Cumin is a popular spice in many Indian, Mexican and Middle Eastern dishes and it’s one of the most popular household spices around. We often forget the significance of something that we use on a regular basis and cumin happens to be one of them.
Research shows that cumin has antioxidant properties, helps in digestion, insomnia, diabetes and protects against memory loss among many other things.
According to Ayurveda, cumin is one of best overall wellness tonic and is used to treat a large variety of ailments, as it is nutrient-rich, is thought to boost the metabolism and the function of the digestive system, and has anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties.
Please note that this article is about the health benefits of cumin (Cuminum cyminum). Make sure not to confuse cumin with black cumin seed (Nigella sativa) which also known as the remedy for everything but death.
The Health Benefits of Cumin
1. Weight Loss Remedy
Cumin not only makes your metabolism work more quickly, but it also cuts down on your cravings.
In a study done by Shahid Sadoughi University of Medical Sciences in Iran, women who incorporated cumin into their diet while leading a healthy lifestyle decreased their body fat percentage by 14.64% while those who just led a healthier lifestyle only decreased theirs by 4.91%.
2. Helps Fighting Insomnia
Cumin seeds are a highly effective treatment for insomnia.
To use cumin to help and fight insomnia mix half a teaspoon of ground cumin with a mashed banana after dinner.
You can also drink a cumin tea right before bed:
- Mix half a teaspoon of ground cumin with one cup of boiled water.
- Cover the container and let it sit for about five minutes.
Drink this cumin tea before bedtime.
3. Improves Iron levels
I’ve already mentioned that iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency and the leading cause of anemia in the United States.
Iron is also an essential mineral for proper metabolism in your body. Symptoms of iron deficiency include shortness of breath and muscle weakness. Children, adolescents and women of child-bearing age are at higher risk for iron deficiency.
Cooking with ground cumin can help prevent iron deficiency, since each teaspoon provides 4 milligrams of iron, which is roughly 22% of the daily value.
4. Controls Diabetes
A study by researchers at Mysore University in India explored the potential anti-diabetic properties of cumin. In this study, published in 1998 in the journal “Nutrition Research,” the research team fed diabetes-induced rats a diet of 1.25% ground cumin for eight weeks with positive results.
The rats experienced a reduction in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar — a condition common in diabetics — and glucosuria, in which the urine contains too much glucose. A review of scientific studies published in 2005 in the “International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition” confirmed that a number of spices, including cumin, may aid hypoglycemia. Talk to your doctor about using cumin for blood sugar control.
Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking cumin along with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to go too low. If you are taking diabetes medication, make sure to consult with your doctor first.
5. Aids Digestion & Acidity
A study on rats by researchers at Mysore University, published in the “Indian Journal of Medical Research” in 2004, found cumin useful for both indigestion and diarrhea. The spice appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients, leading to healthier digestion. In the study, cumin increased bile secretion in the rats by 71%.
6. Fights Intestinal Worms
Many cultures use cumin to help cure all sorts of intestinal problems, including intestinal worms.
Boil 1 tablespoon of cumin powder in 400 ml of water and reduce to 100 ml. Drink 20 -40 ml of this special drink in morning and evening to kill intestinal worms.
7. Reduces Cholesterol
In 2002, an Indian study from the Annamalai University performed a test of cumin extract on diabetic rats. The results showed that cumin extract helped to reduce pancreatic inflammatory markers, as well as reducing total cholesterol and triglycerides.
8. Reduces Stress and Enhances Memory
In a study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Biology in July 2011, researchers spiked the drinking water of rats with an extract of cumin. Rats were given cumin daily, at doses of 100, 200, and 300 mg/kg body weight.
The results showed that the cumin inhibited stress-induced biochemical changes in a dose-dependent manner. Memory and cognition were also found to be dose-dependent.
The researchers added that this study provided scientific support for the anti-stress, antioxidant, and memory-enhancing activities of cumin.