Jeera: Add this Magical and Inexpensive Spice to Your Daily Meals TodayLuke Coutinho
A medical research institute divided 88 obese women into two groups. Each of these received nutritional counseling and a diet plan deficient in 500 calories. But there was one difference. One group had a particular spice in their meals. The results showed that the group that consumed this particular spice lost more pounds and recorded an average of 14.46% percent reduction in their body fat compared to the other. Did you guess what this magical spice could be? It is cumin. Also known as jeera in Hindi, you will find this staple and inexpensive spice in every Indian kitchen.
Cumin has been used for thousands of years in the homelands of Egypt, Mexico, and India to treat illnesses and boost immunity. Its health benefits range from burning fat, lowering blood sugar levels, detoxifying your liver, lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, fighting off colds and virals, and more.
It is highly anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antimicrobial, and antibiotic. Cumin is a powerhouse of numerous bioactive compounds like alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, and more. It is an excellent source of iron, manganese, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, vitamins A, E, and B1. Let us have a look at how you can include this simple spice in your daily lifestyle.
Health Benefits of Jeera
Lowers bad cholesterol
Jeera is rich in phytosterols which are plant chemicals that can absorb bad cholesterol or low-density- lipoprotein (LDL). It breaks down triglycerides and flushes them out of the human body.
Stokes your metabolism
Thanks to its high metabolic nature, it is super beneficial for fat burn because it stimulates your metabolism. We all know that weight loss is not just about dieting or over-exercising. It’s about how strong your metabolic rate is. The higher your metabolic rate, the more weight you lose and the longer you can keep that weight off.
Let me give you a simple example of two people.
Person A loses weight by going on calorie-restricted diets and overtraining. They lose about 2 to 4 four kilos. But the moment they go on a holiday or off their strict diet even a little bit, they start putting that weight back on. Why? They lost weight because they created a deficit without changing their metabolism. When you eat less and work out more, you cripple your metabolism.
Person B eats meals aligned with their training and level of activity. When they do this, they build a strong and higher metabolic rate. It helps them lose weight and body fat the right way and keep that off even if they get off their diet or go on a holiday. Yes, they may not lose more weight, but they won’t gain any more weight either. This is the secret to having a great metabolic rate. Cumin can be a powerful addition to stoke your metabolism.
Fights iron deficiency
If you are deficient in iron, before jumping onto a supplement, wait and retrospect. Yes, in some cases, the supplement may be required under professional supervision. But also remember that these can also be toxic to your liver. They slow it down and create constipation. Simply taking a teaspoon of jeera mixed with water, adding it to your meals, or making a jeera tea can boost your iron levels naturally, even if you are anemic.
Relieves joint aches and pains
Jeera is highly anti-inflammatory. It makes it fantastic for joint aches and pains, especially inflammatory flare-ups among people with rheumatoid arthritis.
Yes, jeera can promote good sleep. Did you know the ancient Egyptians prepared a simple tea boiling by boiling a teaspoon of whole jeera seeds in water, reducing it to half, and sipping on this warm sleep potion 2 hours before bedtime? This practice is also found in Indian Vedas to promote good sleep. If you are struggling with sleep, try this and see how it works.
Now again, remember that nature takes time to work. Don’t knock it out after two or three days. Practice it consistently.
Lowers blood sugar among diabetics
Jeera has its place in managing diabetes too. Most Indians know about this. Chew on the seeds. You can add roasted jeera powder to your dals, salads, sabzi, or other preparations during a meal. You can also add it to the bowl of yogurt after a meal.
Another powerful way is to have a cup of jeera tea 30 minutes after your meal. It works powerfully to lower your blood sugar levels. If you are doing this in addition to your diabetic meds, monitor your levels to ensure you don’t go into hypoglycemia where they dip too low.
When taken before meals, it can stimulate your appetite. When taken after meals, it stimulates digestive enzymes to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fat from the food you eat. It also helps you assimilate nutrients better.
Jeera is a powerful spice when it comes to flatulence, acidity, and bloating. All you need to do is boil a little bit of jeera (cumin), ajwain (bishop’s weed), and saunf (fennel). Boil them in water and reduce to make a tea. It tastes good, has a calming effect on the mind, and relaxes your digestive system. Sometimes even the most chronic acidity tends to get better when you have this concoction.
A study conducted on 57 IBS patients showed that cumin extract helped reduce symptoms like abdominal pain, bloating, incomplete defecation, fecal urgency, and the presence of mucus discharge in the stool.
Cleanses your liver
Yes, it has cleansing abilities when it comes to your liver. Research also links this spice with the prevention of liver and stomach cancers. It can help clean the liver in managing cases like excessive alcohol intake, medication, chemotherapy, radiation, and everything that slows down the liver or causes a toxin buildup. But it cannot work alone. You must change your lifestyle too.
Increases breast milk production
Nursing mothers, add jeera to your meals because it also works as a galactagogue. It can help boost lactation when mixed with methi (fenugreek).
Our ancestors used jeera as an immunity booster. How many of you remember drinking jeera water when you caught a stomach bug or had a terrible cold or cough? Cumin contains an ingredient called thymol which is highly antibiotic and antimicrobial. It can chase viruses, bacteria, and fungi out of the human body and protect your immunity when done in conjunction with other lifestyle changes.
A powerful morning concoction to wake up to or have before bed
I want all of you to try this for a week or 10 days and let me know how it worked for you. Make it a part of your lifestyle with discipline and consistency.
Have this simple herbal concoction when you wake up in the morning. Take a little grated ginger and boil it with a tablespoon of jeera in water. You can also add a dash of cinnamon (dalchini) or cardamom (elaichi). But the base is grated ginger and jeera. Boil this well in two cups of water. Reduce it to half and strain. Add some fresh lemon and try this as a morning drink.
You will notice that your cravings have reduced and your digestion has also improved. If you struggle with inconsistent sleep patterns you can have to end your evening. After all your meals are done, this helps your digestive system relax and also promotes a night of good sleep. If you don’t do it in the morning or night, find someplace in your day to add this to your diet and lifestyle.
The question is: Will taking a teaspoon of cumin powder help you burn all that fat off your body? Absolutely NOT. You have to change your lifestyle – eat right, move more, sleep better and breathe deep. You have to look after your emotional and mental health too.
There is so much medicine, wisdom, and magic in Indian spices. Cumin is one of the most powerful spices, easily accessible in your kitchen. Most Indians having balanced meals will find more than a teaspoon of jeera in their daily food. Chew jeera seeds. You can also roast and grind it into a powder. Sprinkle it on your rotis, and add it to your dals, curries, salads, sabzi, yogurts, chaas, lassi, lentils, and more. Let me know how you do it in your everyday life in the comments below.
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