Cardamom nutrition facts
Cardamom is a seed pod, known since antiquity for its culinary and medicinal properties. The spice is native to evergreen rain forest of southern India and now grown in only few tropical countries. Botanicallay, it belongs to the family of "zingiberaceae" and consists of two genera; elettaria and amomum.
Genarally, the plant grows up to 4 meters in length and starts bearing fruits known as seed pods after about two years of implantation. Each pod measuring about 1-2 cm in length.
Health benefits of cardamom
This exotic spice contains many plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties.
The spicy pods contain many essential volatile oils that include pinene, sabinene, myrcene, phellandrene, limonene, 1, 8-cineole, terpinene, p-cymene, terpinolene, linalool, linalyl acetate, terpinen-4-oil, a-terpineol, a-terpineol acetate, citronellol, nerol, geraniol, methyl eugenol, and trans-nerolidol.
The therapeutic properties of cardamom-oil have found application in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
It is also an excellent source of manganese and iron. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme superoxide dismutase, which is a very powerful free radical scavenger. Iron is required for red blood cell formation.
The pods are rich in many vital vitamins including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||6.7 g||23%|
|Dietary Fiber||28 g||70%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||21 mg||35%|
Selection and storage
Fresh cardamom pods as well as its powder are available in the markets year around. Both varieties of pods are available in the markets. "Elettaria" pods are small and light green in color, while 'Amomum" pods are larger and dark brown. Fresh pods feature heavy and give sweet aroma when scratched with finger tip. Avoid pods that appear light and that are stain or spots which may feature mold.
Store the pods in airtight containers in cool, dark place. They remain fresh for longer period when placed in the refrigerator. Powdered form should be kept in airtight containers and used as early as possible since it may lose its flavor rather quickly.
The therapeutic properties of cardamom oil have found application in many traditional medicines as antiseptic and local anesthetic, antioxidant and; health promoting and disease preventing roles.
Cardamom pods are usually split and seeds are crushed using hand mill just before their use.
This delicate spice is being used as flavoring base in both food and drink, as well as in cooking spices.
The pods have been in use in the preparation of sweet dishes in many Asian countries.
It is used as a flavoring base in the preparation of tea, coffee, and liquors.
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