Have you tried Cardamom? You may have (probably unknowingly) tasted this aromatic spice many times before. It is known as “The Queen of Spices” because of its numerous culinary and medicinal uses. Let’s take a deeper look at one of the most interesting spices in the world.
What Is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a ginger-like pod spice that is often used in Indian cooking. Cardamom is one of Guatemala’s most popular spices, despite its origins in southern India.
Whole pods, shelled whole seeds, and powdered powder are all popular forms of this spice. Its complex flavor profile works well in sweet and savory applications, and it has a long list of health benefits (more on that below).
How Is Cardamom Used?
Cardamom is used in a variety of Indian and Indian-inspired dishes, including curries, Kheer, and chai. Cardamom is used in Indian spice blends like garam masala.
Cardamom also imparts richness and warmth to baked items such as biscuits, pudding, and even cheesecake. Cardamom found its way to Scandinavia at some point, where it is now extensively used in baked products such as Finnish Pulla and Julekaka (Norwegian Christmas cake).
What Are The Health Benefits Of Cardamom?
For centuries, cardamom has been utilized as a spice and a medicine, and research demonstrates that it provides many health benefits.
A 2009 study revealed that cardamom’s strong antioxidant content may help reduce blood pressure. This may be explained by a 2007 study that showed cardamom is a natural diuretic – a characteristic of many blood pressure drugs.
For decades, cardamom has been used as a natural breath refresher. A recent study discovered that it is efficient at suppressing bacteria that might cause gum diseases or infections.
Cardamom extract may also help to lower high levels of liver enzymes, triglycerides, and cholesterol. It may also help to keep our livers healthy and reduce the chance of developing fatty liver disease.
What Makes Cardamom An Anti-cancer Food?
Cardamom is high in natural phytochemicals, which may help fight diseases like cancer. Although it cannot replace cancer treatment, some research suggests that this spice may have anti-cancer properties.
For instance, one study discovered that 15 days of cardamom supplementation reduced the weight and size of mice’s skin tumors.
The results of research on cardamom and human cancer cells have been shown to be similar. One study found that a compound in this spice reduced the growth of oral cancerous cells in test tubes.
Although these results are encouraging, these investigations have only been carried out on mice and in test tubes so far. Prior to making stronger claims, additional human studies are needed.