The peppery spice cumin has been well-known since ancient times and has been used in many, ancient cultures worldwide.
A recent study has shown that cumin may also help you to burn those extra pounds.
In the study, a randomly assigned 88 overweight or obese women have been divided into two groups. Both groups followed specific diets, but in one of the groups participants were given 3 grams of cumin twice a day.
The results of the study were published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice.
After three months, the group that was taking cumin, on average lost almost 50 percent more weight compared to the group that wasn’t taking cumin. Also, the group reduced their body fat percentage by 14,65 percent or almost three times the control’s group loss. The cumin group also reduced their body mass index and waist circumference significantly more than the control group.
The researchers speculated that the cumin’s weight loss may come from its heat. It may temporary increase metabolic rate.
Cumin also reduced lipid levels in the blood. Triglycerides decreased 23 points compared to only 5 points in the control group. Also, LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased 10 points compared to the less than 1 point in the control group.
Cumin contains more that 100 different chemical compounds including essential fatty acids and volatile oils. The researchers believe that the cumin’s lowering effects can be associated, to its glucoside saponins content. Glucoside saponins prevent cholesterol absorption in the intestines and increase its excretion. Also, cumin contains phytosterols that may positively modulate lipids by reducing cholesterol absorption.
The researchers suggested that supplementing with cumin could effectively lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels and also reduce risk factors for metabolic syndrome.
Like most spices, cumin possesses many health benefits.
Inhibits loss of bone density – An animal study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine published in 2008, discovered that cumin reduced the loss of bone mass and strength, as effectively as estrogen. But, it does not promote weight gain or hormone induced cancers like uterine or breast cancer.
Support the digestive system – In the traditional medicine cumin seeds were used to support the digestive system. The modern research showed that cumin seeds can stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, bile, and acid, needed for proper digestion. Also, the essential oil in cumin contains a compound called Cuminaldehyde that activates the salivary glands to help predigest food. It also relieves gas and improves appetite. And it offers relief for irritable bowel symptoms (IBS).
Lower blood sugar – A 2010 research published in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology discovered that cumin could lower blood sugar levels, compared with the drug Glibenclamide (Glyburide). Also, cumin reduces oxidative stress and AGE products, which are related to the appearance of diabetes.
A Recent animal study published that cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide in reducing inflammation, free fatty acids, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar levels.
Also, cumin may have anti-cancer effects. Preclinical research suggests that cumin inhibits the growth of cervical and colon cancer.