Spices are valuable additives in healthy diet. When added in the right way, they may improve the culinary properties of eaten meals, and help us supply the body with many precious substances. Cardamon is an example of spice, which includes extraordinary taste and aroma, and is rich in pro-health compounds.
Few words on cardamon
To be honest, cardamon contains three kinds of plants, which belong to the family of zingiberaceae, of which the immature seeds have been used for centuries for culinary and medical purposes. The homeland of cardamon is India, but, of course, this spice has been adapted in all the regions of the world. However, in Poland, we still don't appreciate its value, even though it has many interesting properties, which go far beyond the smell-taste values.
Cardamon against cancer
Cardamon contains a packet of antioxidant and anti-proliferation substances. Thanks to these properties, it helps to lower the excessive activity of free radicals and lowers the risk of occurrence of mutation of cancer nature. There are studies, which confirm that higher intake of cardamon may be connected with lower risk of occurrence of large intestine cancer. This dependency needs further research, however, taking under consideration available data, we may be optimistic about the anti-cancer properties of cardamon.
Cardamon vs. circulatory system
It has been pointed for centuries, that cardamon has positive influence on heart. Nowadays, we are certain that traditional knowledge is justified in scientific studies. The experiments lead by the researchers from the Department of Pharmacology and pharmaceuticals at the College of Pharmacy of King Saud University in Saudi Arabia point out, that cardamon contains substances of multidirectional, positive influence on the circulatory system. It should be stated, on the basis of available data, that compounds found in cardamon have the following properties:
decrease blood pressure and influence positively the functions of vascular endothelium,
help to regulate the level of lipids in blood by influencing the functions of liver,
are anti-inflammatory (and inflammation is the basis of atherosclerosis).
Cardamon and digestive tract
Traditional sources also mention the positive influence of cardamon on the process of digestion. The Ayurveda medicine, as well as the Chinese traditional medicine mention it. It is also confirmed in scientific research. The essential oils present in cardamon strengthen excretion of digestive juices and show the properties of alleviating the stomach-intestinal disorders (which may be very precious after Christmas). What's more, cardamon also includes compounds, which block multiplication and development of microbes responsible for particular digestive infections.
Cardamon is worth remembering about because of its culinary value, as well as pro-health activity. It works well with Indian cuisine dishes, or with cocoa and coffee (where it may be completed with vanilla or cinnamon).