Cardamom Helps You Lose Weight
- Clears up toxins
- Prevents abdominal fat deposition and improves metabolism
- Prevents water retention
- Reduces bad cholesterol
- Fights indigestion
Cardamom has long been an ayurvedic staple for clearing up ama or toxins in the body. Modern science recognizes this as its diuretic effect – water retention can make you look puffy. Cardamom can also prevent deposition of fat in the abdomen, lower the bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and improve glucose tolerance, all of which raise your risk of metabolic syndrome. It can also balance the gut flora and boost digestion.
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.
Attacking the fat in your body on multiple fronts, cardamom, an ayurvedic staple, can rev up your metabolism, clear up your digestive system, reduce water retention, and even lower cholesterol levels by burning fat. It is even among foods that lower blood pressure through its diuretic properties.
1. Clears Up The “Ama” Or Toxins
According to ayurveda, certain illnesses or ailments of the body can result from the buildup of excess “ama” or toxin. 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. Prevents Fat Deposition In The Abdomen
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.
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 (fat in the tissue lining the abdominal organs), abnormal lipid levels, 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.
3. Prevents 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 found its effects comparable to a standard commercial diuretic.
4. Reduces Bad 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 study on obese and overweight prediabetic women found, green cardamom powder was able to decrease the bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, thereby significantly lowering the total cholesterol levels. However, cardamom also lowered the good HDL cholesterol slightly, but this drop was less significant than what the control group experienced. The researchers claimed that cardamom has a protective effect on the HDL levels.
5. Reduces Bloating
Chronic indigestion can also lead to bloating, and cardamom is a popular treatment for gastrointestinal disorders in Unani medicine. Cardamom extract from the fruit and the rind has many compounds that can fight common microbes like Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. And cardamom essential oil has good antibacterial activity against infection-causing microbes like 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.
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. It goes without saying, however, that just cardamom will not help you lose weight unless you adopt other healthy habits too.