Discover the 11 shocking health benefits of cumin seeds.
Cumin is the dried seed of the herb Cuminum cyminum, which is a member of the parsley family.
The flowering plant belongs to the Apiaceae family and is native from the eastern Mediterranean to India.
Whole and ground cumin seeds, found within the plant’s nuts, are used for cooking in various cultures.
It also has many uses as a traditional medicinal plant, particularly due to its ability to heal infections and aid the digestive system.
Cumin seeds are yellowish-brown in color, with a flat, rectangular shape.
The seeds are used for spices due to their distinctive flavor and aroma.
When cumin is added to food, it creates a warm, earthy flavor, making it a staple in certain meat dishes, sauces, stews, soups, and chili dishes.
Not only are cumin seeds used for their distinctive and spicy flavor, but they are also used for medicinal purposes.
In Sanskrit, cumin is known as Jira, which means “that which aids digestion,” and it is one of the most mentioned herbs in the Bible.
For good reason, cumin is also believed to be beneficial for heart disease, hemorrhoids, inflammation, insomnia, vomiting, weakened immune system, and viral infections.
Nutrition Facts of Cumin Seeds
Cuminaldehyde, cymene, and terpenoids are the main volatile components of cumin seeds.
The seeds are an excellent source of dietary fiber, essential minerals such as iron and calcium, B-complex vitamins, and antioxidant vitamins.
A tablespoon of cumin seed has about:
• 22 calories
• 1 gram of fat
• 0 grams of cholesterol
• 10 milligrams of sodium
• 3 grams of carbohydrates
• 1 gram of dietary fiber
• 0 grams of sugar
• 1 gram of protein
• 76 international units of vitamin A (2 percent DV)
• 5 milligrams of vitamin C (1 percent DV)
• 2 milligrams vitamin E (1 percent DV)
• 1-milligram thiamine (1 percent DV)
• 3 milligrams niacin (1 percent DV)
• 1-milligram riboflavin (1 percent DV)
• 4 milligrams iron (22 percent DV)
• 2 milligrams manganese (10 percent DV)
• 56 milligrams of calcium (6 percent DV)
• 22 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)
• 30 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
• 107 milligrams potassium (3 percent DV)
• 1-milligram copper (3 percent DV)
• 3 milligrams zinc (2 percent DV)
11 Health Benefits of cumin seeds
1.- Helps with digestion
• Thymol, a compound in cumin, is known to stimulate the glands that secrete acids, bile, and enzymes.
This stimulation is responsible for the digestion of food in the stomach and intestines.
• Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum, and up to 75 percent of people will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
Pressure on the veins causes swelling, pain, and bleeding.
• One of the main causes of hemorrhoids is constipation; Because cumin seeds are high-fiber foods, they help treat hemorrhoids naturally by stimulating the digestive system.
Cumin seeds also have antifungal and antimicrobial properties, so if there is an infection in the anus, which is a symptom of hemorrhoids, cumin will help treat that problem as well.
• Cumin aids digestion by preventing the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract.
Its carminative properties fight flatulence, which can lead to stomach aches and abdominal pain or pressure.
2.- Boost the immune system
• The presence of vitamin C in cumin seeds allows the spice to serve as an immune system booster.
• Vitamin C is beneficial for people whose immune systems have been weakened due to stress.
• Considering that stress has become a common condition in our society, a sufficient intake of vitamin C can serve as an ideal tool for one’s overall health.
• By consuming foods with vitamin C, you fight inflammation, lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack, fight cancer-causing oxidative stress, and promote healthy skin.
3.- Treat respiratory disorders
• Cumin seeds act as an expectorant and decongestant agent; Helps clear mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchial tubes, and windpipe.
• It also works as a stimulant and disinfectant, so once the mucus is cleared from the airways, cumin seeds can help heal the initial condition that caused the congestion.
• Asthma, for example, is a respiratory disease that causes spasms of the bronchial muscles, inflammation of the lining of the lungs, and increased mucus production, leading to the inability to breathe.
• Generally, it is caused by pollution, obesity, infections, allergies, exercise, stress, or hormonal imbalances.
By improving bronchial restriction, cumin seeds serve as a natural remedy for asthma.
