Cardamom popularly known as “Elaichi” in Hindi is a spice that is in the form of a small pod with black seeds inside. The seeds and the pod, both have a rich aroma.
Called the “Queen of Spices”, there are two major types of cardamom – green and black cardamom. The green cardamom is the commonest variety and is most consumed.
Cardamom contains abundant minerals and vitamins. It contains selenium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and zinc. It is low in potassium, calcium, and vitamin B & C. It is low in calories and carbohydrates.
One tablespoon of ground cardamom contains 18 calories, 4 gm carbohydrates, 1.6 gm of fiber, 0.4 gm of total fat, 0.6 gm of proteins. It also contains 64.9 mg of potassium, 22.2 mg of calcium, 13.3 mg of magnesium, 10.3 mg of phosphorus, and 0.81 mg of iron.
Possible Health Benefits of Cardamom…
Promotes heart health
1. The high content of antioxidants present in cardamom is responsible for boosting heart health. They help enhance heart function.
2. Extracts of cardamom offer improvement in cardiac and left ventricular functions.
3. The fibre content of cardamom helps reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
4. Green cardamom can dissolve clots hence, reducing the risk of heart attacks.
5. Cardamom further protects against heart attacks and reduces blood pressure.
1. Cardamom possesses cancer-protecting properties. It reduces the size and number of tumours.
2. The phytochemicals in cardamom help delay, prevent, and even reverse the formation of cancer.
3. This spice restricts the growth of cancer cells by reducing general inflammation.
Protects the liver
1. The high antioxidant content of cardamom protects liver enlargement.
2. Cardamom extracts are responsible for reducing the increased liver enzymes, cholesterol, and triglycerides levels. It also decreases the risk of fatty liver disease.
3. The detoxifying properties of cardamom help in eliminating toxins from the body.
1. The anti-inflammatory properties of cardamom make it an excellent remedy for asthma.
2. The green cardamom extract relaxes the airway muscles through the control of calcium ion channels thus controlling asthma symptoms such as tightness in the chest, coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
3. Cardamom enhances blood circulation within the lungs thus, making breathing easier.
4. Green cardamom helps treat bronchitis, asthma, and several other respiratory complaints.
Cardamom is also helpful in treating bad breath and preventing cavities, reducing blood sugar levels, getting rid of hiccups, increasing libido, preventing nausea & vomiting, fights depression, aids in diabetes treatment, improving sexual health, treating sore throat, improving skin complexion, improving blood circulation, treating skin allergies, offering clear skin, and nourishing the scalp.
How to use Cardamom?
Cardamom can be used in a variety of ways. Some of them are as follows:
- Added to lassi.
- Added to desserts.
- Spice up ice cream.
- Added to tea or coffee.
- Added to whipped cream.
- To make cardamom sugar.
- Used in a variety of dishes.
- Used as a mouth freshener.
- Used in spicing up the chicken.
- Used to flavour soups, stews, purees, etc.
How to prepare Cardamom Spiced Tea?
In a small bowl, mix 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cloves, and black pepper. Keep it aside.
Take 2 ½ cups of water in a pan and boil it. Place 2 black tea bags and 1 cinnamon stick in the water. Stir in the spice mixture and simmer.
Steep it for approximately 5 minutes for a rich tea flavour.
Take out the tea bags and cinnamon stick.
Add 2 ½ cups of milk and 2 tablespoons of honey. Continue to simmer and keep stirring.
Pour the tea into the mugs and sprinkle it with 2 tablespoons of orange zest.