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10 reasons jeera or cumin seeds are great for your health

Jeera has many health benefits - from aiding digestion to helping you sleep.

Written by Pavitra Sampath |Updated : April 14, 2015 9:58 AM IST

Jeera or cumin seeds-- the quintessential Indian spice is an addition to a number of dishes; be it dal or as tempering for a dish. But did you know that originally Indians added this spice to their dish, not only for its wonderful flavour and aroma, but also for the number of health benefits it has. This spice can help improve digestion, beat insomnia and even help with your sex life. So, here are 10 ways jeera adds to the healthy quotient of your daily meal.

Benefit 1: Improves digestion

The presence of thymol and other essential oils in cumin seeds stimulate the salivary glands thereby helping in the digestion of food. Apart from this, it strengthens a sluggish digestive system. Hence, if you do suffer from indigestion try drinking some jeera tea. Apart from that this jeera-banana combo can help you lose weight too.

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Tip: Add a teaspoon of cumin seeds to a glass of water and bring it to a boil. Once the water turns brown, turn off the gas and cover the vessel. Allow the decoction to cool down to room temperature. Drink this tea three times a day to improve digestion and to help resolve minor stomach aches. If you want the tea to be a little mild, you can add some cumin seeds to a glass of boiling hot water and cover it. Let it steep and then decant the water.

Benefit 2: Beats constipation

Due to its high fibre content, jeera boosts the activity of the gastrointestinal tract which in turn stimulates enzyme secretion. This is why jeera powder is commonly used as a natural laxative. In fact, its laxative properties are so powerful that Ayurveda practitioners believe that it is capable of preventing and healing severe digestive disorders like piles.

Tip: To get relief from constipation, roast jeera seeds on a tawa till they turn deep brown. Now, cool them and grind them into a fine powder. Mix this powder with water or honey and consume it on an empty stomach. Another good remedy is to have some freshly prepared jeera tea.

Benefit 3: Fights cancer

According to the studies conducted by the Cancer Research Laboratory of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, USA, jeera can help in the fight against cancer. This is because it contains an active compound, known as cuminaldehyde that helps in retarding the growth of tumours. However, this anti-cancer property was confined to kala jeera.

Tip: Don t forget to add a pinch of jeera to your dal as seasoning or sprinkle few seeds over a gravy to reap its benefits.

Benefit 4: Regulates blood pressure and heart rate

Being high in potassium -- a mineral that helps maintain the electrolyte balance in the body -- this seed is an elixir for heart patients. This mineral not only helps in the regulation cell production but also helps maintain your blood pressure and heart rate. Because of its regulatory properties, jeera helps patients who have heart disease and helps prevent it as well.

Tip: You can drink a glass of jeera water early in the morning (on an empty stomach) to control your blood pressure levels.

Benefit 5: Relieves asthma and cold

The potent anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of cumin seed, makes it a great home remedy for cold and asthma. These compounds soothe inflamed muscles and boost your immunity to fight the infection.

Tip: For relief from a cold, boil some jeera seeds (about one tablespoon) in two cups of water and add a small piece of crushed ginger to the water. Once it starts to boil, strain it and sip on this tea as often as possible. This will not only help relieve a cold but also soothe a sore throat thereby making you feel much better.

Benefit 6: Helps prevent anaemia

Did you know that 100 grams of jeera contains 11.7 milligrams of iron? Iron is the main component in the production of haemoglobin a substance that carries and transports oxygen throughout our body. This is why jeera is the most natural and effective supplement for people suffering from anaemia.

Tip: It is also advisable for women to consume jeera on a regular basis to keep the disease at bay. You could just include it in your everyday meals like in roti, rice, curries, etc. Here are 5 foods you should avoid if you have anemia.

Benefit 7: Improves sexual health

Yes, it's true. The humble seed can up your sexual quotient. Packed with zinc and potassium, jeera is an all-rounder when it comes to improving your performance in the bedroom. Zinc is important for sperm production and potassium maintains a healthy heart rate and blood pressure, This spice also helps deal with fertility issues and prevent conditions like ED (erectile dysfunction), PE (premature ejaculation), low sperm count and low virility of your sperm.

Tip: Drink jeera tea on a regular basis on an empty stomach and watch things steam up between the sheets, naturally!

Benefit 8: Great for pregnant mothers

As a seed, it acts as a wonder spice for mothers-to-be and new mothers. Its properties of relieving constipation and improving digestion greatly help pregnant women deal with pregnancy symptoms like nausea and constipation. Along with aiding in better delivery, this spice enhances lactation. Also, the high amount of iron and calcium content in the seed increases milk production without any side effects.

Tip: Pregnant mothers should mix jeera powder in milk and honey and have this twice a day.

Benefit 9: Helps to deal with insomnia

Can t sleep? Maybe jeera can help. The tiny cumin seed might just do the trick for you. Jeera contains a high amount of melatonin, which when consumed with bananas increases the production of chemicals within the brain. This concoction helps beat insomnia and gives you a good night s sleep.

Tip: To sleep well mix some freshly ground jeera powder with the pulp of a ripe banana. Eat this every night. This not only helps insomniacs naturally it is not addictive in nature like synthetic drugs.

Benefit 10: Enhances memory

Packed with minerals like riboflavin, zeaxanthin, vitamin B6, niacin and many more, jeera is well known for its ability to maintain and restore memory and mental health. In Ayurveda, it is often used to treat patients suffering from amnesia. While home remedies are something we all rely on in our everyday life, it is essential that you go to a trained physician if your symptoms persist or get worse.

Tip: To sharpen your memory, chew on a few roasted seeds every day.

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  1. Takruri, H. R., & Dameh, M. A. (1998). Study of the nutritional value of black cumin seeds (Nigella sativaL). Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture,76(3), 404-410.
  2. Sultan, M. T., Butt, M. S., Anjum, F. M., Jamil, A., Akhtar, S., & Nasir, M. (2009). Nutritional profile of indigenous cultivar of black cumin seeds and antioxidant potential of its fixed and essential oil. Pak J Bot, 41(3), 1321-1330.
  3. Thippeswamy, N. B., & Naidu, K. A. (2005). Antioxidant potency of cumin varieties cumin, black cumin and bitter cumin on antioxidant systems.European food research and technology, 220(5-6), 472-476.
  4. Aruna, K., & Sivaramakrishnan, V. M. (1992). Anticarcinogenic effects of some Indian plant products. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 30(11), 953-956.

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