4.- Promotes skin health
• The presence of vitamin E in cumin seeds acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin E helps strengthen the capillary walls of the skin. Improves moisture and elasticity, acting as a natural anti-aging nutrient.
• Studies have shown that vitamin E helps reduce inflammation in both the body and the skin, which helps maintain healthy, youthful skin.
• These antioxidant properties are also useful when you are exposed to cigarette smoke or the ultraviolet rays of sunlight, protecting against skin cancer.
Taking vitamin E with vitamin C fights skin inflammation after exposure to UV radiation and can also be helpful in the natural treatment of signs of eczema and acne.
• Another benefit of vitamin E is that it stimulates the healing process in the skin.
Because it accelerates cell regeneration, it can be used to treat scars, acne, and wrinkles; This makes your skin look healthier and younger.
• The antifungal and antibacterial properties of cumin can also prevent and treat skin infections.
5.- Treat insomnia
• Many adults experience insomnia at some point, but some people have long-term (chronic) insomnia. Some primary causes of insomnia include stress, indigestion, pain, and medical conditions.
• Fortunately, adequate intake of vitamins, particularly the B-complex vitamins, and maintaining good digestion are ways to treat insomnia without medication.
• Cumin aids digestion relieves bloating and discomfort, which can make you restless and unable to sleep. Also, cumin seeds are known to ease the mind and treat cognitive disorders.
6.- Prevents Diabetes
• Cumin seeds can help prevent diabetes by reducing the chances of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar levels.
• Hypoglycemia can cause several symptoms including sweating, shaking, weakness, clumsiness, slurred speech, confusion, loss of consciousness, and seizures.
• The risk of hypoglycemia is higher in diabetics who have eaten less than normal, have exercised more than usual, or have consumed alcohol.
• A 2005 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests that cumin aldehyde, a component of cumin seeds, may be useful as a leading compound and new agent for antidiabetic therapies because it helps improve glucose tolerance.
7.- It has antiviral and antibacterial properties
• Cumin seeds help fight viral infections and diseases, such as helping to prevent the common cold or flu, by acting as a disinfectant and antiviral agent.
• Cumin seeds have even been tested against E. coli, which is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestines of healthy people and animals. Most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea.
• But some particularly nasty strains can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting.
• A 2008 study investigated the antibacterial mechanism of carvacrol and thymol, two components of cumin seeds, against E. coli. The study included a 200-milligram treatment that demonstrated that carvacrol and thymol had the desired antimicrobial effect on E. coli.
8.- High source of iron
• Iron plays a critical role in the body, and the liver and bone marrow can store iron if needed.
Without iron, the primary cells of the muscles, called myoglobin, cannot hold oxygen. Without oxygen, these cells will not be able to function properly, leading to muscle weakness.
• The brain also depends on oxygen for proper function; If iron is not present, the brain will not receive the oxygen it needs, leading to poor memory, decreased productivity, and apathy.
For this reason, iron-rich foods like cumin seeds can lower the risk of cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
• Cumin seeds are a nutritional additive for people with anemia.
Anemia is related to a problem with the hemoglobin cell that carries oxygen throughout the body.
When your body can’t get enough oxygen for cells and tissues, you feel weak and fatigued.
• Due to the presence of iron in cumin seeds, it serves as a natural cure for anemia and fights symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety, cognitive malfunction, and digestive problems.
9.- Strengthens the bones
• Calcium is used for nerve transmission, blood clotting, hormone secretion, muscle contraction, and lowering blood pressure.
• Foods rich in calcium, such as cumin seeds, help to relax sore muscles; in fact, getting enough calcium is critical for teens and people in their 20s because that’s when the bones solidify and the body reaches its peak in bone mass.
• The higher the maximum bone mass, the longer osteoporosis or loss of bone mass can be delayed at a later age.
• Osteoporosis occurs when tiny holes or weakened areas form in the bone that can lead to fractures, pain, and a Dowager’s hump.
A major cause of osteoporosis is a nutritional deficiency, so consuming nutrient-rich cumin seeds in an osteoporosis-friendly diet will increase bone mass and lower your chances of contracting this painful disease.
