Jeera, or cumin, is an intensely aromatic spice, well-liked for its warm flavour accompanied by a bit of both sweetness and bitterness. Whatever cuisine you’re cooking, jeera is a great way to spark up the flavour and get a finger-licking experience.
Jeera is the dried seeds of the herb Cuminum Cyminum from the parsley family, Apiaceae. This dried seed, native to the Levant region of the Eastern Mediterranean, became a globe-trotting spice and insinuated its taste deeply in the cuisines worldwide.
Cumin lends its very distinctive flavour, which has been portrayed as earthy, savoury, nutty, spicy, and warm, to the food it adds. This nutritionally rich spice enhances the flavour profile and adds a lot more punch and instant depth to a dish.
Besides heightening food taste, this millennium-old spice is known for its health benefits over its long history.
The incredible benefits of jeera spice on the human body have been documented in ancient ayurvedic scriptures, and it has long been used in traditional medicine. Backed by many studies, Ayurveda prescribes jeera as a remedy for many diseases of the digestive system, respiratory, circulatory, and reproductive system. Jeera has turned out to be a topic of research in modern science too.
The presence of thymol content in jeera benefits the digestive system by stimulating digestive secretions. Cuminaldehyde, a phytochemical compound, is another principal constituent of the essential oils of jeera, which is mainly responsible for its characteristic aroma and its number of health benefits. As the anecdotal evidence claims that it has all sorts of health benefits, jeera has become the subject of clinical studies.
Drinking the decoction of jeera, known as jeera water, is the easiest way for experiencing the healthy benefits of this healing spice. That is why jeera water has long been used by many as a daily health-boosting drink.
Let’s explore the top jeera water benefits, side effects, its effect on weight loss, and step-by-step instructions on making perfect jeera water.
Health Benefits of Drinking Jeera Water
Cumin offers a myriad of health benefits. Here are some of the potential benefits of jeera water in detail:
Jeera Water Promotes Digestion
Jeera water serves as an effective natural remedy for combating various digestive disorders. According to Ayurveda, jeera water is a miracle drink for strengthening the digestive system.
It is widely used in traditional Indian and Ayurvedic medicine for treating indigestion, flatulence, and belching. Consumption of jeera water stimulates the secretion of digestive enzymes, which promotes digestion and maintains good gut health.
Jeera Water May Fight Inflammation
Cumin is said to be a powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties due to bioactive compounds. Certain test-tube studies have shown that several plant compounds in cumin aids in decreasing inflammation. But there is not enough evidence to support the claim of treating inflammatory diseases using jeera water.
Jeera Water is Loaded with Antioxidants
Antioxidants stabilise free radicals that cause oxidative stress and damage the cells in your body. Jeera water contains a good amount of antioxidants and drinking it can help reduce the adverse side effects of free radicals.
The antioxidant activity of cumin could be due to plant compounds like flavonoids, namely apigenin, and luteolin. Also, cuminaldehyde in cumin has been known to scavenge the superoxide anion.
Jeera Water May Reduce the Risk of Cancer
According to the research conducted by the Cancer Research Laboratory in South Carolina, USA, cumin can help combat cancer as it contains cuminaldehyde, which has been known to slow the growth of tumours.
Researchers in another study found that rats fed with cumin were more likely to be protected from colon cancer. Even though animal studies have shown positive results, more research in humans is necessary to prove the anticarcinogenic properties of cumin.
Jeera Water Hydrates Your Body
Staying hydrated is vital for your body to work properly and maintain overall good health. Jeera water is an excellent hydrator that makes your body feel energised and refreshed.
This benefit is chiefly because you are taking your cumin in water. The water content may help flush out toxins as well. Starting your day with a glass of jeera water with some honey, lemon, and a pinch of salt will help to hydrate your body by providing water and electrolytes.
Jeera Water Enhances Insulin Sensitivity
Cumin water is claimed to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus. By increasing the insulin production in the body, a moderate intake of jeera may keep blood glucose level under control and prevent sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.
In a study, researchers found that jeera water improves insulin sensitivity and helps people maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI); increased BMI is one of the potential causes of developing type 2 diabetes risk.
