Cumin or cuminum cyminum or jeera or zeera has a very individualistic fragrant flavor profile, which is somewhat peppery and citrusy. An integral spice of India, Mexico and the Middle East, jeera is employed liberally in all our dishes and recipes, and proffers a very distinctive flavor complexity and a whole host of terrific health benefits. The jeera is equally at home in Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern cuisine and lends the recipes bags of zesty flavor! Interestingly, you most certainly will have a jar of whole cumin seeds or powdered jeera sitting in your pantry right now! Let’s discover its extraordinary health benefits.
Jeera has been cultivated in India for over thousands of years and has always played a significant role in food as well as medicine. In recent times, it has become really popular for its diverse medicinal uses.
The super impressive cumin!
The cumin seed varies in color – it can be white, green, and brown, depending on where it is grown. Offering a strong peppery, earthy and citrusy flavor along with a warm aroma, the jeera is a hugely versatile spice.
Black cumin is in principle another plant family - Nigella sativa. The black cumin has a rather stronger peppery taste compared to the regular cumin. Black cumin benefits are mighty impressive as well and a wee bit similar to jeera’s. The black cumin is very vital in traditional folk medicine and is a valued herbal remedy for a host of disorders and ailments. Let’s tear in to the nutrition profile and the profound health advantages.
The robust nutrient powerhouse!
Cumin and black cumin, both are loaded with iron, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. They also provide some amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Significantly, the cumin contains powerful antioxidants which are free radical scavengers and free radical destroyers and help decrease inflammation and damage in the body.
Cumin health benefits
According to Ayurveda, jeera is nature’s finest tonic. The seed is particularly known for its anti-septic, anti-microbial, stimulant and digestive properties.
The cumin is a remarkable gut-friendly spice; it peps up digestion, encourages pancreatic enzyme secretion and ensures that your gastro-intestinal tract is in excellent condition. The seeds have traditionally been prized for their colossal benefit to the GI system; and scientific research and clinical trials have substantiated jeera’s longstanding repute.
Jeera’s health benefits are attributed to its content of volatile oils. The seeds contain thymol and various other oils which stimulate the glands in the digestive system thereby promoting digestion. Those with a weak GI system and who suffer from frequent bouts of dyspepsia and indigestion are advised to drink jeera paani once daily, preferably in the morning to encourage better digestion and to effectively tackle bloating, nausea, acidity and irregular bowel movement. In India, it’s also a time-honored tradition to end a meal by popping a couple of jeera golis in the mouth, given that; it wards off a multitude of GI ailments and boosts the functioning of the gastric system.
The amazing GI benefits
Let’s dive in to the really exhaustive directory of health benefits of the cumin seed with respect to the GI system:
• The most potent wind reliever! The cumin is a powerful carminative, i.e. it provides almost instantaneous relief from gaseous distension and flatulence as well as the tummy pain that’s associated with it. In case you suffer from frequent attacks of bloating, chew a spoonful of roasted jeera after every meal.
• A noteworthy anti-spasmodic: Jeera Paani benefits are absolutely fantastic, especially when it comes to dealing with stomach aches and pains which may be either due to indigestion and flatulence or bloating related to PMS.
• Improved digestion: Jeera revs up gastric secretion which in turn improves your digestion considerably. The seed boosts digestion by increasing the activity of the digestive enzymes and encouraging the release of bile.
• Fights diarrhoea: Jeera is a great help in controlling diarrhea, and cases of diarrhoea alternating with constipation. It puts a stopper to loose motions and hardens the stool.
• Improved assimilation: Cumin increases the manufacture and release of pancreatic enzymes, which are very important factors in good digestion as well as good assimilation.
• A marvellous solution to IBS: The irritable bowel syndrome is a common digestive disorder characterized by intermittent episodes of flatulence, diarrhoea alternating with constipation, obstipation and tummy aches. Clinical trials have proved that the cumin seed is a very potent and convenient choice to bolster digestive health.
• An outstanding liver tonic: Cumin seeds are a robust liver tonic. Jeera boosts the ability of the liver to detoxify the body, by enhancing the liver’s detox enzymes.
• Gets rid of worms, parasites and bacteria: Cumin can help purge worms and parasites. It also has strong germ-battling properties which fight off bacteria and fungi. The anti-microbial properties in cumin are due to - cuminaldehyde, cymene, and terpenoids. Laboratory reports are conclusive of the fact that the cumin essential oil is exceedingly effective in fighting off common food-borne infections such as - E. coli, S. aureus, and S. faecalis.
