We often think of herbs and spices as just a way to make a meal tastier or prettier to look at but did you know they’re jam-packed full of health benefits? Allow us to share with you some of the incredible properties of cumin.
Cumin is native to Egypt and has been cultivated in the Middle East, India, China and Mediterranean countries for millennia. Throughout history, cumin has played an important role as a food and medicine and has been a cultural symbol with varied attributes.
A new study shows cumin may also help you finally burn off those extra pounds. Just one daily teaspoon of this spice could help you lose three times as much body fat.
Researchers at Iran’s Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences randomly split 88 overweight or obese women into 2 groups.
For 3 months, both groups received nutrition counseling and decreased their daily intake of calories by 500. But one group was also eating 3 grams (a little less than 1 teaspoon) of cumin powder daily, swirled into 5 ounces of yogurt (the same amount of yogurt, minus the cumin, was also prescribed to the control group). Top of Form
At the end of the 3-month trial, members in the cumin group had lost 3 more pounds than those in the non-cumin group for a total of 13 pounds weight loss.
More impressively, the cumin group members decreased body fat percentage by 14.64%—almost triple the 4.91% loss posted by the control group—apparently due to the addition of the fat-burning spice.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS OF CUMIN
Aids in digestion: Cumin is extremely good for digestion and related problems. The very aroma of cumin, which comes from an aromatic organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, the main component of its essential oil, activates our salivary glands in our mouth, which facilitates the primary digestion of food.
Next is thymol, a compound present in cumin, which stimulates the glands that secrete acids, bile and enzymes responsible for complete digestion of the food in the stomach and the intestines.
Cumin is also Carminative, which means that it relieves from you from gas troubles and thereby improves digestion and appetite. Due to its essential oils, magnesium and sodium content, cumin promotes digestion and also gives relief for stomach-aches when taken with hot water.
Prevents diabetes: Although research is still ongoing, early studies report that cumin, among a number of other spices, can have a powerful effect in preventing diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia. Human testing is ongoing, but early reports show that cumin can be a very powerful tool in the battle against diabetes!
Helps relieve stress and anxiety: Some of the components of cumin essential oil are hypnotic in nature and have tranquilizing effects, which also help to relieve stress and anxiety that commonly causes insomnia.
Boosts immune system: Again, the essential oils present in cumin act as disinfectants and help fight viral infections which can cause the common cold. Cumin also suppresses the development of coughing in the respiratory system since it dries up the excess mucus.
Cumin is rich in iron and has considerable amount of vitamin-C, which are essential for a healthy immune system and keeps infections from forming or becoming worse. Vitamin-C is also a natural antioxidant, so it defends against other infections and toxins as well, further boosting the immune system.
Helps remove toxins from the body: Those who regularly use cumin in food have a significant reduction in the occurrence of boils, rashes, pimples, and other signs of excess toxin content.
They are symptoms which show that a high amount of toxic substances have accumulated in the body. In this way, cumin can help you a great deal. Cumin has components such as cuminaldehyde, thymol, and phosphorus, which help in the regular removal of toxins from the body.
Prevents cancer: Cumin itself has detoxifying and chemopreventive properties, and accelerates the secretion of detoxifying and anticarcinogenic enzymes from the glands, as it also does to other secretions. The antioxidants have anticarcinogenic properties too, and those found in cumin are particularly good for colon cancer prevention.
Increases cognitive performance: The amount of iron in cumin leads to increased hemoglobin production and subsequent prevention of anemia, but that increased blood flow has other benefits as well.
When your blood circulation is in top form, adequate amounts of oxygen are able to reach the organs and the brain, leading to optimal performance of those bodily systems. Proper amounts of oxygen and iron in the brain lead to increased cognitive performance and a decrease in cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Beneficial for lactating mothers: Cumin is rich in iron and thus very good for lactating mothers as well as for women who are undergoing menses or who are pregnant, since they are more in need of iron than others.
Moreover, cumin is said to help ease and increase secretion of milk in lactating women due to the presence of thymol, which tends to increase secretions from our glands, including milk.
HERE IS HOW TO GET MORE CUMIN INTO YOUR DIET:
- Add cumin to the pot when you’re cooking soups, stews, chili, rice, beans, or lentils.
- Sprinkle cumin on vegetable sautés. It goes well with sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and cauliflower. Cumin will give them a North African flair.
- Add to marinades, salad dressings and mayonnaise.
- Sprinkle on roasted nuts or chickpeas.
- Add to the meat mixture when making meatloaf, meatballs, or hamburgers.
- Beat into scrambled eggs before cooking.
- The combination of cumin, black pepper and honey is considered to be an aphrodisiac in certain middle Eastern countries. Whether or not this potion will actually inspire Cupid’s arrows, it is certainly a tasty combination that can be used to flavor vegetables, chicken and fish dishes.
- Make a cup of warming and soothing cumin tea by boiling seeds in water and then letting them steep for 8-10 minutes.
- As the taste of cumin is a great complement to the hearty flavor of legumes such as lentils, garbanzo beans and black beans, add this spice when preparing a recipe with these foods.
- Take plain brown rice and magically give it special pizzazz by adding cumin seeds, dried apricots and almonds.