Cardamom is often referred to as the “Queen of Spices” that brings a sweet, floral flavor to foods and drinks. It is widely used as a digestive aid, a natural breath freshener and is rich in phytonutrients, high in manganese and abundant in trace minerals. Just 1 tablespoon of cardamom can provide 80 percent of your bodies daily manganese requirement. It can help the body form connective tissue, bones, and sex hormones. Cardamom is not just a spice, but has medicinal purposes that provide natural treatment for high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer!(1)
Five reasons to incorporate cardamom into your daily diet
- Bad Breath: A study from Kurukshetra University in India found that the extracts of Cardamom are effective agains oral pathogenic bacteria such as Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans that cause bad breath. (1)
- Cavities: Due to Cardamom’s ability to kill bacteria that causes bad breath, it can also help prevent cavities and reverse tooth decay.(1)
- Cancer: Studies have shown that cardamom can be used as a chemopreventive agent that inhibits, delays or reverses cancer formation. A 2012 study showed that cardamom resulted in a significant reduction in the occurrence and number of tumors following oral administration of cardamom powder. Cardamom has also demonstrated the ability to reduce inflammation, inhibit cell growth and encourage cancer cell death in association with colon cancer.(1) A study published in 2010 found that cardamom increased the production of white blood cells in the spleen and increased the activity of natural killer cells that can provide cancer-inhibiting benefits.(2) Cardamom also contains IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM(diindolylmethane). These phytochemicals help fight off hormone responding cancers. Research suggests that daily consumption of cardamom can help prevent breast, ovarian and prostate cancers. (3)
- Blood Pressure: A study from RNT Medical College’s Department of Medicine found that a three grams of cardamom powder divided into two doses for 12 weeks decreased systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressure and increased the bodies antioxidant status by 90 percent.
- Diabetes: Cardamom is also beneficial for diabetics and blood sugar management. Research shows that individuals diagnosed with diabetes have low manganese counts. Cardamom is a good way to boost manganese levels.
Easy ways to increase cardamom use in your kitchen
One of cardamom’s most popular uses is in chai tea, but it can be a great all purpose spice. Cardamom is a great addition to your favorite breads, cakes and pies. It also blends well in curries or any dishes that contain spices such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic or ginger. Add cardamom to your next pot of chili, your favorite thai or Indian curry recipe, or even fried rice.