At Holistic Dentists, Dr. Lewis Gross and his staff focus on patients’ total wellbeing, not just isolated problems. Nutrition is no exception. It plays an important role on a healthy mouth and total wellbeing. As their nutritionist, I want to share the benefits of cardamom for a healthy smile:
Cardamom is an exotic and fragrant Indian spice used in many of their dishes including sweets. It is the third most expensive herb, being saffron and vanilla the other two. Many may think that this herb’s only purpose is to add aroma and fragrance to culinary. However the cardamom delivers many health benefits. The most important types of this herb are: Green, black, brown and ground cardamom. The green cardamom being the highest in quality you can find.
This article emphasizes on the benefits of cardamom to a healthy mouth and a beautiful smile!
The benefits of cardamom:
- Improves digestion. It is used to treat heartburn relieving from acidity in the stomach preventing acid reflux, which can damage the teeth’s enamel.
- Aids on healing mouth ulcers, sore mouth and throat because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial properties.
- Prevents infection and heals gum and teeth because of its antiseptic and antimicrobial actions.
- Improves bleeding gums condition because of its vitamin C content. The deficiency of this vitamin is linked to bleeding gums.
- It has anti-inflammatory properties that limit pain and swelling, especially in mucus membranes, the mouth, and throat.
- It is a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Important minerals for strong teeth and bones. Strong teeth will be less likely to suffer decay.
- Increases saliva and prevents bad breath. When you chew on a cardamom pod it increasing saliva flow helping to cleanse the teeth. Increased saliva flow works as carrier of important minerals to remineralize the teeth.
- Has an antispasmodic action so it is used to treat muscular spasms. It can be beneficial to relief symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. People suffering from TMJ experience increased pain and discomfort when the musculature around the jaw spasms.
- Increases the saliva pH because it is an alkaline forming food. Saliva is a medium, which bathes and carries nutrition to teeth. It is super-saturated with calcium and phosphate at an alkaline pH of 7.
- Helps to release toxins from the body. A body with fewer toxins is slightly more alkaline. Bacteria cannot thrive in an alkaline environment, less bacteria in the mouth means less cavities and less tooth decay.
- Contains powerful antioxidants that can help combat cancer such as oral cancer.
- It augments the amount of glutathione in the system. Glutathione, being a powerful antioxidant can naturally detox mercury in the body. The secret of its power is the sulfur chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a sticky, smelly molecule. It acts like fly paper and all the bad things in the body stick onto it, including free radicals and toxins like mercury and other heavy metals.
- Cardamom essential oil is often added as an ingredient in some lip balms to impart its taste and to make lips smooth.
Cardamom should be an essential spice on your cupboard that will add an exotic flavor to beverages and bland dishes along with many health benefits! Here are some examples on how to use this aromatic spice:
- Tea prepared from 1 teaspoon of freshly crushed cardamom seeds or couple bruised cardamom pods, infused in 1 cup boiled water for 10-15 minutes will warm you up in the cold weather. Strain it before serving.
- Boil organic grass-fed milk or almond milk with couple bruised pods of cardamom for a warm and relaxing experience that can induce sleep. Strain it before serving it.
- Add 2-3 pinches of cardamom powder per cup of coffee. It neutralizes the effect of caffeine.
- Add 1-2 pinches of cardamom powder to your favorite smoothies for an extra edge.
- Add ½ to 1 teaspoon of cardamom to your rice pudding or tiramisu recipe.
- Mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of cardamom to your favorite baking recipes, such as banana bread or muffin. Just add the spice when you are mixing in the rest of the dry ingredients for a rich flavor in the finished loaf. Adjust quantity according to taste preference.
- Sprinkle cardamom powder on baked or steamed fruits. It goes very well with steamed apple slices.
- Add few pods of cardamom to a casserole dish will give a lamb, chicken or vegetable casserole an extra zing.
- Add a couple of bruised cardamom pods when boiling your rice for a subtle flavor that goes very well with curries and vegetable dishes.
- Be courageous and add a couple of bruised cardamom pods to your favorite soup recipe for a lovely, warm and rich flavor.
- Pop a cardamom pod into your mouth and chew it for its many benefits and a fresher breath!
The recommendations above do not replace a visit to the dentist!
Visit Holistic Dentists for comprehensive holistic dentistry.
Schedule a consultation with me at Holistic Dentists for more tips and an individualized program to improve your mouth and overall health!
Learn more at: www.holistic-dentists.com
17 Park Place
New York, NY 10007
Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Cardamom seems to be safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women in food amounts. But larger medicinal amounts should be avoided until more is known.
Gallstones: Do not take cardamom in amounts greater than those typically found in food if you have gallstones. The cardamom seed can trigger gallstone colic (spasmodic pain).
Anamaria Pontes, MS, RD, CDN
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist