Garam masala is a blend of spices originating from India, and has a long and prolific history as being a quintessential force in the culinary world.
It is a tasty seasoning that can be used for many purposes, and as an added benefit it helps to promote overall health. It is often found in soups, stews, curries, and casseroles.
Garam masala is usually composed of the following ingredients: black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaf, cumin, coriander, cardamom, fennel, and nutmeg. These ingredients have properties that are very beneficial to the body.
Health Benefits of Garam Masala
Get to know the most impactful health benefits of garam masala now.
1. Fights Off Diseases
Garam masala helps to fight off diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. This spice blend is rich in antioxidants, and as such, lowers the chances of getting a stroke or heart attack.
The antioxidants found in the spices help to fortify the heart. Garam masala contains black pepper, which is known to fight off the growth of cancer-inducing radicals.
Black pepper is especially effective with staving off colon cancer because it cleanses the intestines and reduces the chance for toxins to fester.
Garam masala also has nutmeg and clove, which help to prevent type 2 diabetes. Nutmeg works to increase insulin sensitivity and cloves help regulate blood sugar levels.
2. Relieves Pain and Inflammation
The cinnamon in garam masala is beneficial in reducing pain and inflammation in the body. Cinnamon has anti-inflammatory aspects that are useful in treating conditions like arthritis.
Arthritis is when the body’s joints become inflamed and irritated. Cinnamon helps block specific pathways from damaging the joints and bones. Another ingredient in garam masala that acts as a natural analgesic is clove, which has an active component called eugenol.
Eugenol has an antidepressant effect and releases neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin. These feel-good neurotransmitters help lessen pain.
Clove oil has prominent anti-inflammatory properties as well. Cloves contain beta-caryophyllene (BCP), a pain relief compound. BCP shields cells and tissue in the body from further damage.
3. Slows the Aging Process
Not only does cinnamon reduce pain and inflammation in the body, but it also plays an important role in delaying the aging process. Cinnamon is effective in slowing down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive condition and is exacerbated by age. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include memory loss and inability to perform elementary functions. The cinnamon found in garam masala can combat aspects of Alzheimer’s disease.
A compound found in cinnamon, known as cinnamaldehyde, helps prevent tau knots, which are a significant attributor to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Cinnamaldehyde works to untangle any knotted tau fibers from mass accumulation.
Fennel, another ingredient of garam masala, can help keep the skin looking young and healthy. An active compound called limonene found in fennel can help speed up the healing process of wounds or blemishes, thus reducing scars and eliminating crow’s feet and frown lines.
4. Promotes Weight Loss
Not only does garam masala seasoning give food a flavor boost, but it can also help with weight loss. One key ingredient garam masala contains is cumin. Once consumed, cumin helps temporarily to increase metabolism.
Cumin has an abundant amount of a compound called phytosterols, which is a plant chemical that works to prevent the absorption of cholesterol in the body.
Nutmeg is another ingredient found in garam masala that promotes healthy weight loss. Nutmeg is a versatile savory spice that is high in fiber, which can help appease appetite faster. Nutmeg also has a great amount of magnesium. This mineral helps to break down fats and cholesterol rapidly.
5. Relieves Digestive Issues
Flatulence, constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion are all considered digestive issues. These problems are common, and relief can be found in spices like garam masala.
Fennel can soothe turmoil in the abdomen, and it is believed certain components found in fennel help relax the colon and stimulate the digestive tract so food is processed with ease.
Cardamom, similar to fennel, works to fortify the digestive tract. Cardamom has a cooling effect on the digestive tract and helps alleviate issues like acid reflux, as well as the effects of nausea, vomiting, general stomach pain, and spasms.
There are specific chemicals in cardamom that facilitate the movement of food through the digestive tract.