You might be familiar with cardamom as a common ingredient found in your favorite Indian dishes. The fragrant spice can add a savory, herbal, citrusy, and even slightly minty flavor to a meal. And it turns out, it can also help you shed stubborn weight, lower blood pressure, and reduce anxiety, too.
OK, that’s a lot of benefits from one humble spice, so let’s break it all down for you. When it comes to weight loss, a study from 2017 observed overweight and pre-diabetic women over the course of two months. The half of the women who added just three grams of powdered cardamom to their daily diet showed higher signs of weight loss, including a smaller waist circumference. On the other hand, those given a placebo either gained or maintained their weight.
Those who lost weight showed just a slight difference, but remember the study only lasted two months. The women also didn’t change anything else about their diet or exercise, so there’s every chance cardamom could help achieve more significant weight loss results when combined with a healthier lifestyle.
As for blood pressure, a study from 2009 showed a significant decrease in overall hypertension levels for newly diagnosed patients who added three grams of cardamom to their diets over three months. One warning, though: You might find yourself having to go #1 more often if you add more of this spice to your own diet. Don’t worry, though — this diuretic effect is part of what makes it beneficial for lowering blood pressure as it removes excess water build up in your body and around your heart. Researchers also noted a huge increase in antioxidant levels in the patients’ blood, which has been proven to help lower blood pressure and ward off cancer-causing free radicals.
The abundance of antioxidants are also what can aid in easing anxiety. A study from 2014 found that oxidative imbalance can be a major cause of stress and anxiety in humans. Giving your body an extra boost of antioxidants should help even that out and keep you feeling calm, cool, and collected.
If all of that weren’t enough to convince you to invest in some cardamom for your spice cabinet, many cultures have also used it to freshen breath and even protect teeth from cavities thanks to its antimicrobial qualities (which were confirmed in a 2009 study). However, instead of adding powdered or ground cardamom ($7.41, Amazon) to your meals, you should chomp on a few of the full cardamom pods ($6.45, Amazon) to enjoy a fresh and clean feeling.
Who doesn’t love a delicious way to stay healthy, happy, and worry-free — even when it comes to bad breath?
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.