Can Cardamom Help You Lose Weight?

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Losing weight doesn’t have to be a constant battle if you have a little help. And that’s exactly what the aromatic cardamom promises to do with its ability to help reduce water retention, improve your lipid profile, and boost digestion and metabolism. According to Ayurveda cardamom can help burn off belly fat reducing your risk of metabolic syndrome.

Spices can do a lot more than perk up a meal. With alternative therapy taking the world by storm, people are turning to their spice cupboards for cures to everything from diabetes to dental problems. Cardamom, much like the shady reaches of the forest it grows in, has quietly lent its sweet aroma to kitchens around the world, but with less fanfare than cinnamon or cloves. But now, with researchers identifying the ability of this green pod-shaped spice to help with weight loss, that’s set to change.

Ayurveda’s Answer To Weighty Problems

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a constant battle if you have a little help. And that’s exactly what the aromatic cardamom promises to do. Attacking the fat in your body on multiple fronts, this Ayurvedic staple can rev up your metabolism, clear up your digestive system, reduce water retention, and even lower cholesterol levels by burning fat. It can even lower blood pressure for those with high blood pressure through its diuretic properties.1

Clear Up The “Ama”

According to Ayurveda, certain illnesses or ailments of the body can result from the buildup of excess “ama.” It is likened to a sticky substance that can block normal circulation and lower energy levels. Purging this from your body is done by consuming ama-reducing foods, one of which is cardamom. A spicy tea that is made with cardamom is one such recommended remedy.2

Prevent Abdominal Fat Deposition And Improve Metabolism

Cardamom also helps fend off fat accumulation in a common problem area – the abdominal region. For many people, the fat tends to sit around the belly, putting them at risk of a host of metabolic problems and even cardiovascular problems.3 Research now tells us that cardamom powder taken as a supplement may help prevent this abdominal fat deposition. In one study, researchers induced peritoneal fat deposition, dyslipidemia, and glucose intolerance in rats by feeding them a high-carb high-fat diet. When the test animals were given cardamom powder as a supplement, they began to show improvement in glucose tolerance, and lipid levels were brought under control. Abdominal fat deposition stopped as well. And with no major side effects, this may well be a remedy worth trying.4

Prevent Water Retention

Water retention and bloating can also result in weight gain. If you suspect this is partly behind the extra pounds you are carrying, cardamom can be especially useful. Dubbed a natural diuretic in Ayurveda, cardamom can help your body expel the extra water that’s being retained in the form of urine. As one study found, when given to test animals, it caused a significant rise in the volume of urine generated by the subjects. In fact, researchers compared its effects to a standard commercially produced diuretic.5

Take Control of Your Cholesterol

With cardamom’s multi-pronged attack, it comes as no surprise that its fat-busting properties will also help lower blood cholesterol levels. The anti-hyperlipidemic activity, in particular, is beneficial to those with cholesterol problems, a common complaint for those who are overweight or obese. As one animal study found, cardamom extract given orally to test animals was able to significantly lower total cholesterol levels, as well as the low density lipoprotein (LDL), very low density lipoprotein (VLDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglyceride levels.6

Fight Indigestion

Cardamom is a popular treatment for gastrointestinal disorders in Unani medicine. The antimicrobial activity of methanol extracts of various parts of the cardamom was reported to effectively counter the effects of various bacteria including Escherichia coli (using the fruit extract) and Staphylococcus aureus (using the rind extract); the essential oil of cardamom showed good antibacterial activity against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Bacillus pumilus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Staphylococcus aureus. With this activity against bad bacteria, cardamom can help the balance of gut flora to return to normal, enabling normal digestion.7

How To Introduce Cardamom To Your Diet

Once you try cardamom, you’ll find ways to use it in your everyday food and drink. While certain Middle Eastern and Indian recipes might lend themselves well to the use of cardamom, it can work equally well with coffee and tea. Just take out the seeds of the cardamom pod and powder them roughly with a mortar and pestle or using the back of a heavy spoon or rolling pin. Add a pinch of this crushed cardamom to some light tea or coffee, with or without low-fat milk, for a quick and easy way to get your cardamom fix.

References   [ + ]

1, 5.Gilani, Anwarul Hassan, Qaiser Jabeen, Arif-ullah Khan, and Abdul Jabbar Shah. “Gut modulatory, blood pressure lowering, diuretic and sedative activities of cardamom.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 115, no. 3 (2008): 463-472.
2.Pole, Sebastian. Ayurvedic medicine: the principles of traditional practice. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2006.
3.Després, Jean-Pierre, and Isabelle Lemieux. “Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome.” Nature 444, no. 7121 (2006): 881-887.
4.Khan, Trisha, Md Mizanur Rahman, Anayt Ullah, Mohammad Nazmul Alam, Bishwajit Sikder, and Md Ashraful Alam. “SUN-625: Cardamom Powder Supplementation Prevents Obesity, Improves Glucose Intolerance, Inflammation and Oxidative Stress in Liver of High Carbohydrate High Fat Diet Induced Obese Rats.”
6.Sailesh, Kumar Sai. “A study on anti hyperlipidemic effect of oral administration of cardamom in wistar albino rats.” Narayana Medical Journal 2, no. 1 (2013): 31-39.
7.Agnihotri, Supriya, and S. Wakode. “Antimicrobial activity of essential oil and various extracts of fruits of greater cardamom.” Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 72, no. 5 (2010): 657.

Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

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