Cardamom is a spice popular to India and the surrounding countries to its north. The seed pods are easily identifiable with a thin shell on the outside, triangular cross section and small seeds. The pods are either small and light green or slightly larger and dark brown. Used in both food and beverages, cardamom is also widely used in medicines. Noted for its distinct flavor, the green version is more expensive than its brown counterpart. Cardamom seeds are stored in their pods and removed from them only at time of use to retain their flavor. This is the third costliest spice in the world after saffron and vanilla. This has led to the spice being termed as queen of spices.
Cardamom benefits weight loss
Among the many well known cardamom benefits, weight loss cannot be forgotten. One of the key properties of this wonderful spice is its capability of burning body fat. Apart from indigestion of food, water accumulation in the body also tends to trigger weight gain. Cardamom can help in losing excess weight because of these two factors. In the first case, the spice is known to aid in burning body fat and food digestion, especially if you have had a heavy meal. Secondly, cardamom assists in fighting the water retention problem by increasing the urine output. Finally, the spice is also capable of reducing cholesterol levels in the human body that can lead to weight gain.
As mentioned above, cardamom uses are many – be it food, beverage or medicine. As a flavoring agent, it is used in both sweet and savory dishes, as well as traditional dishes from across the world. They are also used in popular beverages like tea and tea.
The spice also plays a key role in Ayurvedic and ancient Chinese medicines, other than being considered for treating dental diseases, gastrointestinal protection, cancer control, urinary tract infections and sexual problems in males. It is used for problems associated with gum and teeth infections, inflammation in the eyelids, cold and flu, skin complexion and depression to mention just a few. Cardamom was also used in the early days as an antidote for various venoms and poisons.
Another area where cardamom finds its use is in breath fresheners. The spice owes its strong aroma and flavor due to the essential oil in it. This is one of the vital reasons why the essential oil is one of the chief ingredients in chewing gum.
Cardamom tea benefits
It has already been stressed that cardamom has many uses. Thus, it is only to be understood that daily consumption of a cup of cardamom tea benefits tea lovers. Overweight people can look at opting for cardamom tea as their daily beverage as one way to lose weight. There are many cardamom flavored dip tea bags readily available in the market. However, the best way to have cardamom tea is crush some cardamom and mix it with the regular tea leaves before infusing it with boiling water. Also, it is recommended that you add low fat milk when making this tea. Avoid adding other fat causing agents like cream or sugar. Much as these tend to add taste to your tea, they can make you put on weight.
Cardamom side effects
Although there are many reasons why you should include cardamom in your diet, you must keep yourself aware of some cardamom side effects. Patients with gall bladder stones are better off without having this spice as it may lead to spasms of the bladder. Another possible side effect is an allergic reaction indicated through various symptoms such as chest discomfort, hives like formation or swelling in the skin and breathing difficulty. If you experience any of these problems, remember to seek medical advice immediately.