Cardamom is a common spice used insweet and savory foods. It is also referred to as cardamon or cardamom. It has a sweet flavor that is easily be mistaken for that of mint.However, what are the nutritional benefits of cardamom? Read on to learn more.
Cardamom originated from India and is a spice made from seeds of different plants in the family Zingiberaceae. It can also be used in perfumes, creams, and soaps. Cardamon has medicinal properties that see it used in the treatment of various diseases. It has been used for this purpose over a long period. That said, read on to understand the health benefits of using cardamon and itspossibleside effects.
Health Benefits of Cardamom
It Is Used to Treat Ulcers
This spice has been used over a long period to treat various stomach issues such as nausea, stomach pains, bloating, and vomiting. Traditional medicine men mixed it with other spices to treat chronic stomach pains. Study shows that use of this spice can prevent you from developing stomach ulcers.
Different studies have also shown that cardamon is more effective in treating ulcers than most common anti-ulcer medication. Using this spice can also protect against attacks by helicobacter pylori, a common bacterium that causes ulcers.
Help Treat High Blood Pressure
This spice contains antioxidants that may aid in lowering blood pressure. Increasing antioxidants in the body can assist in lowering blood pressure. It also has a diuretic effect that may help to fight pressure too. Taking cardamon increases urination hence eliminating extra salts and water from the body. Studies showed that patients with high blood pressure showed improvement after taking cardamon powder for 3 months.
It Improves Dental Health
Cardamom has been used to treat bad breath over a long period. Traditionally, some people would chew whole cardamom seeds to freshen their breath. Currently, manufacturers of mouth wash and chewing gums uses this spice to enhance its ability to freshen breath. However, the antibacterial effects of cardamon may also contribute to the freshening of breath as it kills bacteria in the moth.
It Helps Fight Cancer
Some compounds in this spice can help kill cancer cells and prevent the growth of cancer tumors. A study conducted on mice showed that eating cardamon decreases the survival of cancer cells. Cardamon might have the same effects on cancer cells in humans. However, there is a need for more research to support this finding.
It Helps to Treat and Prevent Inflammation
Chronic inflammation might lead to serious illness due to the destruction of body cells. The liver is prone to such inflammation due to attacks by bacteria which may cause inefficiency in its functions. However, cardamom is rich in antioxidants that can protect body cells from such inflammation. A study conducted in rats showed a decrease in inflammation after taking cardamon spice for four months. But more research is needed to show the effects of cardamom in fighting inflammation in humans.
It May Help to Reduce Blood Sugar
The antioxidants in cardamom can help reduce blood sugar levels. Cardamon may also regulate insulin and glucose in the body by inhibiting body enzymes hence reducing the digestion of starch that causes a rise in blood sugar. It is also rich in fiber which may decrease the absorption of sugars into the body.
May Treat Respiratory Diseases
Inhaling cardamon oil may improve oxygen intake during exercise and improve the circulation of blood in the body. The spice can also treat nasal blockage.
Helps in Weight Reduction
Cardamon can help improve metabolic activities. It improves the breakdown of carbohydrates to produce energy in the body. It also prevents the accumulation of bad cholesterol in the body.
It Is Used to Treat Urinary Problems
One major problem that faces the urinary system is urinary tract infections. These infections may spread to some organs, such as kidneys, if not treated on time. However, cardamon has antibacterial properties, and taking it often can reduce the re-occurrence of urinary tract infections. It is also believed that it can treat sexually transmitted infections such as gonorrhea. However, more research is required to support this finding.
Used to Treat Sore Throat
Gargling using warm water in which cardamon has been added can help relieve painful sore throat. It has proved to work better than some medications given to treat sore throat. Antioxidants found in cardamom are responsible for this effect as they possess anti-inflammatory properties.
Taking cardamom increases the antioxidants in your blood. An increase in these antioxidants is linked to reducing anxiety, stress, and other mood disorders.
Improves Sexual Performance
Besides using honey and milk, cardamon can solve men’s sexual dysfunction, such as premature ejaculation and impotence.
Used as A Detox
Adding cardamom to drinking water can help to detoxify your body. Those who use it for this purpose have reported achieving good results.
Helps in RelievingPeriod Cramps
Cardamom is used by women who experience serious period cramps to relieve pain.
Side Effects of Cardamon
- To benefit more from this spice, you must use it sparingly. Excessive use of it may be harmful to your body andcause effects such as diarrhea and inflammation.
- Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not take cardamom without consultation from a health provider.
- Those who use cardamom supplements should seek professional advice on the amount to take to avoid overdosing. Moreover, these supplements may not be suitable for children.
Cardamom is commonly used to spice different foods, and itsrichness in nutrients and compounds such as antioxidants has several health benefits. For example, it has been used to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, dental problems, respiratory diseases, urinary infections, sore throat, and anxiety. Onecan also use cardamomto treat inflammation and reduce weight. However, excess use of this spice is dangerous as it may cause serious diarrhea and inflammation. Lactating and pregnant mothers should seek professional advice before taking cardamom supplements.