A 2008 animal study in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine showed that cumin seeds inhibited loss of bone density and strength as effectively as estrogen.  But unlike estrogen, cumin did not promote weight gain or uterine cancer.

Traditional medicine used cumin seeds to support the digestive system. Modern research shows that cumin may stimulate the secretion necessary for proper digestion; cumin also activates salivary glands to help predigest food. It also relieves gas and improves appetite.  And it offers relief for IBS symptoms.[irritable bowel]

Research published in 2010 in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology showed that cumin could lower blood sugar just as good as the drug glibenclamide (known in the US as glyburide).  It also lowered oxidative stress and inhibited diabetic vascular complications.

Cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, and blood glucose.

Cumin may also have anti-cancer effects.  Preclinical research shows the spice inhibits cervical cancer and colon cancer

Other studies show that cumin may enhance memory function.  It also has a broad range of antimicrobial powers.

Here’s how to get more cumin into your diet. 

• Add cumin to the pot when you’re cooking soups, stews, chili, rice, beans, or lentils.

• Sprinkle cumin on vegetable sautés.  It goes well with sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and cauliflower.

• Sprinkle on roasted nuts or chickpeas.

• Add to the meat mixture 

• Beat into scrambled eggs before cooking.

• Buy some cumin seed tea or brew your own by boiling the seeds in water and letting them steep for 10 minutes.