SMALL SEED WITH BIG BENEFITS
Cumin, popularly called zeera, is a condiment used in different dishes for its distinct earthy and warm flavour. Cumin is also used in traditional medicines. In South India, it is used in tempering which takes dishes to a completely different level. Cumin also has many other health benefits.
1. AIDS DIGESTION AND INHIBITS INFLAMMATION: It promotes digestion by increasing the activity of digestive enzymes. Zeera also increases the secretion of bile from liver. Bile helps in the digestion of fats and some nutrients in the gut. It may also reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. Cumin extract also inhibits inflammation. A few components in cumin may have anti-inflammatory effects.
2. SOURCE OF IRON: Cumin is a rich source of iron. According to studies, one teaspoon of zeera contains 1.4 mg iron. Iron deficiency is one among the common nutrient deficiencies which is affecting nearly 20 per cent of the world population. The need for iron is more in children to support growth and in young women to substitute the blood they lose during menstruation.
3. CONTAINS ANTIOXIDANTS: Cumin contains many plant compounds like flavonoids, phenols, terpenes and alkaloids. Many of these function as antioxidants which can reduce damage to the body. Oxidation is the process in which “free” electrons steal electron partners of other chemicals in the body, causing damage to the body in the process. Oxidation of fatty acids in arteries leads to clogged arteries and oxidation of DNA can lead to cancer. Cumin, being an anti-oxidant, gives away electrons freely, thus reducing damage to the body.
4. IMPROVE BLOOD CHOLESTROL: Clinical studies proved that cumin can improve blood cholesterol. Studies revealed that 75 mg of cumin, taken twice daily for a fortnight, reduced unhealthy blood triglycerides and the levels of oxidised “bad” LDL cholesterol decreased by nearly 10 per cent in those consuming cumin extract regularly for a month and a half.
However, it is not clear if cumin if taken in small amounts, like in a seasoning, could really have benefit.
5. PREVENT FOOD-BORNE INFECTIONS: Cumin might have been included in the seasoning since ages due to its antimicrobial properties that is likely to reduce the risk of food-borne infections. When cumin gets digested, it releases a component called megalomicin having antibiotic properties. Another study also showed that cumin reduced the drug resistance of certain types of bacteria.
6. WEIGHT LOSS AND FAT REDUCTION: Cumin-rich supplements helped in promoting weight loss. Some studies showed that people taking cumin supplements every day lost weight.
Now, let us see how to lose fat from belly as well as your whole body in just 15-20 days.
The seed can help in burning calories faster by improving digestion and hastening the speed of metabolism.
a. Soak cumin seeds, 2 tablespoons, in water for 5-6 hours or overnight. In the morning, boil the seeds and filter the drink. Add a dash of lemon and drink it on empty stomach for 2 weeks.
b. Mix a teaspoon of cumin powder with a teaspoon of yoghurt and consume it after your meals for a fortnight.
c. Bring water to boil and add a cup of cumin powder. You can add a pinch of salt for taste. Drink it after your meals every day for 15-20 days.