Some of the most unassuming spices can be amazing sources of health.
Not many would guess that the small and ordinary looking cumin seed can become your faithful weight loss aide.
Could a few shakes of this yellow powder dissolve stubborn weight and TRIPLE your loss of body fat?
The peppery spice cumin appeared in the Bible as a seasoning for soup and bread. The seeds were paid to priests. And in ancient Egypt, cumin was used to preserve the mummies of pharaohs.
Now a new study shows cumin may also help you finally burn off those extra pounds.
Researchers in Iran wanted to know the effect of this ancient spice on body composition as well as blood fat levels.
They randomly assigned 88 overweight or obese women to one of two groups. Both groups followed a reduced calorie diet and received nutrition counseling. But one group ate yogurt with three grams of cumin twice a day. The other group ate plain yogurt.
The results were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
After just three months, the cumin group members on average lost almost 50% more weight than the control group. They also decreased their body fat percentage by 14.64% or almost three times the control group’s loss.
The cumin group also lowered their body mass index and waist circumference significantly more than the control group.
How did the cumin group get such dramatic changes just from eating a little of the spice?
The authors speculated that cumin’s weight loss benefits may come from its heat. It may temporarily increase metabolic rate.
Cumin also significantly reduced blood lipid levels. Triglycerides dropped 23 points compared to only five points in the control group. And LDL cholesterol dropped an average of 10 points compared to less than one point for the controls.
Cumin contains more than 100 different chemicals including essential fatty acids and volatile oils. The researchers believe the cholesterol lowering effect of the spice can be partly attributed to its glycoside saponins. These compounds prevent cholesterol absorption and increase its excretion. Cumin also contains a substantial amount of phytosterols that may positively modulate lipids by reducing cholesterol absorption.
Here are some other ways in which cumin can help you:
Great Source of Iron
Cumin is a great source of iron which is key in keeping your immune system healthy and producing energy and maintaining your metabolism. Children, teenagers, women going through their menstrual cycle and women who are pregnant or nursing need to consume more iron and cumin is an ideal source for obtaining iron.
Relieves Colds, Fevers, and Sore Throats
Cumin is high in vitamin C and its anti-fungal properties make it difficult to suffer long from a cold if you consume it regularly. Make up your own cold remedy by mixing one teaspoon of ground cumin in boiling water and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Let cool before drinking. For a sore throat, add some ground ginger along with the cumin.
Aids Digestion and Relieves Constipation
Cumin is well known for its effects on the digestive system and scientists have said that cumin aids in proper digestion of food and the body’s ability to absorb nutrients because the enzymes found in cumin help break down the food. Thanks to the levels of fiber that is found in cumin, piles can be gotten rid of when consumed daily. Cumin’s anti-fungal properties will help to clean out the digestive tract.
May Prevent Cancer
As scientists do more research on cumin they are finding that it may also contain anti-carcinogenic properties which are key for preventing cancer. Lab rats who took cumin did not develop tumors like the others thanks to cumins ability to detoxify the liver and prevent free radicals from entering the blood stream. Cumin is a great way to help detoxify your body and keep your insides clean and healthy.
Insomnia can be relieved if you mix a teaspoon of cumin powder with one mashed banana and eat before going to bed.
Cumin, taken with milk and honey, can help increase milk supply when consumed regularly.
Maintain Healthy Skin
The vitamins found in cumin, both vitamin C and E, are essential for healthy, young looking skin. Cumin’s essential oils also keep fungal and microbial infections away.
Cooking with Cumin
It’s always best to use whole cumin seeds that you grind with a mortar and pestle, but cumin powder is more convenient though it loses its flavor faster than whole seeds. Whole seeds will keep for a year when stored in a cool, dark place while powder should be used within six months. For enhanced flavor, you may roast cumin seeds before using them.
Boil some cumin seeds in water and steep for eight to ten minutes for a soothing tea. Sauté vegetables and toss with cumin powder for a tasty vegetarian dish. Cumin is great sprinkled on rice and beans to give extra flavor. In Eastern cultures, cumin is mixed with black pepper and honey as an aphrodisiac but this combination is also tasty when put on fish, chicken and vegetables.
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