Even a sprinkle of clove powder can add magic to your food. Clove is a staple Indian spice for dishes like biryani, gajar halwa, kormas and many desserts.
An exotic spice- clove has been in use since 200BC. Cloves are the small flower buds extracted from a clove tree also known as Syzygium aromaticum. This versatile spice is available in both ground and whole form.
Apart from the addition of food as a flavour enhancer, many Indian households vouch for its medicinal values. Cloves have been used for sore throats, coughs and toothaches. Here we bring five health benefits of eating cloves.
Kills bacteria: According to the NCBI health website, cloves hinder the growth of bacteria as they have antimicrobial properties. Using clove paste or munching on whole cloves is an ancient way to promote oral health and keep your mouth out of the reach of germs.
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Rich in antioxidants: With vitamins and minerals, one also requires antioxidants to stay healthy. Cloves provide antioxidants known as eugenol, which help to reduce oxidative stress.
May improve liver health: The same compound eugenol also helps to protect the liver. It reduces the chances of chronic liver disease because of the antioxidants present in it. Though more research is needed to use cloves as an alternative to medicines.
Reduces stomach ulcers: Some experiments done on animals show consuming clove oil can enhance the production of gastric mucus. The gastric mucus helps to reduce the chances of getting stomach ulcers. More study is needed to confirm the clove benefit of cloves on human health.
Regulate blood sugar levels: Compounds present in cloves help to maintain insulin. According to certain animal studies, clove extracts consumed by mice suffering from diabetes have shown improvement. Combining cloves with a balanced diet can show improvement in blood sugar levels. Though, more human research is required to claim the same.
Nutritional value of cloves
According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, 2 gram of cloves provides the following written nutrients and their amount.
Carbs: 1 gram
Fibre: 1 gram
Manganese: 55% of the Daily Value (DV)
Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
Cloves are also filled with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Other than low calories, cloves are rich in manganese which supports brain health.
Finally, cloves come with a special significance in these times as we grapple with the Coronavirus. The easiest solution here is reducing the symptoms, generally cold and cough. Cloves is a treasure trove of anti-inflammatory compounds, which can come in handy during times of sore throat, cough, cold and sinusitis. You can chew on some cloves raw, mix it with hot water and drink it early morning and even mix it in your cup of chai.