When walking down the spice department of your favorite grocery store, you might have noticed a particular one called cumin. If you don’t have it in your kitchen already, cumin makes a great addition, even if you have it just for the taste. Cumin does have a very distinct taste and smell that a lot of people enjoy, especially when it comes to soups and chilis. No matter what you are adding cumin to, cumin can be very beneficial for your health.
The cumin seeds themselves are packed with nutrients, though you don’t see people walking around and eating them like you would sunflower seeds. If you’re looking to add an “earthier” taste to your food, you should be eating more cumin, which can even be done on a daily basis. Let’s get a closer look at the nutritional breakdown of this fantastic spice, and the proven health benefits that you’ll be getting from each serving.
Nutrition of Cumin
While you might not be consuming a lot of cumin on its own without mixing it with other foods, you can easily add one tablespoon into your regular diet. That serving brings with it around just 20 calories while throwing in a little bit of fiber and protein. Out of the key nutrients that your body needs, iron is the most abundant found in cumin, with around one quarter of your daily recommended value. Manganese is also important, and checks in at about 10 percent of your recommended value.
You won’t be finding any cholesterol in cumin, and there’s very little fat. The other nutrients aren’t quite as abundant, but you will be finding vitamins such as vitamin A, thiamin and vitamin C in smaller amounts. In the mineral department, cumin is a decent source of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and zinc. Lastly, there are four grams of phytosterols, which have their benefits.
While your outer appearance might not be the most essential part of your overall health, we still want to look our best. Cumin is fantastic for your body’s exterior, as it is packed with antioxidants and the vitamins your skin needs. For those that get boils or other blemishes such as acne, cumin will help to eliminate those problems. That’s because cumin contains thymol and cuminaldehyde, which exfoliates your skin.
The vitamins also give your a skin a natural glow, making you look younger and more vibrant. Mixing in a little bit of cumin with vinegar and applying it to your trouble spots should do the trick. For those that worry about their hair, you can mix in a little bit of cumin into a scalp treatment to get rid of dead skin that causes dandruff and stunts hair growth.
Another huge benefit that you’ll see from adding cumin to your diet comes from your digestive system. Even before getting to your digestive tract, cumin has a benefits because it stimulates the saliva production, making digestion that much easier. Cumin in your body also releases more acid and bile that allows your body to fully break down food before finishing the digestion process, clearing up a lot of problems such as constipation.
There is even a benefit if you are one of the many people that suffers from hemorrhoids because of the increased efficiency in digestion. It’s not a subject that many people like to talk about, but it’s a common problem to have. Lastly, there might not be much fiber in cumin, but every little bit will help your digestive system that much more.
Trying to control your blood sugar can be difficult in a world where there are so many processed foods that seem to be packed with sugar. Eating more natural foods that don’t contain much sugar is essential, and cumin can add some kick to your diet. Studies have shown cumin to have an effect that can lower your overall blood sugar, without many of the crashes that you would typically see in certain foods.
This makes it much easier to manage your blood sugar while not having to rely on certain types of medication. Glucosuria is what happens when your blood contains too much glucose, which is something that cumin can help prevent. Whether you have diabetes already or looking to avoid getting it, make sure to include more cumin in your diet.
These days, we are more aware than ever of the aspects of mental health and how our diet can affect the issue. Adding some cumin to your diet can help with a range of issues, starting with insomnia. Cumin’s ability to improve your digestive system while also carrying the necessary vitamins needed for healthier sleep can help those that struggle to fall (or stay) asleep at night.
While you’ll feel better throughout the day because of more restful sleep, cumin has properties that can make your mood better anyway. You’ll reduce your stress and anxiety by adding cumin, and it will even help your brain function more properly. It circles back to the high iron content in cumin, which increases blood flow and makes you far less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, dementia and other neurological diseases.
Other diseases outside of the brain can also be prevented with an increased amount of cumin. Vitamins in cumin (especially vitamin C) play a huge role in boosting your immune system and creation of white blood cells. This also translates into preventing some more serious diseases down the road, including cancer. The vitamins and antioxidants in cumin have the ability to fight off free radicals that can inhibit cancer cell growth in many different parts of the body, especially in the colon.
Summing it Up
With all of these great health benefits that you can get from cumin, you might be wondering if there are any negatives. While there isn’t anything really dangerous for the average person, there are just a couple of things that you need to be aware of. Women that are nursing or pregnant should play it safe and not eat cumin, as there hasn’t been enough research as to the effects it might have.
If you are hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) you might want to lower your intake since cumin has been shown to lower your blood sugar levels. That also means you should avoid cumin for a period of time after any surgical procedure. Lastly, you don’t want to overdo it cumin and eat multiple tablespoons per day, as it could cause blood clotting in severe cases. Thankfully, all of these side effects are very rare, and most people won’t see any problems. With that said, feel free to add cumin to your favorite foods, where you can enjoy both the taste and the terrific health benefits!