5 Ways To Introduce Jeera In Your Diet
They might be tiny, but jeera (Cumin) adds big flavor to your food. Loaded with health benefits, learn how can you add this warm spice to your diet.
The most asked question is – are jeera and cumin seeds the same? The answer is yes! Jeera (Zeera) or cumin is a staple in Indian kitchens. It is also used vastly in Middle Eastern and Mexican cuisines. Not only are cumin seeds added in everyday cooking, but they also have to themselves entire dishes that allow them to shine! Take jeera aalu and jeera pulao, for example. Neither dish is complete without a good dose of jeera (cumin). Not only is Jeera one of the most common spices in a typical India masala box, but it is also packed with goodness. The advantages of consuming jeera are many, but this Indian spice is most valued for its benefits to digestive health. There are various types of jeera – brown jeera, shahi jeera, and kaala jeera. All look and taste different and have numerous health benefits. What are they and how can you include it in your diet?
How to add jeera to your diet?
While jeera is added to Indian curries and dry-dishes routinely, we are listing over ways to include this carminative spice into your diet beyond everyday meals. These ways may be of particular benefit to those who seek digestive relief. People facing stomach issues like poor-digestion, flatulence, bloating or constipation are often advised to add spices like zeera and ajwain to their diet.
Here are 5 simple ways to add jeera to your diet beyond everyday food.
1. Jeera paani in your daily routine
Touted to be fantastic for your gut health, jeera paani (cumin water) is very easy to include in your daily drill. Soak cumin seeds overnight in a glass of water, drink it on an empty stomach for best results.
2. Jeera tea as a winter staple
Jeera tea can be made simply by boiling a spoon of cumin seeds in 2 cups of water. Once that water is down to a single cup, your drink is ready. It will have a beautiful golden-yellow color. You can drink it on an empty stomach or after a heavy meal. Consume it on a daily basis to absorb all health benefits.
3. Sprinkle some bhuna jeera
Adding roasted cumin seeds (whole or powdered) to your daily yogurt bowl can massively help you reap its health benefits. Bonus points for its distinctive aroma and flavor! You can also add this in your fruit chaat, soups and channa chat to enhance the flavor of the dish. You can add bhuna jeera to your summer coolers like jaljeera, chaas and lemonades.
4. Jeera churan for digestion
The good old dadi-ma ke nuske (Grandma’s home remedies) come to rescue us from all new-age solutions we try. It is said that mixing spices like cumin seeds, carom seeds (ajwain) and methi seeds in equal quantities can aid in chronic digestion.
5. Jeera in desserts
If you are a new mother surrounded by elderly women in India, we are sure you have consumed jeera in some form or the other. Gur-jeera or gond laddoos with jeera are encouraged to be eaten by new mommies for strength and to help new mothers regain their energy and health. But you don’t need to be a new mommy to enjoy desserts with added jeera. You can try adding jeera in makhanas and gur to form a sticky tea time snack!
How does jeera benefit our health?
Jeera is one of the most gut-friendly spices available in your pantry. It helps the body to stimulate the enzyme that secretes digestive juices. If you want a quick solution to your gas/flatulence related woes, jeera tea is here to your rescue. It can also help to reduce the symptoms of IBS (Irritable bowel syndrome). Jeera helps in relieving nausea, bloating and constipation.
Promotes weight loss
In this world where the major topic of discussion is weight loss, jeera is an unsung hero which helps to speed up your weight loss journey. In a study it was noticed that overweight participants consuming cumin regularly had accelerated weight loss than those who didn’t.
Can help manage Anemia
Anemia is an acute deficiency of iron in your body. Packed with high levels of iron, jeera can help manage anemia. A tablespoon of cumin contains 4mg of iron.
Helps in treating cold and asthma
Jeera has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties that make it a super contender to help in treating cold and asthma. Jeera helps to loosen up the mucus in the respiratory tract, making it easier to eliminate it.
Can help in controlling diabetes
How to check spices for adulterants
Cumin seeds can help stimulate insulin levels in the body leading to lowering of blood sugar levels.
Good for the liver
Drinking jeera tea or jeera paani is great detox for the body. It flushes out toxins and helps in formation of bile.
Jeera might not be as fancy as saffron or vanilla pods, but it sure is a fantastic spice for your health. Add it to your pantry and diet, if you haven’t already.
- Jeera powder vs Whole Jeera? Which one is better?
Whole jeera seeds should be included early in the recipe so the spice has time to release its essence, adding them to a hot broth or oil will allow the aroma and flavors to disperse into the dish. Jeera powder is a quintessential spice in a few different blends, including curry powder. It is also used as part of a rub, in a marinade, and as a seasoning for hearty dishes. So really, it depends on the what kind of recipe are you working with. If switching from whole seeds to ground (or vice versa), you will need to add different amounts. Because the flavor of jeera powder is more concentrated than whole jeera seeds, you will need less in a dish. For a recipe that calls for 1 teaspoon of jeera powder, use 1 1/4 teaspoon of whole jeera seeds.
- What is the shelf life of Jeera?
To maintain freshness, flavor, and quality, it is important to store jeera properly. Whole jeera seeds can be stored in the freezer to maintain their flavor over a longer period. This can be beneficial if you don’t tend to use jeera regularly. If you use this spice regularly, you can keep whole seeds in your pantry for up to one year. If you prefer to purchase jeera powder, then keep it in a cool, dark place like a kitchen cabinet or pantry. Here, it will last for about six months. Note that like most dried or ground herbs and spices, jeera isn’t necessarily going to “go bad” if not used in the above time frames. It just may not taste as flavorful or fresh and become less potent the longer you wait to use it. One easy way to keep a supply of fresh, aromatic jeera powder is to store the whole seeds in your freezer and grind them as necessary in a small grinder and use.
- What are the nutrients present in Jeera?
Jeera is rich in minerals like iron, magnesium, calcium, and manganese. And it contains some omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. But where the cumin really shines is as a source of antioxidants – compounds that can reduce inflammation and prevent oxidative damage in the human body. Some of these antioxidants include alkaloids, flavonoids, phenols, and terpenes.
- Are there any side effects or allergies related to Jeera pani?
Jeera pani is a simple, safe, all-natural and a healthy drink. It is easily accessible to most people, and nearly no one experiences its side effects. The fantastic benefits it offers are available to everyone, as long as it is consumed in moderation and consistency, in the long run, will give you safe, dependable, steady results in improving your overall health.
- What is the difference between Jeera and Shahi Jeera?
Jeera is the Indian name for Cumin seeds while Shahi Jeera is the Indian name for Caraway seeds. Shahi Jeera is used extensively in medicines and in cooking too. This is darker and tastes much sweeter than normal jeera. It is used mainly in Tandoori dishes and in some specific Indian curries. Shahi jeera is also used as one of the ingredients in masala tea, owing to its sweet flavor.
About The Author
Nishtha Asrani Sethi, born and brought up in Delhi, is a content writer who has previously worked with NDTV and Resolver. Her roots are deep within the food industry, thanks to her family business and a keen interest in contemporary food products. Nishtha loves to serve her articles with a side of humor. Her Bachelor’s degree in Home Science comes in handy while researching the science behind the food. When she is not trying to win a battle of fries vs fruit with her daughter, she is busy experimenting with her huge joint family with crazy recipes.