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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Cloves, they may have some surprising health benefits !

8 Surprising Health Benefits of Cloves
By Rachael Link MS RD

"Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Syzygium aromaticum. Found in both whole and ground forms, this versatile spice can be used to season pot roasts, add flavour to hot beverages and bring spicy warmth to cookies and cakes. You may know cloves as one of the main ingredients in gingerbread baked goods or a staple spice in Indian cuisine. In addition to their sweet, aromatic flavour, cloves are known for their potent medicinal properties.

1. Contain Important Nutrients
Cloves are low in calories and provide some fibre, vitamins K and C, minerals (manganese), so by using whole or ground cloves to add flavour to your food you can provide some important nutrients. Ground cloves contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E.

2. High in Antioxidants
As well as containing several important vitamins and minerals, cloves are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of chronic disease. Including cloves in your diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help improve your overall health.

3. May Protect Against Cancer
Some test-tube studies show that the compounds found in cloves cancer cell death. More research is needed to confirm these effects in humans. Test-tube studies show that the compounds in cloves may reduce cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death. More research is needed to confirm these effects in humans.

4. Can Kill Off Bacteria
Studies show that cloves may promote oral health, thanks to their antimicrobial properties, which may help kill harmful bacteria.

5. May Improve Liver Health
Studies show that the beneficial compounds in cloves could help promote liver health. The compound eugenol may be especially beneficial for the liver. Cloves are also high in antioxidants, which may help prevent liver disease due to their ability to help decrease oxidative stress.

6. May Help Regulate Blood Sugar
Test-tube and animal studies have shown that the compounds in cloves may help promote insulin production and lower blood sugar.

7. May Promote Bone Health
Low bone mass is a condition that affects an estimated 43 million older adults in the US alone. It can lead to the development of osteoporosis, which causes weakened, porous bones and an increased risk of breaks and fractures. Some of the compounds in cloves have been shown to help preserve bone mass in animal studies, however, more research is needed to determine how it may affect bone formation in humans.

8. May Reduce Stomach Ulcers
Some research indicates that the compounds found in cloves could help treat stomach ulcers. Also known as peptic ulcers, stomach ulcers are painful sores that form in the lining of the stomach, duodenum or oesophagus. They are most commonly caused by reductions in the protective lining of the stomach that are due to factors like stress, infection and genetics. Though the anti-ulcer effects of cloves and their compounds may be promising, further studies are needed on their effects in humans.

The Bottom Line:
Cloves have many potential health benefits, including keeping blood sugar in check and helping block the growth of bacteria. As with many healthy foods, they’re most effective when included as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Try integrating a few servings of cloves per week into your meals. You can easily incorporate ground cloves into many dishes. They’ll bring a warm, distinctive flavour to desserts, curries or chutneys. You can also simmer whole cloves in boiling water for 5–10 minutes to make a soothing cup of clove tea. Cloves are delicious and may provide many important health benefits."

Read Rachael's full article with all relevant information and research links here

Cooking With Cloves:
Cloves are the dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety of sweet and savoury dishes. Cloves can be used whole or ground to impart a strong sweet but spicy and peppery flavour so should be used in moderation to avoid over seasoning. Insert whole cloves into baked hams or oranges, apples or onions to add flavour or add ground cloves to curries.
Prepare it:
It's best to grind whole cloves into powder, using a mortar and pestle, just prior to using them to ensure flavour and freshness are at their peak. To stud an ingredient with cloves, stick whole cloves into it so that the bud heads protrude. Make sure to remove whole cloves before serving as they have a strong, pungent and slightly unpleasant flavour on their own.
Store it:
Cloves have a long shelf life, lasting up to a year, if they are kept in a cool, dark place away from light.

Recipe suggestion - Apricot & ginger ham
glazed gammon joint with fruit, bay leaves, allspice & cloves, slow roasted served in thick slices.

See recipe here

Recipe suggestion - Baked Apples
... a classic dessert

See recipe here

We bring a variety of articles, studies etc. plus recent news/views and recipe ideas to this blog, we hope something for everyone to read and enjoy. Please note, not all may be suitable for you. If you may have any food allergies, or underlying health issues these must always be taken into account. If you are a diabetic and not sure how certain foods may affect your blood sugars, test is best, i.e. use your meter.

All the best Jan


Tom said...

...from such a little thing!

eileeninmd said...

Hello, it is great reading about all the health benefits of cloves. I have to say I have not used them in my recipes. The baked apples do look delicious. Thanks for the info and great post. Enjoy your day and weekend!

Catarina said...

Here is a spice I have not used for many, many years due to its pungent aroma and taste.

It is time to give it another try.

Have a great weekend.

: )

Christine said...

So many benefits in this little spice, thanks for sharing!

only slightly confused said...

Dad used to chew one for toothache.

DMS said...

I love cloves. So happy to hear about all the health benefits from something I already love. :)

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing this, Jan. The ham looks delicious, too!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Interesting post, they're also good for relieving toothache

Bob Bushell said...

I love cloves, and it is so good for you, thanks Jan.

Elephant's Child said...

Clove oil can reduce the pain of toothache too. And freshen the breath.

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

This is such a wonderful spice. So many uses and so many benefits. And I love how it smells!

River said...

I remember my mum using cloves but don't remember what for. I have a few recipes that use ground cloves, a favourite being a ginger spice cake.

Jenn Jilks said...

I always think of oranges and cloves, at Christmas!!!

Magic Love Crow said...

Thank you so much for everything Jan! I am so happy I found your blog! Big Hugs!