Indian cuisine is colourful, flavourful, and the spices are not only tasty but they also come with health benefits that have been well chronicled since ancient times. One such spice among many others is Cardamom. Traditionally, Cardamom was considered as a herb and was one of the main ingredients in Ayurveda. Cardamom was believed to be a cure for mouth infections, throat problems, congestion of the chest, gastrointestinal disorders and was also used as an antidote for poison and venom.
Today, cardamom ranks among the most expensive spices in the world. Renowned for its aroma and flavour, Cardamom is used in numerous recipes from spicy dishes to desserts and beverages. With the number of options steadily growing, more and more people consider supplementing cardamom into their diet for overall health.
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Nutritional Value of Cardamom
100 grams of cardamom contains:
- Protein: 11 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
- Carbs: 68 g
- Total Fat: 7 g
- Calorific Value: 311 kcal
Cardamom is a type of spice made from the seed pods of plants in the ginger family. Cardamom pods are spindle-shaped with a triangular cross-section. These pods contain a number of seeds, but the entire cardamom pod can be used whole and discarded or ground to powder. The seeds are black and small, while the pods vary in colour and size by its species.
8 Health Benefits of Cardamom
Cardamom like most spices comes packed with tons of nutrients to nourish your body. Medicinal healers have been using Cardamom as a popular medicinal plant for over 5,000 years. Cardamom comes in three different varieties, but green Cardamom is by far the most popular for both culinary and medicinal use. It contains high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and other micronutrients. These minerals and vitamins work together to give cardamom plenty of health benefits. We will be discussing a few in the below-given section:
1. Reduces High Blood Pressure
Cardamom is known to regulate high blood pressure with daily intake due to its diuretic effect. Rich in antioxidants, it helps detoxify the blood and expel water collected around important organs by promoting frequent urination.
2. Corrects Digestive Ailments
Indians use Cardamom in almost every dish because it aids in proper digestion. The medicinal properties of cardamom can help clear stomach ulcers, acid reflux and other gastrointestinal problems.
3. Fights Bad Bacteria
Since Cardamom is rich in antioxidants and other bacteria-fighting properties, your oral health will be great if you consume it regularly. Cardamom kills the unhealthy bacteria present on the palate and tongue, thus fighting bad breath.
4. Relaxes You
Cardamom has a relaxing effect on people due to their antioxidants. It also fights the build-up of cortisol in your body, thus reducing stress and promoting easy breathing. Sniffing cardamom essential oil or chewing a piece of it helps to beat stress as it is refreshing.
5. Post-Surgery Recovery
The hours after surgery are filled with disorientation and dizziness. Cardamom and its essential oils combined with ginger, lemon and lavender help to clear your head, beat nausea and feel relaxed while you are awake.
6. Soothes and Reduces Inflammation
Cardamom also clears the sinuses for easier breathing. In case you have a form of respiratory inflammation, Cardamom may help clear any infection, bacteria or swelling with its antioxidants.
7. Relieves Respiratory Ailments
Asthma and wheezing can be reduced by using Cardamom in addition to regular medicine. It helps to clear the nasal passage and chest of phlegm to promote easier breathing. It also improves your oxygen intake by helping your lungs to relax in order to breathe long and deep.
8. Cardamom Benefits on The Skin And Hair
Clear Skin – Acne-prone skin will find Cardamom of use since it controls the flow of sebum and clears out all clogged pores.
Softer Lips – Chapped lips are no more concerned due to the antioxidants present in Cardamom.
2 Healthy ways to add cardamom to your diet
There are multiple healthy cardamom recipes that are not just delicious, but come loaded with other nutritious ingredients. Let’s find the different ways to use Cardamom to spice up your cooking.
#1 Banana Cardamom smoothie
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 pitted dates
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 1/4 cup Almond milk
- 1 pinch salt
- Add the frozen banana, Greek yogurt, dates, ginger, milk, cardamom, and salt to a blender.
- Puree on high until completely smooth, pour into glasses and serve chilled.
#2 Cardamom Rice Pulav
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Seeds from 7 cardamom pod, bruised
- 1 cup Basmati brown rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- Put a medium saucepan over low heat and pour in the oil.
- Add the onion to the hot oil; add cardamom seeds and continue to cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent.
- Increase the heat to medium and add in the rice. Cook and stir until it is warmed through.
- Increase the heat, pour in the broth, stir, and bring to a boil.
- Toss in the lemon zest, season with salt and pepper, and stir well.
- Decrease heat, cover, and cook the rice until it is tender and has absorbed all (or almost all) of the liquid, 10-15 minutes, depending on the rice you’ve used.
- Remove the pan from heat and let the rice sit for 2 minutes before fluffing it with a fork and serve hot.
Used in the preparation of food, tea, and dessert, Cardamom is integrated in such a way that everybody can reap its long-term health benefits. Cardamom may seem like a humble spice but it is a powerful medicine that can be used to live a disease-free life. So what are you waiting for? Add that extra dash of flavor in your mundane foods to get a load of health benefits along with its lovely flavor and aroma.