Though Cardamom is considered as a spice, we need to know that there are cardamom health benefits that we need to consider. Whenever we breakout a pod of cardamom or Elaichi, as it is commonly called, we tend to get a soothing and pleasant aroma. We do add cardamom in powdered form or in seed form into our sweet dishes, teas or in pulao that adds to the flavor of the food item. But is cardamom just known for its amazing flavor or aroma? Is that what it is only capable of? Do they have any health benefits that we need to consider? The answer is positive.
Cardamom belongs to the family of Zingibercease and its scientific name is Elettaria cardamomum. Traditionally Cardamom is considered as herb and was one of the ingredients in Ayurvedic medicine as a remedy for throat problems, gastrointestinal disorders, stones and teeth and gum infections. Cardamom contains no cholesterol and is rich in vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamin A and C and micronutrients like sodium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and calcium. Considering the nutritional importance of cardamom, we need to know that the cardamom health benefits.
Cardamom Health Benefits
Cardamom is popular and well known with health benefits.
1. Enhances Digestion
Cardamom helps in digesting the food efficiently and speeds up digestion. It soothes the mucous membrane and relieves the symptoms of acidity and upset stomach.
2. Effective Against Bad Breath
Do you suffer from bad breath? Why not give cardamom a try. The antibacterial properties along with its strong flavor and strong aroma have been beneficial against bad breath. Apart from this, cardamom is capable of improving the digestion of stomach which can be the leading cause of bad breath.
3. Helps in Improving Appetite
Indigestion, flatulence and acidity are conditions that lead to reduction of appetite. Cardamom stimulates the secretion of digestive juices and helps in improving the appetite.
4. Detoxifying The Body
A cardamom tea a day keeps your body healthy and fresh. Cardamom contains antioxidants that help in removing the toxins of our body. It is a rich source of manganese that aids in producing enzymes that helps in scavenging the free radicals.
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5. Beneficial for Asthma Sufferers
Use of cardamom is beneficial for those suffering from asthma and bronchitis. Cardamom improves the blood circulation in the lungs, soothing the mucous membrane. Asthma sufferers can just add cardamom powder to the food or have cardamom tea to get relief from wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath.
6. Therapeutic Effects On The Skin
Cardamom stimulates the senses and hence is added to the perfumes. The antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom give a reason why cardamom is added to skin care products.
7. Regularizes Heart Rate
To enjoy the cardamom health benefits, it is beneficial to drink 2 cups of cardamom tea daily. Cardamom, being rich in potassium, calcium, and magnesium, can prevent platelet aggregation and inflammation and hence reduce the risk of strokes and blood clots.
Considering the cardamom health benefits, it is always advisable to incorporate cardamom, in seed form or powder form, not only in sweets but also in various food preparations. If we need to gain maximum benefits of cardamom from the health point of view, we also need to know how we should take care of this spice.
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Storage and Care of The Cardamom
Cardamom, being an expensive spice, there is a possibility of having other spices added into the cardamom in order to reduce the cost of cardamom. Powdering the seeds of cardamom or opening the pods can lose the flavor and aroma due to the loss of essential oils.
- While buying the cardamom, it is advisable to prefer green cardamom which has a complex flavor. Always store cardamom in pod form.
- Dry cardamom pods need to be stored in the airtight container without the influence of the direct sunlight.
- If the storage needs to be done in bulk, then store cardamoms pods in polythene lined gunny bags inside the wooden boxes in a dark, cool and dry place that is free of pests.
Usage of cardamom in India is vast in various food preparations and also as a mouth freshener. Whatever maybe the purpose for including this spice, the cardamom health benefits have always made this spice gain importance.