- 1 What Is Cardamom?
- 2 Health Benefits
- 3 Differences Between Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom
- 4 Conclusion
There are many health benefits of cardamom. This article explains what is cardamom as well as goes over the different cardamom uses for both of the green and black varieties. After reading this article, we hope to give you a clearer understanding of how to use this Indian spice in your diet.
What Is Cardamom?
Cardamom is a spice that is native to the Indian subcontinent. There are two different types of cardamom green and black cardamom.
The seeds from both species grow inside pods that are then harvested and dried. Then they can either be ground into cardamom powder, made into essential oils, or eaten whole. Most people either take cardamom as a supplement or use it as a recipe in food.
Both plants are members of the ginger family and is also related to other medicinal spices like turmeric and galangal. You can read more about ginger by clicking here.
Like its cousins, it is used in spice blends. One that stands out is garam masala. Unlike turmeric, which has low bio-availability of curcumin when consumed alone, cardamom has health benefits when consumed both raw and cooked.
Although India has historically been the largest producer of cardamom, Guatemala now holds that title. Due to demand in China, countries in Southeast Asia like Vietnam and Laos have began producing cardamom.
Finally, cardamom is one of the most expensive spices by weight. However, don’t let that stop you, it is potent so you will need very little for flavoring.
Both black and green cardamom seeds have properties that are great for overall health and well being. It is an antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant. Also, it is rich in vitamins which promote even more health benefits.
Cardamom Can Help Relieve Digestive Issues
Not only does cardamom help to regulate stomach acid, but it is also great at promoting healthy digestion. People notice a less stomach discomfort such as flatulence, bloating, and cramps after taking cardamom essential oil or tea. Also, the essential oil is edible so you can add it to different foods for flavor.
In one study, researchers we able to come to the conclusion that cardamom pods, in combination with turmeric and sembung leaf, has gastroprotective effects.(2) This means that is has the ability to protect the stomach lining.
Improves Bad Breath
Either mouth infections or digestive problems typically cause foul breath.
Cardamom can fight it from both ends of the spectrum. Being that cardamom is an antibacterial, biting the whole green cardamom pods helps improve oral health by combating tooth and gum infections. Also, as we already mentioned, it is great to help relieve stomach problems.
Also, cardamom has an almost minty flavor. So, don’t be surprised that it is an ingredient in some chewing gums! That is where the slogan “cardamom fresh” comes from.
Improves Heart Health and Blood Pressure
One of the other great benefits of cardamom is its ability to improve heart health. Among other things, its anti-inflammatory properties help to regulate blood pressure levels and reduce blood clots. Also, it may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.
Another article goes over the effects of cardamom on blood pressure over a 12 week study. Supplementation of cardamom powder was able to decrease mean blood pressure by the end of the study.(3)
Cardamom also can help improve blood circulation. By reducing inflammation in veins are arteries, blood is able to travel more freely.
Reduces Breathing Difficulty
Cardamom provides relief from respiratory issues for patients with asthma and bronchitis. As an anti-inflammatory, it opens tubes to decrease the resistance of the air flow, which enables the air to flow into the lungs more and breathe easier.
Also, it can assist in combating lung infections with its antibacterial properties. A good way to get the benefits of this spice is to use cardamom essential oil. Essential oils work best in this case by using a diffuser to inhale them.
Cardamom Benefits For Men
Many guy who use cardamom regularly swear by its sexual benefits. It can reduce premature ejaculation by decreasing the inflammation in the genitals.
It is also very high in Manganese which helps produce hormones like testosterone. As a result of more testosterone, they have a more fulfilling sex life by lasting longer in bed and having more energy.
Promotes Skin and Hair Health
Cardamom helps to improve the quality of the skin and hair in two ways. First, it nourishes the skin and hair with amazing vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin C. Secondly, skin health is also related to blood flow.
Lack of blood flow to the skin is one of the causes of age-related skin conditions as well as hair loss. Since cardamom has the ability to improve blood flow, skin becomes rejuvenated. For this reason, one of the other health benefits is that it may also even be possible to regrow hair by eating cardamom.
Cardamom Has Cancer Prevention Abilities
Studies have shown that cardamom is effective at inhibiting cancer by eliminating free-radicals through antioxidant activity.
In one particular study, researchers were able to prove that cardamom and cinnamon acted to prevent colorectal cancer in lab rats by means of inflammation fighting and antioxidant activities.(1)
Also, phytonutrients present in cardamom such as cineole and limonene has also showed promise for slowing down cancer growth.
May Help With Weight Loss
Many people that drink cardamom tea notice weight loss. They claim that the tea helps them feel full which helps them to eat less food.
Studies have shown that it can prevent obesity and reduce waist circumference. In one study of 80 prediabetic women, there were significant improvements in weight loss over the control group.(4)
Also, it may have an effect on weight loss as a result of increased energy and thermogenic qualities as part of a healthy diet.
Differences Between Green Cardamom and Black Cardamom
Both are similar in many ways, but there are some significant differences.
Many people view black cardamom as the inferior type, but that is a mistake. Many of the cardamom uses are the same for both species, but one noticeable difference is their flavors. Black cardamom tends to have a more smokey flavor because it is usually dried over a flame and is also cheaper.
In many cases, western society overlooks the amazing qualities of this spice. The benefits of cardamom are significant, and it can be used to treat a variety of ailments.
Being it is native to India, cardamom is a commonly used spice in the East, and everyone is aware of the uses of the seeds and pods. People often use the essential oils and cardamom powder in food as part of their everyday diet. This is one of the reasons that are some of the healthiest in the world.
The health benefits of cardamom are astonishing and western society is beginning to catch on. We should all find more ways to incorporate this fantastic spice into our diet.