Praised and famous for their medicinal qualities, cloves are quite remarkable when it comes to their health benefits. Cloves are the dried flower buds of the clove tree, which is an evergreen tree known as Syzygium Aromaticum. Just the fact that it comes from an immortal tree should tell you that cloves are something special and know how to take care of your body with just the right things. This is a spice used fairly in Indian cuisine and is an experimental ingredient in many other cuisines across the world.
It is a very versatile spice that is used creatively. It can bring life to your hot beverages, bring some warmth to cookies and cakes, and season pot roasts. Regardless of being very famous as a spice, clove’s main qualities come in when used as traditional or ayurvedic medicine. Animal studies have shown that clove’s medicinal properties are insurmountable, and everybody should find ways of reaping the benefits of this fantastic spice. So let’s look at some benefits of cloves and why you should add cloves to your regular diet.
1. High in Antioxidants
Cloves are rich in many nutrients like vitamins and minerals. But in addition to that, they also have a fantastic antioxidant profile. Antioxidants are components that fight free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. This oxidative stress is what builds up and contributes to major chronic diseases. Cloves have a component called eugenol which acts as a natural antioxidant. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and the most prominent one. In test-tube studies, it was found that eugenol was even more effective than Vitamin E in most cases.
2. Protection against Cancer
Many studies have suggested that components found in clove extract are very efficient at suppressing tumours and fighting against cancer. The antioxidants in cloves already help fight free radicals, and usually these are the components that help fight cancer cells. Clove extract has been known to promote cell death in cancer cells. Another study has suggested that cell death was caused in 80% of oesophageal cancer cells as well. Eugenol, the element mentioned in the previous point, efficiently promotes cell death in cervical cancer cells.
3. Antimicrobial Properties
Studies show that cloves have antimicrobial properties as well, which is beneficial when it’s about fighting against bacterial infections. Bacterial infections can happen because of several external factors that our modern world is surrounded by. One test-tube study even shows that clove essential oils were great in fighting against 3 common types of bacteria that cause serious diseases, such as E. Coli, resulting from food poisoning. These same antimicrobial properties also help dental and oral hygiene; this is why many kinds of toothpaste promote the inclusion of cloves as an active ingredient. They help in stopping gum diseases.
4. Regulates Blood Sugar
Blood sugar is a major problem for people in all age groups. Irregular blood sugar and sugar content in our regular diet contribute to diseases like diabetes and insulin issues. Compounds found in cloves help in keeping blood sugar under control. Clove extract has been known to reduce the harmful effects of blood sugar and regulate insulin because of nigericin, a component found in cloves on human muscles. This component increases the intake of sugar from the blood into cells and increases insulin secretion, improving the functionality of cells that produce insulin.
5. Improves Bone Health
Many adults suffer from low bone mass, which leads to the development of a condition called osteoporosis which increases the risk of fractures. This development of brittle bones puts you at risk of increased inflammation and pain due to poor bone health. Components in cloves are very efficient at preserving bone mass. Again, eugenol is responsible for providing the body with the right elements to improve the density of bones and increase strength as well.
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