That said, diabetes management is more about dietary management of total calorie intake, especially carbohydrates! This along with exercises and stress management alone is the most important aspect of diabetes management.
Read More on why BMI calculation is wrong.
Jeera Water Relieves IBS Symptoms
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which is an intestinal disorder, is a common disease all over the world. Several studies demonstrated that jeera water aids in decreasing IBS-related symptoms like abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.
A 2013 study conducted in a mixed population of male and female with IBS-related symptoms showed that the intake of cumin extract results in overall symptom relief.
Jeera Water May Help Lower Cholesterol
Another potential advantage of drinking jeera water is that it may aid lowers LDL cholesterol levels. Jeera is considered to have hypolipidemic properties. A hypolipidemic (lipid-lowering) is a substance that aids your body in reducing the high levels of fats(lipids).
In a study of overweight and obese women, researchers found that a dietary supplement of jeera powder mixed in yoghurt helped decrease cholesterol.
Read More on the common cholesterol myths and the real facts behind it, you should know about.
Jeera Water During Pregnancy
We already discussed several health benefits of jeera water, but is it also safe during pregnancy? Let us find out the potential benefits of jeera water during pregnancy.
Since the good old days, people have suggested jeera water as a herbal medicine for pregnant women suffering from morning sickness. Ayurveda claims jeera water is a boon to reduce acidity, stomach aches, bloating, flatulence, and other digestive disorders.
Researchers in one study found that having jeera water during pregnancy relieves constipation, improves digestion and might even facilitate easier childbirth.
- Jeera water normalises the blood pressure
High blood pressure at any point during pregnancy can lead to severe complications for both the mother and baby. The high potassium and magnesium content in jeera water may aid in managing fluid and electrolyte balance in the body, thereby regulating blood pressure. However, there is no sufficient evidence for jeera water improving blood pressure.
- Jeera water reduces acid reflux
Jeera water brings relief from GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) symptoms like heartburn, which is common during pregnancy. Certain studies claim that cumin’s carminative or gas-relieving properties aid in improving acid reflux in pregnant women, which is often caused due to the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
Even though the intake of cumin water in moderate quantities is considered healthy during pregnancy, excess consumption can harm pregnant women.
As stated in a report issued by WebMD, there is no satisfactory evidence to cite that jeera is safe to use during pregnancy and lactation. Therefore, it is always strongly recommended to consult your medical care provider to see if cumin water is all right for you.
Read More on pregnancy nutrition.
Jeera Water for Weight Loss
Besides promising countless health benefits, various studies claim that jeera water can help detoxify the body and aid weight loss. Researchers look into different weight-loss aspects of cumin seeds.
One factor that promotes the weight-loss claim is that it is a low-calorie drink. One teaspoon of cumin seeds comprises only seven calories.
In a 2014 study conducted on obese women, researchers found 3 grams of cumin powder per day along with a weight reduction diet showed improvement in their weight and vital statistics.
In 2015, another study of overweight men and women to determine the effects of consuming cumin on weight loss found that it improved their weight in a way similar to taking a popular diet pill.
Even though the result of these studies is promising, drinking jeera water alone cannot help in losing weight. We do not recommend cumin water as a wonder drink to lose weight.
On the other hand, you can accelerate your weight loss journey through proper exercise, eating a healthy balanced diet, reducing processed junk foods, avoiding foods high in fat and calories, and getting adequate, quality sleep.
Read More: How to lose weight?
How to Make Jeera Water?
Do you feel like drinking a glass of cumin water as you recognise the plenty of health benefits it offers? The best part of making jeera water is the easiness of its preparation. Let’s make the revitalising jeera water, the traditional Indian beverage, in a simple way, as demonstrated below.
- A heaped spoonful or two of jeera
- 2 cups of water
Instructions to Prepare Jeera Water
- Take 2 cups of water in a saucepan and toss one or two teaspoons of cumin into it. You can also crush the jeera before adding them to the water to release their flavour and volatile oils.
- Place on stove-top on medium flame and wait for a while to bring the water to a gentle boil.
- Cover the pan and put the flame on sim mode. Let the jeera steep into the water for 5 minutes.
- Slightly raise the heat and let it come to a boil again to ensure the jeera is properly infused into the water.
