Health Benefits of Cumin Seeds
1. Beneficial for digestion
The active ingredients in cumin seeds may help digestion and improve gut motility by augmenting the secretion of gastrointestinal enzymes. The thymol and other essential oils in cumin seeds also help stimulate the salivary glands that help you digest food.
The fiber content in cumin seeds also helps stimulate enzyme secretion. Cumin has been used in traditional medicine for mild digestive disorders, including bloating, morning sickness, diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence, and dyspepsia.
2. Lowers cholesterol
The antioxidant activity in cumin is thought to help lower cholesterol. A 2014 study published in the International Journal of Health Sciences found that cumin could significantly reduce oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL). Another study published in the journal Pharmacological Research in 2002 found that cumin lowered pancreatic inflammatory markers, triglycerides, and total cholesterol in diabetic rats.
3. Effective for diabetes
Cumin seeds are also a good spice that diabetics should consider. A study published in the journal Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism in 2005 found that cumin oil lowered blood sugar levels in rats induced with diabetes.
The researchers also hypothesized that cumin may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. In another study published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010, researchers found that cumin extract showed greater effectiveness at reducing advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and blood sugar in diabetic rats than the anti-diabetic drug glibenclamide.
4. Boosts immunity
Cumin seeds contain iron, vitamin A and vitamin C, which can also help build the immune system. In a 2010 study published in the journal Chemico-Biological Interactions, researchers found that cumin is a potent immunomodulator that may lead to the recovery of immunocompromised individuals.
For the study, mice with compromised immune systems from induced stress received 25, 50, 100, and 200 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) oral doses of cumin on consecutive days. The cumin reduced adrenal gland size, elevated cortisol, and replenished depleted T-cells.
5. Helps fight symptoms of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is most common in postmenopausal women. In a10-week study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine in 2008, researchers found that cumin extract had a similar anti-osteoporotic effect in rats when compared to a drug for menopause called estradiol.
However, cumin did not produce the weight gain linked with estradiol. An oral dosage of one gram (g) per kg of cumin improved microarchitecture and increased bone density in rats with osteoporosis.