Known as the 'queen of spices', cardamom is highly aromatic but gentle and fruity in flavour which is why it lends itself beautifully in both savoury and sweet dishes. A rich source of antioxidants, vitamin C and micronutrients, these pods offer a plethora of health and skin benefits.
Cardamom helps in fighting anaemia and maintaining blood pressure. “As it is a coolant, it also aids in digestion,” Pooja Ajwani, Delhi-based integrative nutritionist explains. She adds, “It cuts down fat and bloating, making it a great addition to rich foods like halwa, kheer and diary-based dishes.” It also works as a mouth freshener and is commonly used post meals in paan.
The detoxifying spice helps to clear blemishes and fights the first signs of ageing. You can also use cardamom powder with honey as a facial mask to deep cleanse and purify the skin.
HOW TO USE
The fresh, fragrant green pods are ideal for steeping in coffee, tea or plain milk, and flavouring marinades and rice dishes.
These little scrolls are in fact, the inner barks of Cinnamomum trees. It has a distinctly sweet, warming taste and a delicate woody flavour. “Cinnamon has anti-fungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties,” says Jaivardhan Agarwal, founder and CEO, AyurVridhi. Besides Ayurveda, it finds extensive mention in traditional Chinese medicine.
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder a day can reduce triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. “It increases insulin sensitivity and slows down gastric emptying which reduces sharp spikes in your blood glucose levels,” Ajwani adds.
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