In Indian cuisine, jeera seeds are either used whole or in the form of a powder. There are two varieties of cumin commonly used for cooking - cuminum cyminum or jeera and cuminum nigrum or Shahi jeera. Jeera has long been used as a spice to add flavour to food due to the fragrant aroma from its essential oil content. But jeera possesses a number of health benefits too, and as a result, it is a commonly used ingredient in traditional medicine.
The Importance of Jeera
Jeera seeds have an excellent nutritional profile and are rich in fat, fibre, protein, minerals like iron, and vitamins B and E. Shahi jeera seeds contain a host of important minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and phosphorus along with vitamin A.
The regular incorporation of jeera in the diet has been shown to stimulate the release of bile acid and digestive enzymes, thereby, aiding digestion.It also increases the activity of digestive proteins. What’s more, cumin oils have been shown to have an inhibitory effect on microbial growth in foods.As cumin is very dense in iron, one teaspoon of cumin can provide almost 20% of your daily iron requirements. It may also boost memory. Cumin's traditional use as a seasoning may restrict the growth of infectious bacteria and fungi. This may reduce food-borne illnesses
Jeera has also been shown to have anti-diabetic properties. A study demonstrated a reduction in fasting blood sugar with the administration of cumin for 24 weeks in people with non-insulin dependent diabetes. Cuminum cyminum is rich in antioxidants. Cumin seeds in particular, contain antioxidants like flavonoids and coumarins which help prevent degenerative diseases.
Easy Ways to Incorporate Jeera into Your Diet
The most common way to incorporate jeera in your diet is through curries and marinades. Jeera is often roasted, sautéed and used as an ingredient in masalas for many Indian dishes. There are other simple ways to incorporate this nutritious and beneficial food into your diet. You could try making a chaas with a bit of yogurt, water, salt and jeera powder. You could also prepare a spiced dip that can be enjoyed with pakodas or other snacks. To make this, crush a few garlic cloves, roast a bit of jeera powder and whole jeera, add these to beaten yogurt with a sprinkle of salt and voila!
Jal-jeera is a healthy, cooling drink that is great for those hot summer days. Take ¼ cup chopped mint leaves, ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves, 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp chopped ginger, 1 tbsp roasted jeera powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp rock salt and 1 tsp tamarind pulp. Blend these ingredients together with a little water, if required to make a smooth paste. Add a bit of water and blend again. Strain this mixture into a jug and add enough water to make 4 glasses of jal-jeera. Serve on ice, topped with mint leaves.
Whatever you’re whipping up, the ingredients you choose make all the difference to your nutrition. Be sure to choose pure, unadulterated foods. Try Tata Sampann Jeera Powder and make the most of all the natural goodness this spice has to offer. Stay healthy!
- Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) and black cumin (Nigella sativa) seeds: traditional uses, chemical constituents, and nutraceutical effects [Oxford Academic]
- Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae) [NCBI]
- Antioxidant Activity and Protecting Health Effects of Common Medicinal Plants [Science Direct]
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