Cumin is a well-known spice in many cultures and it has been used in the preparation of many dishes for a long time among other uses. While many people have enjoyed the dishes flavoured by this awesome spice, most of them do not know that the seeds have an array of many health benefits. Many use it to make their dishes tastier without knowing their bodies are going to greatly benefit from the ingredient as well.
Cumin is a seed and a spice that has been used by mankind for ages. The seed is believed to have originated in India but due to its great flavour in food and medicinal properties, its popularity has spun in many cultures around the world. These days, cumin is grown in China, Chile, North America, Mexico and India. To know more about cumin seeds, its uses and health benefits, read on.
Uses of cumin seeds
Cumin has been used in a variety of ways traditionally. For instance, during the middle ages in Europe, cumin was known as a symbol of love. In fact, people would carry the seeds as a gift in wedding ceremonies. In Egypt, cumin was among the ingredients which were used to mummify the pharaohs. In ancient Rome, cumin was a symbol of greed and frugality. Cumin paste, which was made with pepper, honey and ground cumin was thought to have aphrodisiac properties across several Arabic cultures.
Away from the traditional use of cumin, this special seed has several uses currently from culinary, medicinal and even cosmetic worlds. However, in most cases, cumin is used in cooking whereby either cumin seeds or ground cumin is used. If your recipe calls for cumin seeds, be sure to include it early to give the seeds enough time to release their essence. You can also add them in hot oil or broth for the flavour and aroma to dispense in the meal. Ground cumin can be used in a marinade or a seasoning in various dishes.
Cumin can also be used in form of oil. The oil, which is usually made by pressing the seeds, has many uses in the world of cosmetics and health as well. Meaning, if you don’t want to use cumin seeds or grounded cumin in your food, you can use the oil either in your food or other cosmetic uses and still get its benefits.
Health benefits of cumin seeds
In the modern world, cumin has earned itself a top position in matters of health and wellness due to its amazing health benefits. Below are some of those benefits.
1. Helps indigestion
A certain compound in the cumin seeds is believed to help in relieving flatulence and bloating in humans. When the compound aids in the production of more saliva by the salivary glands, this helps to treat indigestion. If you are having indigestion problems, a stomachache or other stomach related issues, you can take the seeds with hot water for quick relief.
2. Prevents diabetes
Although human studies are ongoing, the research done on animals on the effect of cumin seeds have shown a significant reduction in the chance of getting diabetes. If you go by this research, cumin is a potent ingredient you need to include in your daily diet for effective results. This will help to balance and stabilize your blood sugar. It can also help manage diabetic symptoms and complications.
3. Can help a cancer patient
Some studies have shown that cumin seeds may have what it takes to destroy cancerous cells since the seeds help the body to release more anti-carcinogenic enzymes. The seeds have detoxifying properties that can assist the body to get rid of any harmful toxins and substances faster. Hence, it’s important to use them whether you are already dealing with any form of cancer or you just want to prevent yourself. Plus since the vitamins in the seeds will help strengthen your body from within, you will have the energy to fight cancer.
4. May help in weight loss
Use of cumin by people who want to reduce weight have become quite popular. With a few clinical studies showing that cumin supplements can help promote weight loss, it’s worth giving it a try even though there are many strategies someone can use to lose weight. Considering some methods such as intermit fasting are not so much sustainable, incorporating cumin in your diet may be what you need to shed off those extra pounds.
5. Improves sleep
The calming properties in cumin seeds may be what your body is yearning to get a goodnight’s sleep. Therefore, if you are suffering from insomnia, don’t just struggle with the condition without looking for a solution. Turning and tossing in bed throughout the night or the better part of the night is not funny. You need to get enough sleep if you are going to be productive the next day. If falling asleep for you is a nightmare, consider using cumin seeds. Boil the seeds and allow the water to cool down before consuming it. The solution will help calm the nerves and induce sleep right away. You can also make tea with seeds. The soothing aroma in the cumin tea will make you fall asleep much faster.
6. Help reduce stress
Every human being is affected by stress at some point in their lives. Little stress once in a while is not a problem. It’s a way of your mind telling you to need to look for a solution for a certain issue. However, if you are always stressed, the condition can make you sad and lead to other health complications. That’s why it’s important to avoid being stressed for a long time. The same calming effect found in cumin that helps in improving sleep can help reduce stress. Furthermore, cumin reduces iron deficiency which is usually associated with poor memory. Thus, the use of cumin can help in cognitive disorders too.
7. Boosts the immune system
The cumin seed oil contains antioxidants and other beneficial compounds which can boost your immune system and a good number of clinical studies agree to this effect. People with autoimmune disorders may greatly benefit from using cumin.
The bottom line
If you have been ignoring this super amazing seed, its time you make good use of it so as to enjoy all the benefits associated with it. After buying it from your local spice store, make sure you keep it in a tightly sealed container to maintain its quality and freshness. If you are not using the seeds regularly, you can keep them in the freezer to maintain their flavour although they are still safe in the pantry for up to about 3 years. Store ground cumin in a cool, dry and dark place and can last for up to 6 months.