In a medical research institute 88 obese women were divided into two groups. Both groups received nutritional counselling and a diet plan which was deficient in 500 calories. One group had one particular spice that was added to their diet. The group that had this particular spice added to their diet lost more pounds than the first group and recorded an average of 14.46% reduction in their body fat compared to the group that didn’t have this magic spice in.
This magic spice is found in almost every Indian homeowner’s kitchen. It is jeera or cumin. Jeera or cumin has been used for thousands and thousands of years right from the homeland in Egypt to Mexico and to India. This spice has been used to treat illnesses and boost immunity.
Cumin is rich in phytosterols which are plant chemicals that have the ability of absorbing the bad LDL that you find in people who have high cholesterol. It has the ability of breaking down triglycerides and having them flushed out of the human body. When it comes to fat burn because of its high metabolic nature it has the ability to stimulate your metabolism. The stronger your metabolic rate the more weight you lose and you keep it off for a longer period of time. For example let’s consider two people. Person A who loses weight by going on calorie restricted diets and overtraining, loses about two to three to four kilos. The moment they go on a holiday or a moment they go off their strict diet they start putting that weight back on. This happened because they lost weight by creating a deficiency without changing their metabolism. When you eat less and you work out more you cripple your metabolism. Person B eats more, trains the right way. If he or she trains more then he or she changes their diet and they eat more to support their training. With this they build a stronger and a higher metabolic rate and they’re able to lose weight quickly, lose body fat, the right weight and not just protein and lean muscle and they’re able to keep it off. So they may get off their diet plan or go for a holiday and they may eat what they want. They may not lose more weight but they won’t gain any more weight. That’s the secret of having a great metabolic rate and cumin or jeera has the ability to stoke your metabolism.
There are people who have deficiencies in iron. When you jump for that iron supplement; sometimes you may need it but in most cases it’s toxic to your liver. It slows down your liver and creates constipation. These are all bad things for your health. Simply taking a teaspoon of jeera and mixing in it with water or adding it to your food or making a tea out of it has the ability to boost your iron levels even in someone who’s anaemic.
Cumin or jeera has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. So jeera is fantastic when it comes to people who have joint pain and who have arthritis.
Sleep is the most important ingredient for good health. Be it you have a disease or you’re preventing a disease or you’re trying to lose weight or you just want to feel good about yourself and about your day; you need a good night of sleep. Cumin helps to have a good sleep also. The ancient Egyptians prepared a simple tea by boiling 1 teaspoon of jeera seeds in water 2 hours before bedtime. They boil it in water reduce it to half and they sip this warm liquid before going to sleep. This is also found in our own Indian Vedas to promote good sleep. Nature takes time to work. So don’t try for two three days and then just knock it off saying it’s not working.
Cumin and jeera has its place in diabetes too. Most Indians know about this. You start adding a little bit of roasted jeera powder to your dals or to the yogurt that you eat post your meals or you simply have a glass of jeera tea about 30 minutes after your meal; this has the ability like cinnamon to lower your blood sugar levels. So if you’re going to do this and if you are on diabetes drugs already, be careful because sometimes this may make you hypo or make your blood sugar levels go too low. Jeera has the ability to reduce your blood sugar levels. This is a test for anyone who has diabetes. Thirty minutes after your meal make sure that you have a teaspoon of jeera in the form of a tea or add it to your salads or add it to your food and you’ll find that your blood sugar levels actually are better in control.
For the longest time jeera has been used as an immunity booster. You can give jeera to your children or add it to their food or make this simple concoction again. Add it to a little bit of water and let them sip on it especially when they have colds and their immunity falls because cumin has antibacterial properties which means it can fight out certain bacterias from the human body when it’s done in conjunction with your lifestyle.
This powerful spice also helps in curing digestion problems like flatulence, acidity and bloating. All you need to do is boil a little bit of jeera. You can add a little bit of ajwain to it which is bishops weeds or you can add a little bit of saunf which is fennel and you add these things together and you boil it into a simple tea. It tastes good and has a calming effect on the mind. It relaxes your digestive system and sometimes even the most chronic acidity tends to get better when you have this little concoction.
I have a simple recipe that you can use and this is something that all of you must try. You can just make it a part of your lifestyle. In the morning when you wake up you can have this simple herbal concoction. You take a little bit of grated ginger and boil that with a tablespoon of jeera. You can add a little bit of cinnamon and a little bit of a Elaichi but the base is grated ginger and jeera. Boil that, reduce it to half and strain it. Add a little bit of fresh lemon and try this as your morning drink. Do this for about ten days and just notice how you feel. Your cravings will tend to reduce throughout the day by having this tea. If you have a sleep issue at night I prefer to end the evening with this cup of tea as well because post your day when all your meals are done you want to relax your digestion, calm down your stomach and of course promote a night of good sleep. So you can try this concoction even then. Once in the morning once in a night. It’s up to you. If you don’t do it in the morning or night find someplace in your day to add this to your diet and lifestyle.
There is so much of medicine and wisdom and so much of magic in Indian spices and by far this is one of the most powerful spices. In most Indians if they’re having a balanced meal you will find that you already have more than a teaspoon of jeera in your daily food. So keep it balanced. If you’re adding a little Italian over here or junk or Greek and all of that stuff you will find yourself deficient in this spice cumin. So add it in various forms to your meal.
Just taking a teaspoon of cumin powder will not help you burn all that fat off your body. You got to add it to your lifestyle which revolves around your balanced nutrition, your adequate exercise, your quality and quantity sleep and of course your emotional and mental health.