Amateur and professional cooks have used cardamom to add sweetness and spiciness to their dishes, while medical practitioners have praised it for its wide array of health benefits. Some have even placed it in the same league as turmeric — and when a spice has been positively compared to the super spice of the now, you know it’s worth paying attention to, as previously mentioned. Here Lizzie Streit, MS, RDN, LD, HealthLine.com, reflects on the many health benefits of cardamon:
“Cardamom is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavor that some people compare to mint.
It originated in India but is available worldwide today and used in both sweet and savory recipes.
The seeds, oils and extracts of cardamom are thought to have impressive medicinal properties and have been used in traditional medicine for centuries (1, 2).
Here are 10 health benefits of cardamom, backed by science.
1. Antioxidants and Diuretic Properties May Lower Blood Pressure
Cardamom may be helpful for people with high blood pressure.
In one study, researchers gave three grams of cardamom powder a day to 20 adults who were newly diagnosed with high blood pressure. After 12 weeks, blood pressure levels had significantly decreased to the normal range (3Trusted Source).
The promising results of this study may be related to the high levels of antioxidants in cardamom. In fact, the participants’ antioxidant status had increased by 90% by the end of the study. Antioxidants have been linked to lower blood pressure (3Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).
Researchers also suspect that the spice may lower blood pressure due to its diuretic effect, meaning it can promote urination to remove water that builds up in your body, for example around your heart.
Cardamom extract has been shown to increase urination and decrease blood pressure in rats (5Trusted Source).
2. May Contain Cancer-Fighting Compounds
The compounds in cardamom may help fight cancer cells.
Studies in mice have shown that cardamom powder can increase the activity of certain enzymes that help fight cancer (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).
The spice may also enhance the ability of natural killer cells to attack tumors (8Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers exposed two groups of mice to a compound that causes skin cancer and fed one group 500 mg of ground cardamom per kg (227 mg per pound) of weight per day (7Trusted Source).
After 12 weeks, only 29% of the group who ate the cardamom developed cancer, compared to over 90% of the control group (7Trusted Source).
Research on human cancer cells and cardamom indicate similar results. One study showed that a certain compound in the spice stopped oral cancer cells in test tubes from multiplying (9Trusted Source).
Even though the results are promising, these studies have only been conducted on mice or in test tubes. Human research is needed before stronger claims can be made.
3. May Lower Blood Sugar Levels
When taken in powder form, cardamom may lower blood sugar.
One study found that feeding rats a high-fat, high-carb (HFHC) diet caused their blood sugar levels to remain elevated longer than if they were fed a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
When rats on the HFHC diet were given cardamom powder, their blood sugar did not stay elevated for longer than the blood sugar of rats on a normal diet (15Trusted Source).
However, the powder may not have the same effect in humans with type 2 diabetes.
In a study in over 200 adults with this condition, participants were divided into groups that took only black tea or black tea with three grams of either cinnamon, cardamom or ginger every day for eight weeks (29Trusted Source).
The results showed that cinnamon, but not cardamom or ginger, improved blood sugar control (29Trusted Source).
In order to better understand the effect of cardamom on blood sugar in humans, more studies are needed.
4. May Treat Bad Breath and Prevent Cavities
The use of cardamom to treat bad breath and improve oral health is an ancient remedy.
In some cultures, it’s common to freshen your breath by eating entire cardamom pods after a meal (1).
Even the chewing gum manufacturer Wrigley uses the spice in one of its products.
The reason why cardamom can lead to minty fresh breath may have to do with its ability to fight common mouth bacteria (19Trusted Source).
One study found that cardamom extracts were effective in fighting five bacteria that can cause dental cavities. In some test-tube cases, the extracts prevented the growth of the bacteria by up to 0.82 inches (2.08 cm) (20).
Additional research shows that cardamom extract can reduce the number of bacteria in saliva samples by 54% (21).
However, all of these studies have been conducted in test tubes, making it unclear how the results may apply to humans.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/cardamom-benefits#section5
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