Cardamom is a seed pod, known since centuries for its culinary and medicinal properties.
Health Benefits of Green Cardamon :
1. Cardamom is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, and magnesium. 100 g pods conatin 1119 mg of this electrolyte. Potassium is 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.
2. This exotic spice contains many plants derived chemical compounds that are known to have been anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties.
3. The therapeutic properties of cardamom-oil have found application in many traditional medicines as antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant, stomachic and tonic.
4. Additionally, it is also an excellent source of iron and manganese.100 g pods contain 13.97 mg or 175% of daily-required levels of iron. Iron is required for red blood cell formation and cellular metabolism. Manganese is a co-factor for the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, a very powerful free-radical scavenger.
5. Further, these aromatic pods are rich in many vital vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health.
USES OF CARDAMOM:
The therapeutic properties of cardamom oil have found application in many traditional medicines as antiseptic and local anesthetic, antioxidant in addition to health promoting and disease preventing roles.
In general, cardamom seeds are sought-after in sweet and dessert preparations. The pod is split open to its expose underlying seeds either with fingers or small knife. The seeds are then crushed (powdered) using a hand mill just before their use in cooking. However, whole pods are preferred in savory dishes, which give a further punch to the recipe since their peel contains certain amounts of valuable essential oils.
This delicate spice is being used as flavoring agent in both foods, soups and refreshing drinks.
The pods have been in use in the preparation of sweet dishes in many Asian countries. Elaichi-pista (cardamom and pistachio) kulfi is a famous summer dessert in India, Pakistan, and Iran. Elaichi kheer is another popular rice pudding with added pistachio, and raisins in these regions.
It is used as a flavoring base in the preparation of tea, coffee, and cold drinks.
Black cardamom (badi elaichi) is mostly preferred in savory dishes; to prepare rice-pilaf, meat stews, and lentil-curry in many parts of Nepal, India, and Pakistan.
Source/ Courtesy: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com