Garden cress is an edible fast-growing herb. It is also known as Halim seeds, peppergrass, garden pepper cress, poor man’s pepper, or Lepidium sativum. Offering potential health benefits, they are an integral healing herb in the traditional and Ayurveda medicine.
The seeds, leaves, and stems of this plant are edible. The leaves and stems can be eaten raw while, the seeds need to be cooked or roasted before consuming. The seeds when soaked in water, swell and get covered with transparent mucilage. These seeds are reddish-brown, tiny, pointed, oval-shaped, and triangular at one end.
Nutritional facts of Garden Cress Seeds
These seeds possess abundant fibre, iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C, and folic acid. It also contains ascorbic acid, linoleic fatty acids, arachidic, tocopherol, and beta-carotene.
100 gm of garden cress seeds contains 30 calories, 5.5 gm of carbohydrates, 1.1 gm of fibre, 2.6 gm of protein, 0.7 gm of fats, 346 mcg of Vitamin A, 80 mcg of folate, 69 mg of vitamin C, 81 mg of calcium, and 1.3 mg of iron.
Potential health benefits of Garden Cress Seeds
1. The high amounts of iron and folic acid present in garden cress seeds help in overcoming iron deficiency anaemia.
2. The high content of iron in garden cress seeds promotes red blood cell production.
3. Consumption of Chamsukh seeds helps in increasing the hemoglobin level.
Controls blood sugar
The lepidimoide content of the seed coat of germinating garden cress seeds possesses hypoglycemic properties which help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Regulates menstrual cycle
Garden cress seeds are a natural way by which irregular menstrual cycles can be normalised. The phytochemicals present in chamsukh seeds are similar to estrogens which helps in regularising the menstrual cycle.
1. The chemo-protective properties of these seeds prevent cancers.
2. The antioxidants such as vitamin A and E, present in Garden cress seeds prevent the free radicals from damaging the body cells thus, protecting the body from cancers.
Useful in treating gastrointestinal disorders
1. The high fibre content in halim seeds helps in relieving constipation and indigestion.
2. Regular consumption of these seeds helps in regularising the bowel movements.
3. Halim seeds is used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, bleeding piles, etc.
Garden Cress is added to soups, salads, sandwiches etc for its distinct tangy flavour and is also used as a home remedy to treat various health problems.
Other possible benefits…
Garden cress seeds produce numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as enhances milk production, treats sore throat, protects the liver from damage, lowers high blood pressure, treats bronchitis, boosts memory, treats skin & hair complaints, treats hair loss, boosts the immune system, improves and boosts libido, prevents asthma, treats gout, useful for hiccups, treats dysuria, and useful in weight loss.
How to use Garden Cress Seeds in the Diet?
Garden cress seeds cannot be consumed raw, they need to be cooked or roasted before consuming. They can be consumed when soaked in water. On soaking the seeds in water, it swells and gets covered with transparent mucilage. They can be added to our diet in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…
- As kheer.
- As a ladoo.
- As a garnish.
- Added to salads.
- Used for food seasoning.
- Added to milk and juices.
How To prepare Garden Cress Seed Kheer?
Take 1 tbsp of garden cress seeds, wash them and soak them in ½ cup of water for approximately 2 hours or overnight.
On low heat, cook the seeds in the water until they turn translucent. If required, little water can be added.
Add 1 cup of milk and cook until it thickens and the seeds get a gel-like consistency.
Just before turning off the heat, add 2 tbsp jaggery and cook until it melts. Season it with cardamom powder and let it cool.