You might have seen cardamom in almost all major dishes that have been prepared at home. Not only is it used to cook, it is also a provider of many benefits. The health benefits of cardamom include controlling cholesterol, protecting the gastrointestinal system, controlling, relieving cardiovascular issues and improving blood circulation. It is also useful in treating some dental diseases and some urinary tract infections like gonorrhea, cystitis and nephritis. Furthermore, cardamom possesses some aphrodisiac properties, which may be used as treatments for erectile dysfunction, impotence and more. If you want to know more about cardamom, keep reading!
What is Cardamom?
Scientifically called Elettaria cardamom, the spice belongs to the Zingiberaceae family. Cardamom is actually a spice native to the countries of Bhutan, Indonesia, Nepal and India. The pods of cardamom are small, triangular and spindle-shaped. Also called the Queen of Spices, it is third most expensive spice in the world. Some believe that cardamom cultivation began in the humid and tropical climate of India.
Types of Cardamom
There are two different types of cardamom – the black and the green cardamom. Below are their definitive explanations:
Black cardamom. This type of cardamom is native to the Eastern Himalayas, mostly cultivated in the regions of Eastern Nepal, West Bengal and Sikkim. It has a slightly elongated shape and brown color.
– Its dark brown seeds are used for medical purposes because of its nutrients.
– You can use tit as an ingredient in garam masala.
– It is mainly used in savory dishes like biryani and curries.
Green cardamom. This variety is also called true cardamom, because it is the most common variety of cardamom.
– You can incorporate this into your tea or coffee.
– It can add flavor to both savory and sweet dishes.
– Because of its fragrance, you can use it as an addition to rich curries and dishes with milk.
Nutritional Facts of Cardamom
According to some institutions, 100 grams of cardamom contains:
- 300 kcal of energy
- 11 grams of protein
- 68 grams of carbohydrates
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 28 grams of dietary fiber.
Furthermore, it is also rich in many vitamins and micronutrients, including niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, vitamin A, thiamine, sodium, vitamin C, potassium, sodium, copper, calcium, manganese, iron, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium.
Health Benefits of Cardamom
Here are some of the best health benefits of cardamom:
Improves blood circulation. The vitamin C content of the spice is a powerful antioxidant, beneficial in improving blood circulation.
Improves complexion. This is one of the most surprising health benefits of cardamom. The essential oil from the spice is beneficial in getting rid of blemishes on the skin, giving you much fairer skin.
Enhances the appetite. Cardamom oil is beneficial in stimulating the appetite. Furthermore, it also helps treat histoplasmosis, or a lack of appetite.
Improves oral health. The antimicrobial properties of cardamom help enhance oral health. Furthermore, the spice is also beneficial in protecting against pathogens.
Helps treat diabetes. The spice is rich in manganese, making it beneficial in reducing the risk of diabetes.
Gets rid of asthma. Cardamom has an effect in getting rid of the symptoms of asthma, such as coughing and wheezing. Moreover, the spice also helps make breathing easier.
Help fight depression. The spice helps people cope with anxiety, stress and depression.
Improves sexual health. The spice is, as they say, an aphrodisiac – it is rich in cineole, which stimulates and fuels passion.
Help reduce cancer. Studies show that the spice is beneficial in preventing, delaying and reversing the formation of cancer.
Improves heart health. The antioxidant properties of the spice are beneficial in promoting heart health. Furthermore, it also contains fiber, which helps lower cholesterol and enhance heart health.
Improves digestion. Cardamom isn’t just for flavoring; the spice also helps enhance digestion. Furthermore, it stimulates the metabolism because of its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Side Effects of Cardamom
Even though there are a lot of health benefits of cardamom, there are still underlying side effects. While the spice is likely to be safe for most of people who eat it, the possible side effects of cardamom are yet unknown.
There are various warnings and precautions about eating cardamom if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consultation to your doctor is still the best way forward. Furthermore, if you’re not pregnant or breastfeeding, you should still consider having the consultation to find out if you are allergic to it.