10.- Promotes detoxification
• Cumin seed components like cumin aldehyde, thymol, and phosphorus are good detoxifying agents.
Phosphorous helps your body detoxify itself through urination and excretion.
• It is important for kidney function, and the kidneys perform several essential regulatory functions.
In addition to eliminating toxins through the urine, they eliminate excess organic molecules from the blood.
• To balance the levels of uric acid, sodium, water, and fat in the body, the kidneys, and other digestive organs depend on electrolytes such as phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
11.- Prevents cancer
• Due to the presence of vitamins C and A, cumin seeds have anti-cancer properties. Vitamin A, for example, is known to help boost the immune system and prevent oxidative stress.
• According to a study conducted at the University of York, taking vitamin A could help treat various forms of cancer thanks to the vitamin’s ability to control malignant cells in the body.
• Another 2007 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that high intakes of vitamin A and retinol may reduce the risk of gastric cancer.
How to use cumin seeds
You can buy cumin seeds at any health food store or online.
Go for organic and reputable companies when making your purchase.
It’s easy to find ground cumin seeds in the spice department too, but experiment with roasted or infused cumin seeds first because you’ll notice the difference.
Whole cumin seeds are completely edible and safe to eat. When storing cumin seeds or ground cumin, store it in a tightly closed glass container. Like the rest of your spices, it should be kept in a cool, dark place.
To toast cumin seeds, place them in a dry skillet for five minutes.
You want to roast the seeds until they become fragrant, then remove them from the heat so they don’t overcook.
You can also infuse cumin seeds in hot oil. Let them sit in the oil until you hear cracking sounds. This will leave the oil with an earthy flavor.
You will notice that the flavor of roasted cumin seeds is more distinctive and complex than ground cumin.
Plus, they add a crunchy texture that works perfectly for hearty recipes. You can add cumin seeds to almost any food.
Try tossing them into potatoes and onions, hearty soups, sauces, grilled chicken dishes, hummus, stews, and fish dishes.
The flavor is not overpowering, and it adds a feeling of warmth and depth to foods.
Cumin seed recipes
When adding cumin to a dish, you can use ground cumin seeds or roasted cumin seeds. It works either way, so give them a try and see what you like best.
An easy way to get cumin in a meal is by adding spice to hummus.
Hummus is a versatile sauce that can be added to grilled chicken, fish, wraps, and vegetables.
Explore my 29 healthy Hummus recipes. Some of the recipes already call for cumin, but even if they don’t, you can add a teaspoon to create a more earthy flavor.
I mentioned how cumin is a great addition to soup, and here is a perfect example.
My black bean soup recipe is loaded with fiber and flavor.
Add as much cumin as you like, it will only enhance the flavor.
You can also try my delicious Zucchini Avocado Soup Recipe.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and is rich in potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
Cumin is also a popular addition to chili recipes and stews. Creates the perfect warming and grounded flavor, perfect for a chilly night or a Crockpot meal.
Try the Buffalo Chili Recipe – ask for loads of flavorful and aromatic spices that will make your kitchen smell good!
Pico De Gallo Recipe
This classic Pico De Gallo recipe is healthy and packed with flavor and nutrients, and it’s easy to make.
It’s a great accompaniment to any meal, side, or snack, and it’s always essential to have it on hand.
Total time: 5-10 minutes
For 4 people
• 9 Roma tomatoes, diced
• 3-4 green bell peppers, diced
• 2-3 limes, juiced (~ 3/4 cup)
• 1 onion, diced
• 1 large bunch cilantro, finely chopped
• 1 tablespoon of cumin
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 teaspoons of sea salt
1.- Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl.
2.- Mix to combine the juices.
Possible side effects
• Cumin seeds are safe when eaten in regular amounts of food; Research also suggests that the seeds are safe when taken orally in medicinal amounts.
• Cumin can slow blood clotting, so people with bleeding disorders should avoid it.
• Cumin can also lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of hypoglycemia or low blood sugar and carefully monitor your blood sugar level if you have diabetes and use cumin.
• If you are having surgery, cumin may interfere with blood sugar control during and after the procedure. It is best to stop using cumin at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.