Cumin is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and is also known to be antibacterial and antiseptic. It can solve a host of your tummy woes, fortify digestive tract, relieve nausea, and bloating and constipation.
Cumin and its contribution to an Indian household is immense. Cumin, or zeera, is an integral part of a majority of our curries and stews. Not just in India, across Asia, cumin is a spice widely used in variety of preparations be it appetisers or mains. Cumin is basically the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, and is typically brown in colour. The black variant is called black cumin. It has a distinct aroma, woody and hot flavour that is unique to the spice.
Cumin is known to be as one of the oldest spices on earth. In her book, “Flavour of Spice”, Marryam H. Reshii writes that the spice is native to the Mediterranean basin, “It has been around for centuries: In fact, there is evidence that cumin was in use in parts of the world over 5,000 years ago. Cumin seeds were excavated at a site in Syria has been dated to 2000 BCE. Evidence of the use of cumin found in the New Kingdom of Egypt dates back to the period between 16th-11th century BCE. Even the Bible has a mention of cumin, mustard seeds and coriander.”
According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK publishing, cumin is rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants, and is also known to be antibacterial and antiseptic. It can solve a host of your tummy woes, fortify digestive tract, relieve nausea, and bloating and constipation. Including cumin in your diet could help boost your blood circulation. “Ordinary cumin seeds are brown in colour and contain many beneficial properties. However, black cumin seeds, known as “black seed”, have a much higher concentration of these medicinal oils. “, noted the book ‘Healing Foods’.
Here are some benefits of cumin you must know :
1. Boosts Digestion
One of cumin’s most significant features is its role in aiding digestion. For centuries, light gravy flavoured with cumin or a glass of zeera water has been used in Indian household as a fool-proof remedy for digestive issues. The experts say that it is thymol, a compound in cumin that stimulates the enzymes, which enables better secretion of digestive juices.
2. Good for Immunity System
The presence of vitamin C in cumin seeds helps bolster the immunity system. It also has many antibacterial properties that keep infections and diseases at bay. Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, Fortis Hospital says, “Zeera is an excellent source of iron and dietary fibre. It is essential to drink zeera water to maintain the normal functionality of your immunity system. It fights diseases and reduces your chances of falling sick.”
3. Treats Anemia
Anemia is a condition that is characterised by acute deficiency of iron. Iron is one of the most vital minerals and plays a key role in the proper functioning of the body. It is essential in formation of red blood cells. Low iron intake also results in low energy levels. Cumin contains high amounts of iron, which may help in treating anemia. Did you know one tablespoon of whole cumin contains 22 milligram iron?!
4. Good for Detox
Cumin aldehyde, thymol and phosphorus are components of cumin that serve as good detoxifying agents. unani expert Dr. Hashmi says, “Zeera water flushes out toxins from the body and facilitates the production of bile. Hence, it is extremely beneficial for the liver.”
5. Good Skin
Cumin has decent amount of vitamin E, one of the most skin friendly antioxidants. It helps to keep your skin tight and moist, giving you a healthy youthful skin. Cumin also helps battle skin inflammation. Its antibacterial and antifungal activity helps prevent skin infection too.
6. May Help Treat Asthma
Cumin seeds are excellent anti-congestive agent. It helps clear mucus accumulation in your airways, lungs, bronchi and trachea. Asthma is caused due to swelling of lung lining and increased mucus production, which results inability to breathe. After clearing the path way, cumin’s anti-inflammatory properties soothe the swelling and keep the mucous at bay.
7. Has Antiviral and Antibacterial Properties
Cumin seeds have umpteen antiviral and antibacterial properties that can keep mild flu, cold and cough at bay. A simple glass of zeera water or a soothing tomato soup flavoured with hints of cumin may help ward off the infections.
Add cumin to your curries, gravies, soups or have with plain water. It will bless you with a healthy, glowing and flawless skin.