• Combats mouth ulcers: Gargling with a cumin seed decoction helps battle mouth ulcers, as well as successfully tackles foul mouth odor. Being an anti-microbial, cumin eliminates infectious pathogens that may be present in the mouth. Furthermore, massaging the gums gently with cumin seed powder can help prevent bleeding gums.
• Regulates blood sugar: The natural oils in jeera decrease blood sugar levels substantially and enhance the action of the hormone insulin thereby being of massive help in the successful management of diabetes mellitus. The cumin seed can help manage high blood sugar levels when used in conjunct with oral anti-diabetic drugs. The seed has a significant positive impact on blood sugar control and has also been shown to be of immense help in staving off complications among those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Confer with your health care provider / diabetologist about how to integrate cumin seed in to your diabetic regimen.
• Combats constipation and ensures smooth bowel movement: Cumin proffers a good amount of dietary fiber, exhibits carminative properties and helps regularize bowel movement. The essential oils cumin aldehyde and pyrazine act as a good natural laxative, which combats and prevents constipation and also relieves hemorrhoids. Benefits of drinking jeera water at night are absolutely amazing, given that the spice promises smooth and painless bowel movement the next morning.
• Anti-cancer effects: Jeera boasts of full-bodied anti-cancer properties too. Jeera has exceptional free radical scavenging and annihilating abilities and promises to suppress tumor growth and decelerate the progression of cancer. Black cumin especially is more potent. One of the most powerful compounds in black cumin is thymoquinone that proffers incredible anti-cancer properties. Research shows that thymoquinone in black cumin kills inflammatory processes in the body and this helps ward off cancer. Experts advocate the use of black cumin extract in the treatment of cancer, in combination with chemotherapy drugs.
• Facilitates weight loss: Cumin not only helps in weight loss, but it also beneficially influences the body’s fat profile by diminishing the amount of harmful lipids in the blood. It also accelerates the passage of food in the intestine and the result of this is clear motions and a flat belly. An infusion of cumin seeds fires up the metabolism, burns fat reserves speedily and encourages weight loss. Clinical trials have established that those who were over-weight saw substantial weight loss and their metabolic profile revved up as well. Additionally, they also saw a reduction in the BMI, along with a diminution in fasting glucose, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol.
Let’s make Jal Jeera!
Cumin water, jeera paani or jal jeera is a much respected oriental herbal tea which offers a whole horde of notable health benefits. An ancient method of making cumin paani is by soaking 2 to 3 spoons of the seeds in a bowl of water overnight. In the morning, sieve the seeds and drink. The other technique is a decoction; heat some water, add 2 spoons of cumin seeds and boil for a minute or two. Cool and drink. Importantly, make sure that you consume a minimum of one glass per day. You could also take your jal jeera to the next level by adding fennel seeds, finely chopped mint and coriander and a couple of drops of lemon juice! A yummy health drink!
Quick serve ideas to incorporate lots of cumin in to your menu!
• Make a cup of soothing cup of jeera paani by boiling 2 spoons of jeera in a cupful of water. Undoubtedly, jeera water benefits are stupendous and it would be highly prudent to start your day with this medicinal brew.
• Keeping in mind, the exceptional jeera powder benefits make sure that you have the whole spice as well as the powdered version sitting in your spice rack. Both versions are super adaptable to various dishes and recipes. The flavour and aroma of the cumin is a brilliant complement to the heartiness of lentils, beans and legumes; always add oodles of the spice when preparing these.
• Add roasted and powdered jeera to all your chutneys and give them a wonderful aromatic cumin flair!
Tips for use and storage
In order to maintain the flavor, freshness and quality of jeera, it’s very essential that you store the condiment well. Remember to store jeera seeds and jeera powder in a tightly sealed glass jar and keep in a cool, dry place. Whole cumin stays fresh for 12 months, whilst jeera powder will keep for 5 to 6 months. Also, note that cumin won’t necessarily go bad if not used before these time frames; it may just not taste as fresh and aromatic, and may become less potent. Try Tata Sampann jeera as it is sourced from the best of farms and adheres to stringent norms of manufacture, processing and packaging.
All studies and case trials have substantiated the fact that the cumin is a nutrient dense powerhouse promising striking health benefits. And what’s more, the cumin is an excellent pantry staple for anyone who wants to amp up their cooking and enjoy all the fabulous benefits as well!
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