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The Curry Cure-All? Cardamom's Healing Powers

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Aside from its association with Indian cooking, cardamom doesn’t garner the attention it truly deserves, neither for its taste nor its nutrition. But the seed could very well be the answer to a few of your health woes, from preventing cancer to fighting depression. Try incorporating the healing power of cardamom into your daily diet and welcome the rewards.

Indigenous to southern India and Sri Lanka, cardamom seeds come from a plant in the ginger family and can be recognized as a brown or green-colored seedpod or powder. Cardamom has a unique aroma that is notably fragrant and light. And despite being known for its role in Indian dishes, such as garam masala and masala chai, it is also used in Nordic and Middle Eastern fares.

Cardamom is rich in calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamins C and B6. It is also a good source of iron, sodium, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and manganese. Cardamom is packed with antioxidants, which are overall helpful in preventing aging, warding off stress and keeping the immune system alive and well.

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Medicinally, cardamom has been used in South Asia to treat infections relating to the mouth, gums, and throat. It is also known to help alleviate digestive disorders, which is why it pairs so well with Indian dishes that are a challenge for the body to digest. The oils in cardamom soothe the stomach and intestines. It provides a natural way to treat upset stomachs without popping a pill. Try adding cardamom powder to food or ingest it slowly as a dash in tea water.

Another advantage to cardamom consumption is the seed’s anti-cancer properties. Cardamom contains indole-3-carbinol (IC3) and diindolylmethane (DIM), which are phytochemicals known to fight cancer. Additionally, cardamom treats dysentery, constipation, and respiratory issues.

Above all, cardamom adds a welcome taste and aroma to your kitchen. It can be part of both sweet and savory dishes as well as fits perfectly into any meal of the day, from a light morning smoothie to a spicy masala dinner. Enjoy!

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