Nigella sativa or Kalonji seeds are widely used as a spice in various culinary preparations due to its strong flavour and many medicinal properties.
Let us discuss some of the impressive health benefits of Kalonji seeds.
1. Nigella sativa seeds are packed with antioxidants. They have the potential to keep our cells healthy by scavenging free radicals which might be damaging to our healthy tissues and DNA. Some of the antioxidants present in kalonji seeds are thymoquinone, carvacrol, t-anethole and 4-terpineol.
2. Presence of these antioxidants also makes kalonji seeds effective in reducing cancer risk. This is because free radicals are associated with an increased risk of cancer and tumour development. Some studies have observed the effectiveness of nigella seeds in disabling cancer cells in breast, lungs, pancreas, skin and colon.
3. Incorporating Nigella sativa seeds in our diet also exerts a protective effect on our heart. They help in keeping a check on our blood triglyceride profile. Kalonji seeds prevent the level of LDL cholesterol from rising as it tends to deposit across our blood vessels, obstruct blood flow and hinder heart functioning. By promoting the HDL or good cholesterol levels in the body, Nigella seeds boost heart health.
4. Kalonji seeds are anti-bacterial in nature. Clinical trials have shown that kalonji seeds are effective in warding off methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for causing skin infections and various other diseases. Since this bacteria is antibiotic-resistant, therefore, kalonji seeds are used in suppressing the bacterial effect.
5. Similar to keeping a check-in cholesterol levels, kalonji seeds also prevent blood sugar levels from rising and improves insulin sensitivity. This makes them a boon for diabetic people by preventing any fluctuations in blood glucose levels and protecting them from further complications of diabetes.
6. Kalonji seeds are good for liver health as they aid in detoxification, eliminates toxins from our body and prevents them from accumulating. By reducing oxidative stress, kalonji seeds keep our liver and kidney healthy.
7. Numerous studies have indicated that thymoquinone antioxidant present in Nigella seeds also possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, kalonji seeds can also be used to reduce inflammation, pain, swelling, stiffness, soreness, relieve the symptoms of gout and rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Our stomach has a protective layer of mucous, which lines across the walls of the stomach. In case, this mucous layer gets ruptured then stomach acids directly come in contact with the cells causing ulcers. Kalonji seeds preserve this protective layer, prevents it from getting damaged hence diminishes the formation of ulcers.
9. Being affluent in antioxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, kalonji seeds contribute to strengthening our immune health and minimizes our risk of getting prone to diseases.
To conclude, Nigella seeds not only provide a delectable flavour to our dishes but also benefits us due to its ample of curative properties. They are easy to add in the diet in either raw or roasted form. These days kalonji oil is also available for topical use for skin and hair health, but one should be careful before using them. A patch test is suggested to avoid any allergic reaction.