A lot of us take many traditional Indian spices for granted and hence don’t value them properly. Because they’ve been a part of our culture and cuisine for so long, we sometimes forget their incredible usefulness. Cardamom or elaichi is one such spice that has been a part of the Indian cuisine for ages and now we only regard it as something to occasionally add to our tea in order to give some flavour. But unbeknownst to us, cardamom has a whole bevy of nutritional advantages that we need to pay attention to.
Cardamom most likely originated in the Western Ghats region of India and soon spread to other regions like Nepal and Bhutan. It is ideally grown in tropical areas; today, many South American and East Asian countries also supply the world with cardamom. One of the most expensive spices today (and rightfully so), the health benefits of Organic Green Cardamom justify its high value. Here are some of the lesser known dietary gains you can experience by consuming it:-
- Promotes a healthy heart and lowers cholesterol
Cardamom is stuffed with useful minerals like potassium, calcium and magnesium and these minerals are essential for maintaining a healthy and fit heart. Potassium especially is incredibly useful for the heart as it regularizes the heart rate and also reduces the blood pressure (potassium acts as a vasodilator, widening the blood vessels and lowering the strain on the cardiovascular system).
Moreover, there are several kinds of anti-oxidants to be found in cardamom (cardiac and hepatic anti-oxidant enzymes) which play a key role in keeping cholesterol levels in check.
In addition to the above uses, cardamom also helps to reduce excessive aggregation of platelets and inflammation, which are the causes behind lethal blood clots and strokes, respectively.
- May prevent cancer
Although studies relating cardamom and cancer are in preliminary stages and mostly involve animal studies, the results have been quite encouraging. Particularly effective against colorectal cancer, cardamom can reportedly cut down the risk of this deadly cancer by at least 48%.
Other studies have shown that cardamom not only prevents cancer, it can also inhibit or outright destroy the growth of cancer cells in the body.
- Acts as a detoxifying agent
Every day we breathe, eat or ingest many toxins, which gradually get accumulated in the body. In addition to external toxins, the body’s metabolism also produces toxins and free radicals as by-products and over a period of time, these can also build-up in the body. As a result, these internal and external toxins can cause a lot of health issues, including premature aging and even cancer.
Cardamom is a useful partner in the fight against toxins as it is flushed with anti-oxidants which prey on the free radicals and remove them from the body. Also, the manganese in cardamom stimulates the secretion of certain enzymes that help in clearing out other toxins.
Cardamom has the ability to cleanse your body of harmful toxins and thus provide you with greater energy and immunity.
- Helps to fight asthma
Cardamom can be considered a messiah for the entire respiratory tract as it alleviates a long list of respiratory problems including coughing, wheezing, congestion and even asthma.
Cardamom increases blood circulation to the lungs, opens up the wind pipe, relaxes the tracheal tissue, reduces inflammation and helps to dislodge phlegm and mucous. Such an amazing effect on the entire respiratory tract means patients of asthma can find relief by using cardamom regularly.
- Keeps the kidneys healthy
Regularly consuming cardamom will keep your kidneys in good shape as by promoting urination, it removes accumulated calcium and urea from the kidneys. It can also reduce the chances of developing kidney stones, nephritis and other issues with the bladder and urinary tract.
Cardamom is an age-old spice that has some wonderful nutritional advantages that we don’t know or have just forgotten. Using it is easy and fun – it not only adds some exciting flavour to your food and beverages, but also makes you infinitely healthier!
To know more about green cardamom, click here.