Cardamom is a unique spice that despite its lackluster shell, carries a delightful aroma that adds a touch of “What is that?” to any dish. It is great in both sweet and savory dishes and even makes for a delicious addition to coffee. Even better, cardamom benefits span the spectrum of illnesses. Add cardamom to your diet now and you wont regret it!
Cardamom is originally from forests in India. It is very common in Indian cuisine and is held in high regard in Ayurvedic medicine. It has a peppery, citrusy taste that assists in more ways than one. Modern studies substantiate cardamom benefits, despite the spice already having been used for centuries for medicinal purposes. Here are the reasons why you should incorporate more cardamom into your lifestyle and ways you can do it.
Cardamom is probably most popularly known for its digestive system perks. The volatile oil in cardamom is able to calm the stomach and intestines, allowing it to soothe constipation, dysentery and indigestion. It also soothes gas and heartburn.
Phytochemicals in cardamom, such as IC3 (indole-3-carbinol) and DIM (diindolylmethane), are known to fight cancer and prevent hormone-responding cancers, such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.
One study shows that cardamom is also effective in lowering blood pressure. Meanwhile, cardamom has long been used as an antidepressant due to its pleasant and relaxing fragrance as well as a key combatant against halitosis, chronic bad breath, also due to its fragrance.
You likely do not already have a list of recipes involving cardamom in your repertoire, so to get started, check out the following recipes that had me drooling:
- Pickled Fall Fruits with Cardamom and Clove
- Plum Cardamom Coffee Cake
- Cardamom Honey Chicken
- Curry Chicken in Cardamom-Infused Coconut Sauce
- Pistachio Cardamom Ice Cream Pie
- Cardamom Spinach and Artichoke Tart
- Baked Pork with Cardamom, Ginger and Yogurt
- Fried Shrimp Flatbreads with Spicy Cardamom Sauce
- Lamb in Green Cardamom Curry
- Cardamom Coffee
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Photo Credit: Michael Allen Smith