There’s no denying cardamom’s aromatic appeal. Cardamom is a spice that is both a culinary treat and a health benefit due to its vast range of benefits, which include its ability to lower blood pressure and act as an antioxidant. Its earliest lands are in the verdant regions of Asia, encompassing parts of Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Indonesia (1).
This perennial herb packs more flavor than just a punch. It is a member of the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes the well-known ginger (1). Cardamom seeds are a staple in many Asian dishes, whether they are used to make spicy curries or fragrant coffee.
However, this spice isn’t just about taste. For millennia, different parts of the cardamom plant, encompassing its seeds, leaves, bark, roots, and even flowers, have been revered for their potential health advantages. Let’s delve into its nutritional benefits first.
Cardamom adds amazing flavor to foods as well as certain beverages without adding any extra calories. Cardamoms (100) with only 311 kcal caloric value, come with a lot of nutrients including (2),
Calcium: 619⋅71 mg
Potassium: 873⋅30 mg
Magnesium: 266⋅60 mg
Sodium: 316⋅79 mg
Phosphorous: 84⋅83 mg
Sulfur: 130⋅54 mg
Cardamom, the ‘queen of spices’, not just tantalizes your buds. When you think of spices, it’s mostly about adding zest to a meal. But adding cardamom to a dish does more than just elevate your dishes taste-wise. Vitamin C, magnesium, riboflavin, niacin, and potassium are the most important nutrients in cardamom, making it ideal for boosting health. Cardamom’s intricate aroma and taste make it a staple in many kitchens. But its nutritional profile ensures it has a rightful place in our diets.
Dr. Allen Conrad, Doctor of Chiropractic and Owner of Montgomery County Chiropractic Center, says, “Cardamom can be used in several dishes to enhance the nutritional value of the food. Despite its great nutritional value, not everyone can consume it. For example, someone who suffers from low blood pressure or who takes blood pressure medication may not be able to take cardamom. So, one must discuss this with whoever is eating the food, before adding cardamom.”
10 Benefits of Cardamom That Match Its Incredible Flavour Profile
Popular for its enchanting aroma and taste, cardamom also packs a punch when it comes to health advantages. Originating from Eastern traditions, this spice has gradually found its way into global cuisines and health regimens. Beyond its culinary allure, the cardamom health benefits are manifold, making it a favored choice for those in the know. Dive in to explore the top 10 cardamom spice benefits.
Rich in antioxidants: Cardamom is a treasure trove of antioxidants. These powerful compounds shield our bodies from damage by free radicals, potentially fending off numerous chronic ailments such as hypertension (3).
Offers potent anti-inflammatory benefits: Research suggests that the bioactive compounds in cardamom offer anti-inflammatory effects (4). This makes it a natural remedy to combat inflammation-related issues.
May regulate blood pressure: People with hypertension might find relief with cardamom (5). Its diuretic properties promote urination, helping eliminate excess water and potentially aiding in blood pressure regulation.
May help in fighting cancer: The unique compounds within cardamom have demonstrated an ability to counteract cancer cells (6). While these findings are still in their infancy, they hold promise for future therapeutic applications.
May prevent chronic illness: Cardamom’s anti-inflammatory nature suggests it might serve as a protective barrier against chronic illnesses linked to prolonged inflammation (4).
May enhance digestion: Cardamom has been celebrated as a digestive aid for generations. Whether it’s soothing an upset stomach or potentially healing ulcers, its medicinal qualities make it a favorite natural remedy (7).
May boost oral health: Bad breath or potential cavities can be a great issue. Cardamom, with its antibacterial qualities, steps in as a savior (8). Its pleasant taste is why many cultures munch on it post-meals to ensure mouth freshness. Also, Cinole, a major antiseptic element in cardamom oil, helps in killing bacteria responsible for bad breath (8).
May control metabolic syndrome: Preliminary research hints at cardamom’s ability to tackle metabolic syndrome markers (9). It might play a role in moderating cholesterol and blood sugar levels (9).
May treat various ailments: Historically, cardamom’s healing touch has been sought for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and even psoriasis (1). It’s important to understand, however, that comprehensive scientific validation in these areas is still warranted.
Protector of the liver: Cardamom’s protective benefits for the liver even under conditions of high-fat and carb diets. The research is based on animal studies at this point but shows promise for similar positive effects in humans (10).
While cardamom stands out for its potential health benefits, it’s always wise to approach supplements with caution. Seek advice from a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes. Relish cardamom for both its delightful flavor and its potential to boost well-being, but always prioritize safe health choices.
Healthy Ways to Add Cardamom (Elaichi) to Your Diet
Considering all the benefits cardamom offers, integrating this aromatic spice into your daily diet can uplift your culinary experiences and overall health.
- The popular masala chai: One of the primary benefits of cardamom tea is that it enhances your regular tea. Whether it’s a creamy milk tea, an earthy green tea, or a robust black tea, a hint of cardamom can instantly elevate its flavor.
Sharing a word of caution, Dr. Allen Conrad says, “Cardamom may be healthy for some, and dangerous for others. If you have low blood pressure, it may lower your current pressure to an unsafe level. Discuss with your doctor before taking cardamom tea if you have a family history of blood pressure problems.”
- Add it to your desserts: Several lip-smacking desserts feature cardamom as their star ingredient. From Phirni to Malai cakes, cardamom imparts a unique, aromatic twist that tantalizes the taste buds.
- Pop it as a mouth freshener: Ditch the synthetic mouth fresheners! Eating cardamom pods can naturally refresh your breath and serve as a delightful, healthy palate cleanser.
- Add it to your drink: Whether you’re sipping on a summery thandai or warming up with turmeric milk, a sprinkle of cardamom can make all the difference.
- Add seasoning for hot savory dishes: If direct cardamom consumption isn’t up your alley, seamlessly incorporate it into your meals by blending it with other spices in your garam masala mix. Garam masala is a mix of spices from India and nearby countries. Different places have their mix, but they often have cardamom, cinnamon, and cumin. People use it in many dishes like sauces and curries.
Incorporating cardamom into your daily regimen pleases your palate along with the benefits of elaichi. Embrace this versatile spice, and relish the aromatic journey it takes you on.
As we savor the aromatic depths and unique flavors of cardamom in our meals, it’s heartening to realize the profound health virtues it carries. The benefits of cardamom stretch far beyond our kitchens, impacting our wellness and enriching our health journey. As we continue to embrace this age-old spice, let’s cherish its dual gift of taste and health, making our culinary adventures both delightful and beneficial.