Cardamom – super spice to the rescue

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Small, green pods, treasuring black seeds under their outer shell and producing a specific, beautiful fragrance. Well known in the oriental cuisine, an important ingredient of many dishes and desserts. In some countries crushed and added to green or milk tea. I’m speaking about cardamom, a powerful spice originating from Indian subcontinent. It is also third most expensive spice in the world, after saffron and vanilla. It’s not only improving the taste of our meals, but also can aid our health in numerous ways. I would like to invite you for a short trip to discover how using cardamom can improve our well being.

First of all, it contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. 100 gram of that powerful spice can provide us with as much as 78% of our daily requirement of iron, and 35% of vitamin C. It is also rich in antioxidants, which makes it a great remedy for colds, cough and flu and its invigorating action aids the healing. Especially powerful for that purpose is black cardamom.

If you’re trying to lose weight and looking through all over the internet to find the perfect diet, search no more. Cardamom is here to help. As it is supporting metabolism, it causes our body to burn fat quicker. Also, it plays a big role in removing toxins and flushing them out, mostly through kidneys.

Why in some countries people chew cardamom after finishing their meals? Because it contains a big amount of oil called cineole, which is antimicrobial. That super-spice is also freshening breath, as it fights bacteria responsible for bad smell from the mouth.

There are many more health benefits of consuming cardamom: improving blood circulation, fighting depression, helping to cure stomach disorders, even aiding our body in fighting cancer or in providing relief from a hiccup – to name just a few. Some Ayurveda experts swear that regular consumption of cardamom can greatly prolong our life. What is the best way then to take it, then? We can add it to our meals or drinks, or even chew. The last method can cause problems though, as to some people the taste might be too strong. The easiest solution is to relax and unwind with a cup of cardamom tea, especially after the meal. It allows us to enjoy all the benefits of the spice mentioned above, as well as to have some quality time. And if we’ll make it a part of our daily routine, who knows, maybe we really could live longer?

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A few crazy facts about the tea I bet you’ve never heard of

 

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Comae on, who doesn’t enjoy a nice cup of tea? Although there are so many different kinds of this beverage – around 1,500 different types to be exact – everywhere in the world it is associated with relax, hospitality and tranquility. But tea, as many things in the world, has also a few secrets not known to general public. At least, until now.

USA

The iced tea is believed to be introduced in the year 1904 at St. Louis World Fair by a British merchant Richard Blechynden, who could not sell any of the normal tea because of the hot weather. He added some ice to the beverage and his idea got so popular, that now 85% of tea consumed in the USA is an iced tea. In the same year and in the same country teabags were invented, although many people argue that loose leaf tea has much richer taste. As America is believed to be a place of opportunities, tea made its way to the Hollywood. In many films, where a scene includes drinking whiskey, the alcohol is “played” by watered tea.

East

Tea is a national drink of Afghanistan; especially green tea. Visiting guest is always offered a glass of this beverage, served with sweets or with dried fruits. In winter black tea is being prepared with milk, cane sugar and cardamom; drank in mornings for warming up. Sometimes it’s called there a “red tea”, same like in China. Although usually it is a hostess’ duty to provide guest with beverage, in Morocco it is traditionally a man’s job to pour the tea.

England

Brits are generally known and sometimes even mocked for their love of tea. When in the 18th century that beverage reached British soil, it was sold in coffee houses, where only men were allowed. In 1717 the Twinings family opened the first tea shop and ladies were welcomed there too. Twinings is now one of the most recognized tea producers in the United Kingdom. It can get weirder though, when we learn that during Victorian era gentlemen used special cups, preventing their mustaches from getting soaked in tea. That’s not all – a real British citizen have to be prepared for his five o’clock tea wherever he is. That’s why English tanks are required to have a tea-brewing station inside.

In almost every part of the world tea is associated with hospitality and time of drinking it is an important part of daily routine. With so many varieties out there, it would be a shame to not try types other than just the one which is most popular in our country. No matter is it black tea, green tea, rooibos or herbal tea, each kind brings different flavor, different health benefits and has its own rich history.