Caraway Seeds: A Gift for Your Digestive System

Caraway SeedsCaraway is a biennial plant that is native to Europe, Asia, and Northern Africa. It bears crescent-shaped brown seeds (which are technically fruits!) that possess a warm and peppery aroma, and are often used in rye bread, stews, potato dishes, soups, and liqueurs. These seeds have been treasured for centuries for their medicinal properties, and are becoming popular in the West as a dietary supplement due to their numerous health benefits.

List of Health Benefits

Rich in fiber – One tablespoon (six grams) of caraway seeds provides us with an impressive two grams of dietary fiber, which is 10 percent of an adult’s recommended daily intake (RDI). Everyone knows that fiber is needed to improve regularity and treat constipation, but it also binds itself to toxins (including bile salts, which are made by cholesterol) and absorbs water from the intestine, resulting in a detoxifying effect that can prevent colon cancer.

Good source of fatty acids – One serving of caraway seeds provides us with 9.8 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties and can prevent heart disease, and 203 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids, which support the skin and can lower cholesterol. We need to consume polyunsaturated fats regularly, since our body has limited storage for them.

Treatment for indigestion and flatulence – According to researchers, caraway seeds have properties that stimulate healthy stomach action and can help treat indigestion, intestinal gas, acid reflux, and other digestion-based conditions. The best way to avoid these conditions in the first place, however, is to avoid acidic foods and to eat slower and in smaller portions (eating from smaller plates can aid this transition).

Antioxidant activity – Caraway seeds are rich in flavonoids such as carotene, lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Flavonoids are antioxidants that can help neutralize the cell-damaging effects of free radicals, thereby shielding us from degenerative diseases such as macular degeneration and even various cancers. Additionally, the seeds contain essential oils such as limonene, carvone, pinen, carveol, cumuninic aldehyde, and furfurol, which contain active principles that also possess antioxidant properties.

High in protein – Caraway seeds are comprised of approximately 20 percent protein, and contain a near-perfect amino acid profile. This makes them an excellent source of protein for vegetarians, vegans, and others who wish to avoid animal products. Protein is, of course, required for the growth, repair, and maintenance of all our body’s cells, as well as the production of antibodies.

Trace nutrient content – One serving of caraway seeds provides us with between one and six percent of our RDI of important trace minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. It also contains small amounts of vitamins C and E (both antioxidants), and numerous B-vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.

Aside from the benefits listed above, caraway seeds also contain no cholesterol or sodium, and are low in calories, which makes them suitable as snacks. They also contain no glycemic index score at all (literally, zero), meaning that they have no impact on blood sugar levels and are suitable for diabetics and pre-diabetics.

 

Recommended Articles

Cacao Beans

A List of Foods Rich in Magnesium: From Blackstrap Molasses to Cacao

Magnesium is a vital macromineral that is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It regulates enzyme reactions, aids the production of energy, helps our body transport ions across our cell membranes, and more. Indeed, all of our organs require magnesium to function properly.Unfortunately, magnesium deficiencies are pandemic worldwide. In the United States alone, … Read more

Vitamin E Foods

A List of Foods Rich in Vitamin E: From Almonds to Spinach

Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant that fights the damaging effects of free radicals, thereby repairing, nourishing, and rejuvenating our hair, nails, and skin. Unlike many other vitamins, vitamin E is not fat soluble, meaning that we need a constant supply of it from external sources because our bodies cannot store it themselves.According to research, the average adult of both sexes … Read more

Calcium-Rich Foods

A List of Foods Rich in Calcium: From Chia Seeds to Raw Milk

Calcium is an essential macromineral whose roles in the body are relatively well-known. It strengthens bones and teeth, improves the body's alkalinity, helps our heart muscles to contract and relax properly, and more.Like all minerals, calcium doesn't work alone, but in tandem with other nutrients such as magnesium and vitamin D. For this reason, obtaining our calcium from whole … Read more

Salmon

Three Natural Foods That Are Proven to Reduce Anxiety

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 40 million adults aged 18 or older. Most of these disorders, which take on numerous forms but are typically accompanied by a constant or semi-constant state of worry or nervousness, can greatly affect the quality of one's life … Read more