Health Benefits Of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds are called shahi jeera in Hindi. They are similar to cumin seeds (jeera). The unique warm and peppery flavour of the seeds makes them find a place in Indian as well as International cuisine.
These seeds are native of Asia, North Africa and Europe. Caraway is a member of the parsley family that includes other common spices and herbs like fennel, cumin, and anise. Calling them seeds is actually erroneous as these are actually fruits of the plant :P, crescent shaped ones with ridges. But let’s call them seeds! They contain volatile oil and loads of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, manganese, potassium, selenium and magnesium. Talking about the vitamins, the seeds err fruits have lots of vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and vitamin B-complex.
Health Benefits Of Caraway Seeds
Caraway seeds have several health benefits to offer:
- Caraway seeds prevent the re-absorption of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the colon thereby reducing its concentration. This way these seeds prevent several cardiovascular diseases like artery congestion and heart attack.
- These help in providing relief from symptoms of bronchitis.
- The seeds are a rich source of anti-oxidants that include carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, and cryptoxanthin. Antioxidants fight the damage caused by free radicals thereby preventing the formation of cancer cells.
- They have a detoxifying nature that helps in lowering the speed of aging. They help fighting the signs of aging such as dark spots, wrinkles, fine lines, and patches on the skin.
- They help in boosting one’s immunity by strengthening the immune system.
- As these seeds have a rich content of vitamin E, they help in improving the skin texture. They are also known to enhance eyesight and hair texture.
- Their strong and pungent odour makes them a good option to get rid of bad breath. Chewing a few of the caraway seeds can reduce bad breath and also ward off the bland taste of the mouth.
- These seeds are known to regulate the menstrual cycle that ensures regular periods. They also help in reducing PMS.
- It helps in clearing up phlegm from the respiratory tract and provides relief from congestion.
- They promote gland activity thus maintaining the overall functioning of the body.
- They regulate the functioning of kidneys and help in clearing the body of toxins and waste materials.
- Caraway seeds are used as a remedy for toothache and oral trouble.
- They cure headache and migraine.
- It is known to be good for arthritis, inflammation of joints and other related ailments.
- Caraway seeds can treat digestive troubles like IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome).
- They help in preventing constipation due to the rich fibre content present in them.
- They prevent indigestion and ease other stomach afflictions like dyspepsia.
- The seeds help do away with hook worms present in the intestinal tract.
- They cure gas and flatulence.
- Caraway seeds are pretty good appetizers.
Selecting and storing caraway seeds
These are available all round the year and bought as such or as a powder. It is better to buy whole caraway seeds instead of the powder as they might be adulterated.
Keep them in a dry, cool and dark place in a well sealed manner. Powdered seeds can be kept in air tight containers and stored in the refrigerator. Make it a point to use them as early as possible because they lose flavour really quick. The best way out is to make small batches of its powder.
Will you be adding caraway seeds to your food?
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