A new study led by Texas A&M AgriLife found a series of dietary and health benefits from consuming cardamom, including increased appetite, fat loss and reduced inflammation , making it this spice a “superfood”.
Cardamom to reduce fat
The study's lead researcher, Luis Cisneros-Zevallos, Ph.D. in horticulture and food science, said the Texas A&M AgriLife Research study showed that cardamom could be a healthy dietary choice and that consuming it could help maintain lean body weight and reduce fat.
Professor Cisneros-Zevallos' research program aims to uncover the fundamental basis of the impact of different horticultural crops on human health . This work falls directly within the framework of sustainability, well-being and food security which are the priorities of our department.
Cardamom is a popular spice in many parts of the world and the study results are expected to increase its popularity. This spice has a warm herbal flavor and an aroma that blends eucalyptus, mint and pepper.
“Cardamom is a spice that is little known in the United States, but very common in other parts of the world,” says Cisneros-Zevallos. “What we found is that this little spice can burn calories and maintain body weight while increasing appetite and food intake.
Cardamom Study Reveals Health Benefits
The studies were conducted on live animal specimens and applied different doses of cardamom seeds in a regular diet. Researchers have found that cardamom increases appetite, but also increases energy expenditure and reduces body fat, Cisneros-Zevallos said.
The study also provided estimated doses for humans — at least 77 milligrams of cardamom bioactives for an adult weighing about 132 pounds. This beneficial dose can be obtained by consuming at least 8 to 10 cardamom pods per day.
The study confirmed that cardamom modulates neural circuits that regulate adipose tissue lipolysis and mitochondrial oxidative metabolism in the liver and skeletal muscle.
Cardamom: an essential health ally
“Our team discovered a tremendous opportunity to use cardamom as an overall health promoter,” he said. “Cardamom seeds, with this new functionality, can be used in different industries, including the sports industry , functional foods and dietary supplements to support the production of healthier foods.”
Cisneros-Zevallos said the research also included collaboration with the Salvador Zubiran National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition, INCMNSZ, in Mexico City, Mexico. The interdisciplinary research team included Claudia Delgadillo-Puga, PhD, and Ivan Torre-Villalvazo, PhD, both from the national institute.
Create economic opportunities
Mr Cisneros-Zevallos said research showed that consuming cardamom promoted appetite and weight loss. He believes this new feature discovered in cardamom can be used in the growing sports nutrition market or as an aid to increase appetite in people convalescing.
“There is a wide range of potential health products for cardamom and its natural compounds,” he said.
This discovery is a victory for both health-conscious consumers and Guatemalan farmers. Currently, more than 350,000 Guatemalan families practice sustainable and ecological cardamom cultivation in the shade of the rainforest.
“Cardamom is of great economic importance for Guatemala,” he said. “Expanding its use in the United States and around the world could provide some stability for farmers and help resolve the immigration crisis seen in recent years.