Cumin is a spice found originally in Mediterranean and Indian cuisines and traditional medicinal recipes for treatment of many ailments. Cumin itself is a flowering plant and it’s the seeds of this plant that are used in cooking and medicine. Many cultures believe that it is powerful healing properties, but is it backed up by science?
Based on testing completed by the Central Food Technological Research Institute, researchers stated that “Bitter cumin extracts were strong antioxidants in the free radical scavenging systems tested.” and that they offered complete protection against DNA damage.
So, what are the possible health benefits of adding cumin to your diet?
- Painkiller - For centuries it has been used in this way and its effectiveness as a painkiller has recently been backed up by scientists.
- Digestion – When ingested it is believed to help calm the digestive tract leading to a reduction in flatulence and bloating and generally aiding the digestion system as a whole in order to extract the most amount of nutrients from food
- Antioxidants – Researchers from Mysore in India have shown in studies that cumin seeds contain a powerful phenolic antioxidant. Antioxidants are required in the body to combat free radicals which occur naturally as part of the metabolic process in energy production. A large number of free radicals can lead to cell damage and are thought to be the cause of many serious illnesses.
- Anti-glycation – Glycation simplified is where a molecule gets a chemical stuck to it, such as a glucose molecule, which acts like glue. As it floats around another protein molecule then attaches to this glue and causes the two proteins to link together. This can lead to more free-radicals in the body which leads to cell damage. In short, they are bad. Cumin, however, was found in one study to prevent this from happening which is a good thing.
- Osteoporosis – Several animal studies have confirmed cumin’s potency for the protection of bone density for postmenopausal women. Cumin was found to increase calcium, prevent a reduction in bone density and not increase weight gain when compared to current medication used to treat the condition.
It should be clear from this article that cumin is a powerful food which has many health benefits. If included as part of your diet on a regular basis for many years it could be considered as a very effective preventative measure to protect against many degenerative conditions.
Cumin is very easy to add to your diet, by using it to spice up some of your existing dishes. For example, vegetables and be spiced up or mix some in with rice and beans. And it goes without saying that this versatile spice can be added to a curry.
Although supplementation is possible, using cumin in your every day cooking is a healthier and more natural way to approach it. Use organic whenever possible and store ground cumin in an air tight container in the fridge to preserve its potency.
About the Author
Steven James takes the approach towards nutrition that one should remain as natural as possible in order to maintain an optimal level of health. However, this is not always possible and supplementation is necessary which is why he has created a supplement brand called Health First Supplements