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Caraway Seed

Caraway Seed is one of the dominant spices featuring in several savory dishes. Strongly aromatic, caraway is a member of the parsley or Umbelliferae family; a large family of plants that also includes commonly known herbs and spices such as dill, anise,fennel, and cumin. Origin: Caraway grows extensively all over the Asia, Europe and North Africa. It is a biennial, herbaceous plant which blooms once in every two years. Its creamy flowers appear in umbels. The plant grows to about two feet in height and bears small feathery leaves. Caraway seeds, having similar in appearance as that of cumin, have a crescent shape, dark brown, with up to five stripes (ribs) running lengthwise on their surface Health Benefits: Caraway seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 38 g of fiber, 100% of daily recommended intake of fiber. The soluble as well as insoluble dietary fiber increase the bulk of the food and help prevent constipation by speeding up its movement through the gut. Dietary fiber binds to the toxins in the food and helps protect the colon mucosa from cancers. Further, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in the colon, and thus help in reducing serum LDL cholesterol levels. Caraway contains health benefiting essential oils. Principle volatile compounds are carvone, limonene, carveol, pinene, cumuninic aldehyde, furfural, and thujone. These active principles in the caraway seeds known to have antioxidant, digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties. Caraway has health benefiting flavonoid antioxidants such as lutein, carotene, cryptoxanthin, and zeaxanthin. These compounds indeed work as powerful antioxidants by removing harmful free radicals from the body and thus protect from cancers, infection, aging and degenerative neurological diseases. Caraway spice is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper required for the production of red blood cells. Iron required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. The caraway seeds indeed are the storehouse for many vital vitamins. Vitamin-A, Vitamin-E, Vitamin-C as well as many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin, and niacin particularly concentrated in the seeds. Usages of Caraway: In addition to their utility as remedial items in the traditional medicines, caraway seeds have their own food value, and indeed, have many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. During the Middle Ages, people consumed caraway as a digestive aid after a big feast to prevent bloating and other digestive issues. In addition to the many culinary uses, caraway is scientifically recognized for its healing properties. The small crescent-shaped fruits of the caraway plant promote healthy digestion, relieve gas, prevent bloating, and ease heartburn. You may be familiar with caraway as a spice in breads or ethnic deserts. European, African, and Asian cultures have widely used caraway as a flavoring spice. Caraway is popular in traditional German cooking as a seasoning for cabbage dishes, sauerkraut, breads, onion tart, fried potatoes, and much more. The early uses of caraway remain consistent with its use in Germany today. Germans believe that all dishes are easier on the stomach when accompanied by caraway..

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