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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Come on, cumin!

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Cumin seeds --tasty, with their tasty nutty flavor, happen to be an excellent source of iron (1 little tsp. provides you with more than 15% of what you need a day! As a comparison, you need a full serving of pork to get the same amount of iron!) By the way, if you've forgotten why iron is important (other than keeping you "strong"), iron plays an important role in our bodies. Iron transports oxygen from the lungs to all body cells, and is also part of key enzyme systems for energy production and metabolism.

Iron also plays an important role in keeping your immune system healthy. But wait. . . there's more! ;-)

Long known as beneficial to the digestive system, cumin has been shown to stimulate the secretion of pancreatic enzymes, compounds necessary for proper digestion and nutrient assimilation.

Cumin seeds may have anti-carcinogenic properties. From the Whole Foods website, "In one study, cumin was shown to protect laboratory animals from developing stomach or liver tumors. This cancer-protective effect may be due to cumin's potent free radical scavenging abilities as well as the ability it has shown to enhance the liver's detoxification enzymes. Yet, since free radical scavenging and detoxification are important considerations for the general maintenance of wellness, cumin's contribution to wellness may be even more farther reaching."

And according to, here's a health benefit in a completely different realm: "Cumin is also said to help relieve symptoms of the common cold due to it’s antiseptic properties. . . . you’ll want to boil the seeds in a tea and then drink a couple of times a day. If you also have a sore throat then try adding some dry ginger to help soothe it."

How do you use it in your cooking? So easy. Throw it into salads, rice, veggies, marinades for tofu, chicken, etc. Here's a really interesting recipe for marinated tofu, using cumin. In fact, take a look at the some of the other recipes in this eclectic collection of recipes on the 101cooks site. Well worth considering. . . 


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