When we think of the spice clove, most of us have visions of gingerbread dance through our heads. The wonderful smell of clove instantly transports us to warm, holiday dishes.
But beyond bringing a spicy warmth to cookies and cakes, cloves are versatile and can be added to meats, soups and hot beverages. In fact, cloves are one of the main ingredients in many Indian dishes.
But cloves, the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Syzygium aromaticum, aren’t just aromatic and flavorful, they are also known for their health benefits.
If you only have cloves around the holidays or when going out for Indian food, it’s time to start incorporating more into your diet. Spice up your life and improve your health at the same time.
Animal studies suggest that the compounds in cloves may have several potential medical uses, including supporting liver health and stabilizing blood sugar levels. But that’s not all!
Here are some more impressive health benefits:
Acts as an Antibacterial Agent
Cloves have been shown to possess antimicrobial properties. This means they can stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria. In fact, a test-tube study revealed that clove essential oil was powerful enough to kill off three common types of bacteria, including E.coli, a particularly nasty strain of bacteria that has been known to cause cramps, diarrhea, fatigue and even death.
When it comes to fighting bad bacteria, cloves can be instrumental in oral health. Studies have also found that certain compounds in cloves have the ability to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
So, in combination with brushing and flossing, the antibacterial effects of cloves could boost your oral health.
Chock Full of Important Nutrients
Thanks to depleted soil around much of the country, our fruits and veggies aren’t as nutritious as they were back in our grandparents’ day. Because of this, we’ve got to get important nutrients from other sources.
It just so happens that cloves contain important fiber, vitamins and minerals. So, adding either whole or ground cloves to your food can boost your nutrient intake.
Consider that just one teaspoon of ground cloves contains 1 gram of fiber as well as:
- Manganese: 30% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 4% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 3% of the RDI
In addition, cloves also contain small amounts of calcium, magnesium and vitamin E, so start adding some into your diet today!
Packed with Antioxidants
In addition to the important vitamins and minerals we just listed, cloves are also packed with antioxidants, those compounds that fight free radicals in our body that lead to the development of disease.
One compound is called eugenol, and it has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant with the ability to stop oxidative damage. It has even been shown to be five times more effective than vitamin E at fighting free radicals.
Including cloves in your diet, along with other antioxidant-rich foods, can reduce the oxidative stress in your body and help improve your overall health.
May Protect Against Cancer
Research has uncovered the ability of some clove compounds to protect against cancer. In fact, one test-tube study found that clove extract helped stop the growth of tumors and promoted cell death in cancer cells. Another study found that concentrated amounts of clove oil caused cell death in 80% of esophageal cancer cells.
And you know that eugenol we mentioned earlier? It has been shown to have anti-cancer properties, causing cell death in cervical cancer cells.
While more human research is necessary, animal studies so far have been very promising.
Cloves Promote Healthy Bones
Low bone mass is a condition that affects millions of older Americans. If left unchecked, it can lead to the development of osteoporosis, which causes weakened, porous bones and an increased risk of breaks and fractures.
Animal studies have shown that cloves may be able to help preserve bone mass. This again has to do with that wondrous compound eugenol, which was found to improve several markers of osteoporosis and increased bone density and strength.
And remember, cloves contain 30% of RDI of manganese, a mineral that’s involved in the formation of bone and incredibly important to bone health.
May Prevent Stomach Ulcers
Ulcers are painful sores that form along the lining of the stomach, duodenum or esophagus. Well, now the millions of Americans’ that suffer from the pain of ulcers may find some relief thanks to compounds found in cloves.
In one particular animal study, the essential oil from cloves was able to increase the production of gastric mucus. It is this mucus that acts as a barrier and prevents the stomach lining from being destroyed by digestive acids.
Other studies have found that clove extract has the ability to treat stomach ulcers in much the same way as anti-ulcer medications.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Exciting research has uncovered cloves’ ability to regulate blood sugar. An animal study found that clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in diabetic mice.
In addition, nigericin, a compound found in cloves, has been shown to increase the uptake of sugar from the blood into cells, increase the secretion of insulin and improve the function of cells that produce insulin.
While more studies will be needed, this is so far great news for diabetics who wish to ultimately get off of their medication.
When it comes to regulating your blood sugar, cloves aren’t the only spice that fits the bill… Natural turmeric has also been shown to be a powerful agent in stabilizing blood sugar.
As well as helping to regulate your blood sugar levels, curcumin supports the health of your heart, joints, brain and muscles.
It also promotes a healthy mood balance and helps keep your skin soft, smooth and glowing – while possibly fighting fine lines and wrinkles.
That’s why Primal Labs is proud to offer what we believe is the best source of high quality Turmeric on the market – Click Here to find out all the ways BioMeric can help with your health.