So I decided to write about cardamom. I then discovered that all I know about it is that it tastes really nice in chai tea and chai latte. Luckily there are a lot of websites out there that have a lot of information about cardamom.
I have included the websites that I looked at in the sources at the bottom if you want to have a look for yourself, some were very comprehensive. It turns out that this spice actually has a whole bunch of awesome health benefits.
Here are a few of them:
- Helps with digestive issues: Cardamom is great for heartburn, gas, indigestion, and nausea, and can stimulate your appetite if you don’t have one. It also helps with constipation, because when you use it in food, you’ll eat the fibre- cardamom has quite a bit of it.
- Cholesterol-lowering: The fibre helps to lower the bad cholesterol in your body, so you’ll have a healthier heart.
- Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation causes pain and swelling, so while it’s a good thing because your body is trying to heal your injury or an irritation, too much is not such a good thing. Cardamom can help reduce inflammation meaning you end up with less pain and swelling.
- Antioxidant-rich: Woohoo! Free radicals are caused by the processes taking place in your body every day. They break down your cells, essentially aging you. We can’t stop aging but we can age gracefully. Anti-oxidants combat harmful free radicals and in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle, prevent many diseases.
- Fights cancer: Cardamom can help to fight some cancers by preventing those cancer cells from growing, and in some cases, breaking them down. Now this isn’t licence to start smoking and drinking excessively, you still need to be healthy. If you already have cancer, don’t stop your treatment, just eat healthily to help it along.
- Helps prevent colds and flu: Cardamom helps to boost your immune system.
- Helps for Urinary Tract Infection: Urinary tract issues are horrible. Whenever I feel UTI might be coming on, I usually reach for the buchu tea, cranberries, and Citro soda. Cardamom tastes better than any of those to me, so I think I’ll reach for a delicious cup of chai tea next time instead.
- A few other interesting benefits: apparently cardamom can help you to get rid of hiccups and even bad breath. Sounds good to me.
There is a whole host of other benefits, but I thought these were definitely worth mentioning. Cardamom is a very versatile spice. You get two kinds, the green cardamom which can be used to flavour sweet and savoury dishes and drinks, and the brown cardamom which is used for savoury dishes.
Cardamom is commonly used in curries, desserts, cakes, biscuits, teas, and coffee. Just google cardamom recipes, there are so many! I haven’t added a recipe because as I mentioned before, I am not great at cooking, and I am even worse at actually baking things :p So I will leave the recipes up to those who have a better track record.
As always, just a few words of caution:
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, first check with your doctor about how much is okay to have, if any. Cardamom should probably not be used for medicinal purposes during this time because of the dosage. It’s always better to be safe.
If you have gallstones, you should avoid cardamom because it can trigger gallstone colic. Yikes! Other than that, cardamom is a wonderful spice that can be used by the rest of us for great tasting dishes and drinks and great health benefits.
I hope you have learnt as much as I did about cardamom. I didn’t know that I had been sipping on greatness all this time. I think I’ll go make myself a cup of chai tea right now. Enjoy experimenting with great recipes and some delicious beverages and getting healthier as you go 🙂