Cumin is a bitter sweet spice that has been used in food and medicines for thousands of years. It can add a hint of smokiness and earthy flavor to any dish. It can be used both as whole cumin seeds as well as ground into a powder.
When using whole cumin seeds it is best to toast them lightly to really bring out the flavors. Cumin is one of the staple ingredients for curry powders, and is typically used in savory recipes like stews, or with meat and fish.
Cumin is the seeds of a plant in the parsley family. It is a light brown color with a striped ridge pattern on the outside.
The brown or amber colored cumin seeds are the most common, however there are white and black varieties as well. Black cumin has a slightly different flavor profile that makes it distinguishable from the other two varieties.
In addition to its flavor, cumin is also known to have medicinal properties. That is why we have created this list of top 7 cumin health benefits!
Top 7 Cumin Health Benefits:
1. Skin Benefits
Cumin contributes to healthy skin in a multitube of ways. It provides Vitamin E and essential oils to keep your skin radiant. Cumin also works as a disinfectant and an anti-fungal which will help to keep your skin clear of infections.
It aids in the detoxification of the body, meaning that keeping cumin in your regular diet should prevent acne, boils, and rashes that would be caused by toxins being trapped in the skin.
The Vitamin E works to keep your skin healthy and reduces the signs of aging in the process. By eliminating toxins and free radicals in the skin, cumin can also help prevent signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots.
To get the health benefits that cumin can have on the skin, regular consumption should work to keep your skin clear.
If it’s a little too late and you have something that you want to treat directly like a boil or a pimple, you can create a topical paste by mixing ground cumin with vinegar. You could also add ground cumin to your regular face mask.
2. Digestive Tract Benefits
Cumin can help with digestive issues as well as help prevent issues in the future. It aids the digestion process by stimulating enzyme production, improving the body’s ability to break down nutrients. It also contains fiber and acts as a natural active laxative keeping toxins and waste moving out of your body.
By removing toxins from the body, cumin effectively helps to prevent colon cancer. BY eliminating toxins and free radicals from the body, it reduces the number of contaminants in the body that could damage cells and cause cancer.
It also contains known anti-carcinogens like thymohydroquinone and thymol.
3. Blood Benefits
Cumin seeds are very rich in iron. This source of iron can even help to prevent anemia caused by iron deficiency. The addition of iron to the blood increases the amount of hemoglobin available to carry oxygen to the cells of the body.
In particular, this increase in oxygen availability is known to help the brain and improve focus and concentration.
The antioxidant characteristics of cumin also allow it to boost the immune system. This means that it helps boost your body’s ability to fight off bacterial and viral infections in the blood such as the flu and the common cold.
Those same antioxidants have also been found in some studies to reduce cholesterol levels.
Lastly, it is also believed that cumin is capable of lowering blood sugar levels by increasing insulin sensitivity. This means that it can help those with diabetes avoid hypoglycemia.
4. Bone Benefits
Some studies have shown that cumin could potentially help fight osteoporosis. The study provided evidence that cumin had very similar effect to menopausal drugs the work to fight osteoporosis. However, it also showed that it was capable of providing similar effects without the negative side effect of weight gain experienced by using the menopausal drug.
5. Overall Detoxification Benefits
This article has touched on the detoxification qualities of cumin briefly, however its ability to detoxify could have even greater benefits than we have already discussed. While eliminating free-radicals to prevent pre-mature aging, and clearing toxins that could potentially be trapped in the skin are great feats, there is also evidence that cumin is capable of even more severe toxins.
One study suggests that cumin seed essential oils may be able to help with drug detox. For those who are addicted to opiates (commonly used as pain medication), there is potential that cumin seed essential oils can help in the detoxification of an addict and help reduce dependence to opiates.
6. Nutritional Benefits
As called out in the Blood Benefits section, cumin is high in iron. It high dietary fiber content aids in digestion. The Vitamin E helps keep skin healthy and glowing. In addition to these, cumin also contains the following nutrients: vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, folate, and beta-carotene.
7. Cumin Health and Weight Loss Benefits
Cumin helps to improve digestion and excretion. These lead overall in the elimination of excess weight that can be experienced when the digestive tract is not function properly.
In addition to this, cumin contains phytosterols which are basically a plant’s form of cholesterol. Because phytosterols are so similar to cholesterols in structure, they help inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract.
This means that the body takes in less cholesterol to store as dead weight in the body. Lastly, the iron present in cumin also help to boost metabolic activity meaning that the body can burn more stores, while at the same time prevent new storage from being created.
Incorporating Cumin Into Your Diet
Cumin seeds can be purchased as whole seeds and also in a powder form. It is recommended that cumin always be purchased in its whole form. When buying cumin powder it is impossible to distinguish the purity of the cumin powder.
With whole seeds, after they have been toasted to increase the flavor, they can be ground into a powder at home with any coffee grinder or food processor.
With all of the above health benefits in consideration, adding cumin to any diet should help to improve over all health. Not only should adding cumin to your diet be considered to treat existing conditions or symptoms, it should be used as a step towards prevention of future complications.
Here are some recipes that will help you to include cumin seeds in your daily diet:
1. Cumin Recipe for Taco Seasoning
- 1/4 cup of cumin powder
- 1/4 cup of chili powder
- 1 tablespoon of onion powder
- 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon of oregano lead powder
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
- 1/4 cup of pink Himalayan sea salt
- Mix all ingredients in a jar and shake thoroughly (alternatively you can combine all of the ingredients and mix well in a food processor). Store mixture in an airtight jar. The mixture is a great paleo option for lettuce tacos. Add three tablespoons of the mixture to chicken or ground beef.
2. Chili Seasoning With Cumin
- 1/4 cup of cumin powder
- 1/4 cup of garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons of onion powder
- 1/2 cup of chili powder
- 1/4 cup of oregano
- 2 tablespoons of paprika
- 1 tablespoon of thyme
- Combine all ingredients and then store in any airtight container.
- Add to any chili recipe.
3. Chili with Kale and Cumin Seeds
- 2 cups of adzuki beans
- 1 medium sized leek, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, ghee, or coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon of whole cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon of whole coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons of turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons of dry oregano
- 2 teaspoons of chili powder
- 4 cups of water
- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 teaspoon of grey Celtic sea salt
- Soak adzuki beans overnight.
- In a medium pot, sauté (on low heat) the chopped leek in the oil or ghee for about five minutes.
- Grind the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in a coffee grinder. Next add the turmeric, chili powder, and oregano to the leek.
- Drain and rinse the adzuki beans, and gently stir them in the sautéed leeks. Add water, and bring it to a boil. Once boiled, lower to a simmer.
- Cover and simmer for an hour, or until the beans have softened, while adding the grey Celtic sea salt halfway through the cooking.
- Wash and chop the kale. After the adzuki beans have softened, place the kale on top, and steam on medium heat for about five minutes, or until the kale has turned bright green. Finally, remove the vegan chili from the heat, and let stand for about five minutes. Mix and serve hot.