- Turn off the flame and remove the pan from the heat. Strain the cumin seeds from the water with the finest mesh strainer or muslin cloth. Let it cool somewhat to attain a lukewarm state or warm enough to sip the drink.
- Jeera water is ready. Enjoy your drink whenever you feel like having it. Consume your cumin water warm and fresh. You can even store this drink for a day. If the flavour is too intense for your taste buds, it can be diluted with more warm water.
Besides the above method, you can also make jeera water using an overnight procedure.
Firstly, heat two cups of water in a saucepan. Add a teaspoon of jeera in hot water and soak them overnight. You will see the cumin seeds being all swollen up in the morning as they are soaked for that long and release bioactive compounds into the water. Strain the seeds from the water before drinking. Your excellent jeera drink is ready to consume.
Commonly, jeera water is consumed as plain without any added flavour. But if you want to make the drink more delicious and refreshing, or if you desire to cut down the jeera flavour, you can add a pinch of cinnamon, ginger and honey to your jeera water. This will make the drink more appealing to your taste buds, and you can enjoy the benefits of jeera water in a highly delectable way.
If you prefer jeera water with lemon, squeeze in some lemon juice to the drink. Stir well and drink it. Remember not to add lime juice to hot cumin water. Jeera water with cinnamon is another excellent drink recipe to be taken during any time of the day. For making this drink, add little ground cinnamon in the jeera water, which is prepared by overnight method or boiling method and boil the water for 5 minutes. Let the jeera water with cinnamon cool, strain and then sip it.
Even though you can consume jeera water any time of the day, drinking it on an empty stomach in the mornings and drinking it at night has its perks. It helps keep acid reflux away. The main benefits of drinking jeera water at night are that it allows you to have a goodnight’s sleep and better. Studies have shown the benefits of cumin in fighting insomnia.
Apart from jeera water, you can have the benefits of this incredibly flavourful spice by adding it to your entrees, grains, and side dishes. Jeera rice is a simple yet very popular dish in Indian cuisine. This dish is quite palatable and healthy owing to the flavour and health benefits of jeera.
Read More: Diabetes Food Chart
Side Effects of Jeera Water
Cumin water is generally non-toxic, even in high amounts. Still, several reports have suggested that if consumed wrongly, with the wrong quantity, jeera water may cause some side effects.
Several sources recommend that the effective dose of cumin as a herbal supplement is typically 3–6 grams of cumin per day. Drinking too much jeera water may cause adverse effects on your body.
So, if you intend to drink jeera water, consume it in moderation and be aware of cumin water’s following potential side effects.
It May Reduce Blood Sugar Levels Drastically
Many people consider jeera water an excellent natural remedy for diabetes as it stimulates insulin production in the body. But consuming an excess amount of cumin water can cause rapid lowering of blood sugar levels in the body leading to situations like hypoglycemia.
Never drink too much jeera water at once. Suppose you are a diabetic patient or pregnant woman, or a person scheduled to undergo surgery. In that case, maintaining the blood sugar level is imperative, and your doctor may advise you to stop consuming jeera. Obey your medical provider and always seek medical advice before adding these seeds to your daily diet plan.
Know more about our diabetes management programs for a healthy lifestyle.
Cumin Water is not Advisable for Breastfeeding Mothers
Jeera water is claimed to have a positive effect on increasing breast milk production. But excess consumption of the same may interfere with breast milk production. This is a rare but possible condition. If you are a lactating mother, you should keep this in mind. Always consult your doctor before undertaking a new health care regimen.
Cumin, the hero ingredient of cumin water, is an aromatic spice that brings out the flavour in a more wholesome way to make your dishes even better. But jeera water is the easiest way to experience the plethora of health benefits that cumin offers. Jeera water is a healthy, low-calorie drink that is safe when consumed in moderation.
According to Ayurveda, cumin water placates Kapha Dosha and Vata Dosha. The majority of its claimed benefits have to do with your digestive system. It may also assist your weight-loss journey. However, there is little scientific evidence to support all these advantages of jeera water. Therefore, more studies using human subjects are necessary to confirm the health benefits of jeera water beyond all doubt.
FAQs Related to Jeera Water
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