Clove is a well-known, widely used whole spices around the world. It is known for its warm, slightly spicy, and sweet flavor in Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, African and Mexican cuisine. This aromatic spice is quite versatile, as it is found in whole and ground form. Apart from its use to flavor food, its extract is use to prepare many topical creams, lotions, toothpaste, cigarettes, bath oils, etc.
Clove is a dried flower bud that comes from an evergreen tree of the Myrtaceae family. Each component of this tree, clove oils, dried flower buds, leaves, and stems possess medicinal properties and have adverse effects. Early traces of the use of clove were found in ancient China, Rome, and Egypt, but due to its wide use in various regions across the world, the true origin of this spice is still debated. Today, cloves are widely grown in the Maluku Islands (or the Moluccas) a chain of small islands that are now part of Indonesia and were formerly known as the Spice Islands.
Cloves don’t just add flavor to your dish but also offer several health benefits. For this reason, they are often a part of home remedies and were key component of traditional medicine. Here are some of the amazing benefits of cloves:
1. Clove Nutritional information
Cloves are rich in fiber and nutrients, like vitamin K and manganese which help to manage and regulate hormone-producing and bone-repairing enzymes. They are also rich in beta-carotene, which works as both provitamin and antioxidant. 2 grams of cloves contain only 6 calories, hence adding daily cloves to flavor your daily meal can provide you with some necessary nutrients.
2. Rich in antioxidants
Cloves are filled with Eugenol. It is a naturally occurring beta-carotene compound. Eugenol is also known as clove oil which possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These antioxidants protect the body against free radicals by reducing oxidative stress. Also, it helps to fight against several chronic diseases like cancer and several cardiovascular diseases.
3. Antimicrobial properties
Cloves also have antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties, which means they kill the harmful bacteria in the body and stop their growth. For instance, clove is widely use as an essential ingredient in mouthwash to kill the harmful bacteria in the mouth which causes cavities and bad breath. They are also use to freshen up the breath instantly.
4. Clove protects liver
Eugenol, found in cloves helps in better functioning of the liver and protects it from various diseases like liver cirrhosis and fatty liver disease. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties found in cloves, it also helps the liver against injuries.
5. Clove regulates sugar level in blood
Several studies on animals have shown that consuming cloves help in regulating the level of sugar in the blood. Because the natural compounds present in cloves aids in insulin production to lower the blood sugar level. As a result, adding a controlled amount of cloves to diet can work wonders for diabetes patients.
6. Protects against stomach ulcer
According to some studies on animals, the natural compounds in cloves result in the production of gastric mucus. The primary purpose of gastric mucus is to protect the lining of the stomach from digestive acids. These acids, under some conditions, start eroding the stomach lining, which can result in stomach ulcers, which is a painful condition. The digestive mucus produced from cloves thickens the mucus lining hence reducing the risk of developing ulcers. Although no studies have been conducted on humans, there may be higher chances of its effectiveness.
7. Improves bone health
As cloves contain eugenol, it helps in increasing bone density and strength. They are also rich in manganese which is an important compound for the formation of bones. Thus, cloves keep the bone healthy, reduce the risks of osteoporosis, and help preserve bone mass.
Whether you use the whole or in-ground form, clove has a lot to offer than just to add flavors to your meal. This ancient yet versatile spice adds warmth to your food along with several health benefits. Add it to your curries, broths, cakes, or even to your morning teas to dive into its taste and health benefits. So, improve your quality of life by adding cloves to your diet and keeping your body and brain in healthy conditions.
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