How cardamom benefits your health and recipes to try

WWhether you use cardamom in cozy baked goods, mash into salads, make tea or for any other use, cardamom is sure to play a major role in your culinary creations. thanks to its delicious taste and rich aroma. Better yet, in both Ayurvedic and Western medicine, cardamom promises numerous health benefits, from better blood sugar balance and improved liver health and inflammation to fresh breath. better.

If you’ve never tried cooking with cardamom at home, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to discover what it is and how it tastes, as well as the key cardamom benefits it offers. Plus: a few cardamom recipes for you to taste for yourself.

What is the fruit?

Native to Southern India, cardamom generally refers to the seeds of the cardamom tree Elettaria, which belongs to the ginger family. Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, a registered dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author based in Torrance, California, explains: “Cardamom has a green rind, is fragrant, and contains nutrients. The seeds have a dark flavor inside. “For the seeds to fall out, you can use the flat side of a knife to gently press, a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle.” (Sheth adds that there exists another type of cardamom, which has a larger black rind with a different flavor and aroma.)

If you’ve never eaten cardamom, Sheth says it “taste like menthol and fruit with a complex aroma”. Versatile in both sweet and savory dishes as well as in tea and coffee, this spice is most popular in Indian, South Asian and Middle Eastern cuisines. As for Indian delicacies, Sheth says you can find it in items like masala chai (spiced Indian tea), pulav rice (scented basmati rice with spices), and palak paneer (creamy spinach) and homemade cheeses), and many other delicious foods and drinks.

How is cardamom beneficial to your health?

“According to Ayurvedic medicine, cardamom can help control blood sugar, lower blood pressure, and improve liver health,” explains Sheth. While she notes that more research is needed to talk about the ways in which cardamom benefits health with certainty, more and more research is pointing to the benefits of these pods. this herb, mainly due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

For example, in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the journal Medicine In 2020, researchers found that participants with type 2 diabetes who supplemented with 3 grams of cardamom daily for 10 weeks had reduced HbA1c, an index of insulin resistance, and blood pressure compared with the placebo group. . In another double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism in 2018, patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease who supplemented with two 500-milligram capsules three times daily for three months experienced statistically significant improvements in liver-related biomarkers fat and anti-inflammatory.

Furthermore, as we mentioned earlier, cardamom is often used as a natural mouth freshener thanks to a hint of menthol. However, it doesn’t simply cover up bad breath: According to a 2020 study, the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory activities of this spice may help protect against periodontal infections. And finally, Sheth says cardamom can promote digestion — even more so if it’s included in a nutrient-rich, gut-friendly formula. (See below!)

3 delicious recipes using cardamom

1. California plum bread with pecans and cardamom

Photo: California plums

Developed by visual food storyteller James Collier, this “lovely loaf” recipe goes well with breakfast as well as dessert. Better yet, you can rest assured that you’re protecting your health with every grill and bite. Half a tablespoon of ground cardamom adds sweetness to California Prunes, these prunes are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, contain no added sugars, and contain more antioxidants per day. servings are impressive compared to dried blueberries and cranberries.

Get the recipe: California Prune Bread with Pecans and Cardamom

2. Indian masala chai (spiced milk tea)

Photo: Piping Pot Curry

If you ask me, winter is the perfect time to enjoy a warm cup of tea. Sure, you can buy premix at your local grocery store, but the fresher the better. Get inspired to make your own with this authentic Indian chai masala recipe by Meeta Arora of Piping Hot Curry, which calls for grated ginger and freshly ground anti-inflammatory spices—cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and cinnamon. pepper—to add warmth and depth to your dish brewed tea that you can’t imitate with processed tea alternatives. While you can use milk or a milk substitute, Arora prefers a 2/3 water to 1/3 milk ratio and recommends creating a more balanced ratio if you prefer a thicker bottle.

Get the recipe: Indian masala chai (spiced milk tea)

3. Cardamom Fruit Salad

For a delicious and refreshing fruit salad, check out Sheth’s own recipe—using cardamom (also known as “elaichi” in India) and yielding four servings—from her cookbook. she, My Indian Table: Quick and Delicious Vegetarian Recipes. Whether enjoyed as a snack or dessert, it’s a delicious way to whet your appetite and load up on protective antioxidants.

1 banana cut into wheels
1 apple, cored and cut into cubes
1 orange, peeled, quartered and cut into cubes
1 cup berries
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Put all the pieces of fruit in a bowl.

2. Add cardamom and lime juice. Mix well while being gentle.

3. Serve immediately or let cool and serve when ready or with a scoop of ice cream.

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