10 Health Benefits of Cumin
If you love Latin American, Indian, and other Asian cuisines, you probably love cumin, an earthy, nutty, spicy spice in the Apiaceae family. Cumin is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can pack a powerful health punch. Here are ten ways that cumin can benefit your health.
- Aids digestion. Just the very aroma of cumin activates your salivary glands, and this spurs your digestion system into action. Cumin contains thymol, which stimulates the secretion of bile, enzymes, and acids that do the digesting in your stomach and intestines. It also relieves you of gas troubles.
- Fights viruses. Cumin contains essential oils that are naturally antibacterial and antiseptic and help fight viral infections like the common cold. It also suppresses coughing by drying up excess mucus in the respiratory system. And since it's rich in vitamin C, cumin helps bolster your immune system to reduce recovery time from illness.
- Helps increase lactation. Although scientific studies on the matter are scare, there's a lot of word-of-mouth evidence that cumin seeds can help increase lactation, a long-held traditional use for these aromatic seeds. The thymol in cumin promotes the production of secretions from our glands, including the mammary glands.
- Helps fight anemia. Cumin is extremely iron-rich and can play a role in reducing the risk of anemia. A tablespoon of cumin has a whopping six milligrams of iron, which is 75 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and a third of the recommended daily intake for women.
- Improves cognitive function. Regular doses of cumin in your diet helps increase the production of hemoglobin and improve blood flow. It promotes optimal brain performance, including bulking up your learning and memory powers. Some studies show it may help protect against dementia.
- Boosts immunity. Because of its abundance of iron, vitamin C, and vitamin A, cumin boosts the immune system by stimulating the activity of white blood cells and fighting the effects of free radicals. This helps prevent against infections, viruses, and diseases like heart disease and cancer.
- Helps prevent cancer. Cumin has detoxifying properties, and it promotes the secretion of anti-carcinogenic enzymes and other cancer-fighting agents. Its powerful antioxidant punch helps reverse damage done to the cells by environmental toxins, and these, too, have cancer-fighting powers.
- Prevents boils. Boils are skin abscesses filled with pus. These tender, swollen bumps can be painful, and they may spontaneously drain or ooze. People who consume a lot of cumin are less likely to develop boils, as well as rashes, pimples, and other skin problems. That's because cumin contains thymol, cuminaldehyde, and phosphorous, which are all excellent detoxifying agents that help remove toxins from the body.
- Better skin. Cumin is abundant in vitamin E, which helps prevent the premature aging of the skin to keep it looking young. Additionally, the essential oils in cumin have anti-fungal and disinfectant properties, which helps prevent skin infections.
- Eases respiratory problems. The caffeine cumin contains, along with the essential oils that have disinfecting properties, make cumin an anti-congestive that can relieve respiratory distress from colds, asthma, and bronchitis. Cumin acts as an expectorant, which means that it can help loosen up the mucus in the respiratory system to make it easier to cough it out.
Cumin is delicious, but it's also really good for you. So, don't be shy — spice up your home cooking with this aromatic spice, and you may find better health as a result.