Jeera, zeera, cumin, jeerakam, jeeru, jeerige, jidakara, etc. are some of the names by which it is known across India. Is if found in almost every Indian kitchen, and is a common spice used in Indian cuisine. More importantly, it is one of those grandma’s nuskas for digestion. The preparation may slightly vary, but it is one of the most home remedies for common stomach ailments to aid digestion.
Used as jal jeera, jeere kashaya(m), jeeraka vellam, this spice is famous as an effective digestive aid. This spice is also used in other Asian cuisines. Jeera is also highly nutritious with the presence of minerals like Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, Magnesium and Potassium. It also contains helpful proteins and fibre and Vitamin E, A, C, K and B6. While the white/slightly brown variety is the most commonly used one in this, the black variety is said to be more medicinal, with proven health benefits.
Components in Jeera are said to stimulate acid in the stomach as well as digestive juices in the pancreas, which gives it the power of being an excellent digestive aid. It soothes not just the stomach, but also the intestines and the entire digestive tract. This is why it was used as a common ingredient in many of the Indian dishes. It prevents constipation by helping digestion of fats in the small intestine, and also contains fibre content. Jeera helps fight a lot of digestive issues like bloating, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acidity and more.
Being one of the best natural sources of dietary Iron, Jeera helps prevent or combat anaemia. This disease is prevalent among women of all ages but can trouble the senior population as their eating habits may change. Including Jeera in some form in all the meals of the day is a good way to combat this disease. In fact, drinking water boiled with Jeera is a practice people follow in few parts of the country, as that guarantees many of the health benefits this spice can offer.
Easy fractures and osteoporosis are other issues commonly troubling the ageing population. This happens because of the lack of bone strength, which is linked to Calcium. Sufficient consumption of Calcium, especially in the natural form can help build good bone strength. Jeera contains Calcium, and it is important to have this in our diet, as the Calcium absorption capability of our body steadily keeps reducing as we age.
Terpenes, phenols, flavonoids and alkaloids are just a few of the compounds found in Jeera, few of which function as powerful antioxidants. They help fight the free radicals in the body and prevent oxidation that causes inflammation, that lead to many diseases like cancer, heart diseases and more. This is being touted as its anti-carcinogenic property, along with its antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
It has been scientifically proven that Jeera, when consumed regularly, can help control blood sugar. It is said that the best way to go about this is to consume Jeera water, which stimulates insulin production in the body. It could also be chewed in whole or used in the powder form as well.
Helps with Cholesterol Levels
Studies conducted about the link of Jeera and cholesterol levels in the body also found that they help increase the good cholesterol levels. Additionally, it also reduced the bad cholesterol levels significantly, making it a good diet option to keep you healthy.
Few other benefits of Jeera are that it is also said to help with skin health as it contains Vitamin E. It even acts as a de-stressing agent and helps with insomnia and can help fight anxiety. It is touted as a good detoxifying agent as well as help with respiratory issues. The best part is there are multiple ways in which Jeera can be included in our daily diet. The powder can be sprinkled as a seasoner on soups, raithas, salads and more. The seeds can be used for seasoning regular gravies and breakfast dishes; it can be ground along with other spices for flavour or boiled as is with water for consumption.