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Cumin: The Super Nutritional Spice and How to Use it

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Spices are a wonderful way to add flavor to dishes, increase nutritional value, and keep weight gain at bay with little to no added calories!

For centuries, spices have been used for their nutritional and medicinal values. Recently, the spice cumin has been found to have even more benefits than already known. If you’re unfamiliar with the spice cumin, it is best known for its presence in Mexican, North African, and Indian cuisines -- and often found in curries.

According to Dr. Mercola on Mercola.com, just two grams of cumin can lower blood sugar significantly. This means that cumin can be very beneficial for diabetics.

In addition to being beneficial for diabetics, cumin has a myriad of other health benefits, including but not limited to:

Stress Reduction - A 2011 study found that rats that were given cumin daily, one hour before being exposed to stressors, experienced less stress than those who were not given cumin. The study found that cumin inhibited the biochemical changes induced by stress.

Antioxidants - Another study found that cumin is so high in antioxidant properties that it contains more than antioxidant-rich vitamin C!

Cancer and Immunity - Because cumin is so high in antioxidants, it is a natural cancer fighter! According to completewellbeing.com, “Recent studies indicate the ability of cumin to reduce the risk of stomach and liver tumours in animals. Black cumin seeds, when combined with garlic, can further boost your immunity.”

Asthma - The oils of black cumin seeds have historically been used to treat asthma and other respiratory disease. According to Dr. Mercola, one study shows that “thymoquinone (TQ), one of the primary active ingredients in cumin seeds, was found to be instrumental, by reducing two inflammatory mediators of asthma and other inflammatory processes.”

Among these benefits, cumin also helps with diarrhea, digestion, flatulence, memory, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

So we know cumin is good for us, but how to incorporate it into our diet? With our potato-friendly Thanksgiving holiday coming up, allreceipes.com and I may have just the answer!

Curried Cumin Potatoes

2 pounds of potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces
2 TBS olive oil
2 TBS cumin seed
2 TSP ground turmeric
2 TSP curry powder
2 TSP coarse sea salt
1 TSP ground black pepper
3 TBS chopped fresh cilantro

Boil potatoes, cut into quarters and set aside. Next, heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and sauté the cumin, turmeric, and curry powder for about a minute. Then add the potatoes and sauté until browned to your desire and toss with sea salt, pepper and cilantro.

Enjoy, knowing the plentiful benefits that come along with this tasty dish!


Ahuja, P. (2008, May 12). Small Cumin, big benefits | Complete Wellbeing. Complete Wellbeing - Beauty | Fitness | Health | Relationships | Fulfilment | Spirituality . Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://completewellbeing.com/article/small-cumin-big-benefits

Cumin - recipe ideas for using cumin plus a background of the history and medicinal value.. (n.d.). Cooking Tips including guides to seafood, poultry, pastry, sauces and more.. Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://www.helpwithcooking.com/spice-guide/cumin.html

Curried Cumin Potatoes Recipe - Allrecipes.com . (n.d.). Allrecipes.com - recipes, menus, meal ideas, food, and cooking tips. . Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/curried-cumin-potatoes/detail.aspx

Mercola. (2011, August 17). Cumin Doubles as a Memory Booster and Stress Reliever. Natural Health Articles - Latest and Current Health News and Information by Dr. Mercola . Retrieved November 5, 2011, from http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/08/17/this-kitchen-spice-doubles-as-a-memory-booster-and-stress-reliever.aspx?e_cid=20110817_DNL_art_1

Reviewed November 7, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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