Cumin— also known as jeera, is dried seed of a herb Cuminum cyminum of Apiacease family. Cumin is used in cuisines in both granular and powdered forms. The seeds are used in Indian cuisines for tempering (applying tadka, a technique in which whole spices are roasted briefly to give aromatic flavor to food) the curry and vegetables. Also, roasted powdered cumin is added to Raita and is used in garnishing salads.
It can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. Apart from being used as a spice in cuisines cumin is also used in traditional medicine. It is know for its numerous medicinal tendencies.
Health benefits of cumin:
1. For Diabetic patients: Cumin helps in regulating the blood sugar level in the body. But, excessive use may bring it down to dangerously low level. People under medication for sugar should be careful with amount of cumin being used.
2. Anti-ageing property: The seeds contain naturally occurring substances that work as antioxidants. That means that these substances (called apigenin and luteolin) keep the tiny free radicals that attack healthy cells from being successful. Antioxidants help you feel healthier and more energetic, and they help keep your skin from looking aged.
3. In treating cancer: Cumin is known for its anti-carcinogenic properties. Regular intake of small amount of this spice in food may help in preventing development any sort of cancer.
4. For boosting immunity: The oil extracted from cumin seeds has been used as an effective larvicide and antiseptic agent. The oil even kills strains of bacteria that are resistant to other antiseptics.
5. Stimulates digestion: When the secretion of hydrochloric acid is low the digestive process becomes slow, it makes digestion easier and stimulates the stomach, which then secretes more hydrochloric acid that fastens digestion. So a bit of cumin in food will actually help you to digest it faster.
6. Increases metabolism: It helps to break down fat cells, and it also increases metabolism. It completely extract nutrients from the food, and helps the body to get rid of excess water and toxins. The consumption needs to be controlled though – a pinch of its powder in food (one meal) is enough.
7. Boosts Memory: It also plays important role in repairing stem cells, that can help in recovery from stroke and Alzheimer and also improve memory.
8. For cholesterol: A hypolipidemic is a substance that helps your body control high levels of fats that hurt your heart and cholesterol levels. These seedsis considered to have hypolipidemic properties.
9. To supplement iron deficiency: Cumin is known to be a rich source of iron. Thus, it can also treat the deficiency of iron which is a very common problem.
10. Boosts Energy: The spice seeds are natural energy boosters. They are power-packed with various nutrients, which help keep the body super energetic through the day.
Drinking jeera boiled in water, is a good way to start a day. It keeps you healthy and energetic. Because of its anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory properties it is also given to pregnant women. Even post delivery it eases digestion and improves lactation. Jeera water— also known as Jal jeera is a great welcome drink. It contains the goodness of cumin and freshness of mint and lime.
Safety caution: Although cumin is used in traditional medicine, there is no high-quality evidence that it is safe or effective as a therapeutic agent. Also intake of excessive amount of jeera may drop the blood sugar to dangerously low level.