, in turn, leads to better health overall, both mental and physical. Cumin is often prescribed to stave off colds and infections too.
Cumin Controls Blood Sugar
Consistent use of cumin brings blood sugar under control in diabetics. Before using cumin for diabetes though, ensure that you consult your health care practitioner.
Cumin is Great for Pregnant Women
During pregnancy, the body needs extra nutrition and extra care overall. It can be difficult to eat every single healthy food item to gain all the health benefits you’re supposed to for both you and your baby. So a spice like cumin is a boon since it offers several health benefits in every tea spoon. It is an excellent source of prenatal nutrition. As we have seen before, it is a preventive measure against anaemia which pregnant women have to watch out for. Plus, it is thought that cumin can play a role in easing childbirth and stimulating better milk production.
Other Cumin Benefits
This delectable spice is also known to reduce inflammation, reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and treat insomnia.
How to Get More Cumin in Your Diet
This is really simple if you know Indian recipes – everything from spicy curries, savoury gravies, nourishing lentils and wholesome vegetable dishes gets a dash of cumin for flavour in the cuisine. So experiment with Indian and Middle Eastern recipes for delicious ways to get your daily dose of cumin. Meanwhile, you can easily get its health benefits in the following ways.
- As mentioned earlier, add a bit of cumin powder to your buttermilk. The quantity will depend on personal taste.
- Cumin is added in Ayurvedic teas along with other spices like coriander powder, cardamom and ginger to aid digestion and increase metabolism. Simply boil them all together in hot water for a few minutes. Avoid using a sweetener. If you absolutely must, use honey.
- Are you a fan of baking homemade bread? Cumin is a very flavourful spice that will give your bread a deliciously warm flavour. You can also add it to your rotis and parathas.
- You can add a bit of cumin to your scrambled eggs.
- Cumin is an excellent flavouring agent for most types of meat.