Spices are an integral part of Indian cuisines and they are abundantly found in the Indian sub-continent. One of the most popular spices in India is cumin or commonly called as jeera. Cumin is an aromatic spice with warm and bitter flavor. There are plethora of health benefits of cumin seeds. From helping in digestion to curing skin disorders, cumin works wonder on your body. Read on to discover the lesser-known health benefits of cumin seeds.
A Little About Cumin
Cumin belongs to family Apiaceae and is scientifically known as Cuminum cyminum. It is widely used as an aromatic spice for its warm and bitter flavor. Cumin seeds are generally available dried or ground to a brownish powder. They come in three color: amber, black, and white. The amber cumin seeds are the most popular and common. A cumin seed is brownish in color, has a striped pattern, and minute bristles that are hardly visible to our naked eye. Cumin seeds are mostly sought for its use in culinary practices and nutritional benefits. They not only provide strong aroma to your dish, but also add more value to your healthy diet.
Top 10 Interesting Facts About Cumin
- Cumin is the second most popular spice i the world after black pepper.
- In olden times, cumin was used to pay taxes and debts.
- In the Middle ages, it was believed that cumin kept chickens and lovers from running away.
- It was also believed that cumin ensures happy marriage if newlyweds carry cumin during the wedding ceremony.
- Cumin is the main ingredients for curry and chilli powders.
- Cumin is an annual plant and completes its life cycle in a year.
- India is the largest producer and greatest consumer of cumin in the world.
- Cumin water or jeera water or jal jeera is one of mostly consumed beverages in the southern parts of India.
- Cumin seed is also an ingredient of many types of French bread and one type of Dutch cheese called Leyden cheese.
- Essential oil extracted from cumin has numerous health benefits.
Nutritional Value of Cumin
Nutritional value per 100 grams of cumin is given below:
- Calories: 375
- Total Fat: 22 g
- Total Carbohydrate: 44 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
- Protein: 18 g
- Calcium: 931 mg
- Iron: 66.36 mg
- Magnesium: 931 mg
- Manganese: 3.333 mg
- Phosphorus: 499 mg
- Potassium:1788 mg
- Sodium: 168 mg
- Zinc: 4.8 mg
- Vitamin B-1: 0.628 mg
- Vitamin B-2: 0.327 mg
- Vitamin B-3: 4.579 mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.435 mg
- Vitamin C: 7.7 mg
- Vitamin E: 3.33 mg
Cumin is packed with essential vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, amino acids, dietary fiber, and reasonable amount of fats and fatty acids. Consuming cumin will help you meet your daily nutrient requirements.
Health Benefits of Cumin Seeds
Apart from its culinary uses, cumin seeds has medicinal properties that aid to proper functioning of our body.
Helps in Digestion
The unique aroma of cumin comes from an organic compound called Cuminaldehyde. It is the main components of cumin essential oil and solves digestive problems. Cuminaldehyde stimulates the salivary glands in our mouth and improves the primary digestion of food. Cumin also contains thymol which activates the secretion of gastric juices, bile, and enzymes required for complete digestion of food in the stomach and the intestines.
Cumin Benefits for Stomach
Cumin relieves gas troubles, stomachaches, and thus improves digestion and appetite. Furthermore, it prevents indigestion, flatulence, diarrhoea, nausea and morning sickness.
Promotes Weight Loss
When your digestion process is at its best, no extra fats will form in your body. Yes, intake of cumin helps you to lose weight. It influences the digestive enzymes to break down the complex food, thereby increasing the rate of metabolism. Cumin are also known to suppress appetite, relax stomach muscles and prevents hunger pangs.
Diabetes is one of the most common diseases. Cumin seeds have an anti-diabetic properties, it helps in lowering the blood sugar level. Consuming cumin seeds also showed a decrease in glucosuria, a condition where urine contains too much sugar or glucose. Therefore, cumin proves to be a powerful weapon against diabetes.
Cures Piles and Constipation
Piles are caused by constipation and can also lead to infection in the wound in the anal passage. Due to its high fiber content, carminative, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, cumin acts as a natural laxative. Cumin relieves the infections in the digestive and excretory tract. The oil extract of cumin is also a great stimulant and helps to cope with piles and constipation.
Cumin is not only a stimulant, but also an relaxant. Its components are hynotic in nature and has tranquilizing effects. A very rich amount of vitamin in cumin help to induce a sound sleep. It also helps in reducing stress and anxiety that mostly lead to insomnia.
Treats Respiratory Problems
One of the common respiratory problems is cold. Common cold is a viral infection which affects your immune system and weakens the body. The essential oils in cumin acts as a disinfectant that fight against the viral infections. Cumin also prevents the formation of cough in the respiratory tract, increases body temperature, and dries up all the excess mucous. Iron and considerable amount of vitamin C and A in cumin boosts immune system to combat any infections or diseases.
Treats Asthma and Bronchitis
Cumin seeds contain thymoquinone, caffeine and rich essential oil that act against the respiratory disorders like asthma and bronchitis. It loosens up the phlegm and mucus formed in the respiratory tract, and eliminates them by sneezing, coughing, or sneezing. As a result, it inhibits the formation of additional substances and gives you relief from these disorders.
Improves Menstrual Health
High iron content in cumin seeds make it beneficial for women undergoing menses, pregnant women, and even lactating mothers. Cumin influences a healthy menstrual cycle. It also contain thymol that increases secretions from our glands, hence it increases the secretion of milk in lactating women. Additionally, cumin seeds account the daily requirement of calcium that is an important constituent of the milk.
As stated above, cumin seeds are rich in iron that is required for haemoglobin formation in blood. The deficiency of this haemoglobin causes anemia. Adding cumin to the diet of anemic people thus prove to be beneficial. It also reduces the symptoms of anemia, such as fatigue, anxiety, and cognitive malfunctions.
Lowers Cognitive Disorders
Apart from increasing the formation of haemoglobin, iron in cumin also improves blood flow. Proper blood circulation facilitates adequate amount of oxygen to reach the organs and the brain. This leads to an increase in cognitive abilities and decrease in brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Cumin Benefits for Skin
- Cumin also contain vitamin E in abundance which is good for the maintenance of skin and prevents premature aging.
- It has antioxidant properties that acts against free radicals, formation of wrinkles, age spots and sagging skin.
- The essential oil of cumin have disinfectant and anti-fungal properties that protects your skin from infections.
- The components of cumin also act as detoxifying agent and prevents skin disorders, like boils, rashes, pimples which are formed due to accumulation of toxic substances.
- It is also known to treat burning sensation of the palms and the soles.
Cumin Benefits for Hair
- Cumin seeds are famous for its property to combat thinning of hair, hair fall or baldness.
- It is often used in aromatherapy and scalp treatments to get rid of dandruff.
- The oil extract of cumin improves hair growth and helps you to get long and shiny hair.
Can you believe that these small cumin seeds provide benefits way more larger than its size? The health benefits of cumin seeds are beyond comparison to its size. Make it a part of your healthy diet and make yourself free from diseases.