Cloves are small, dark brown, and aromatic flower buds of a tree in the family Myrtaceaetree, Syzygium aromaticum which originate from Indonesia. They can, however, be found in several parts of the world.
Available in both whole and ground form, cloves are renowned for their sweet and aromatic touch, elevating the flavor of dishes. Aside from its culinary benefits, cloves have been proven to also have several health benefits.
Here are some health benefits you would get from cloves when used.
- High in antioxidants
Cloves are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that reduce oxidative stress, which can contribute to the development of chronic disease.
Cloves also contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant.
It was found that eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals five times more effectively than other antioxidants.
Including cloves in your diet along with other antioxidant-rich foods can help improve your overall health.
- Promotes bone health
Cloves contain minerals like manganese which play a role in bone health.
Manganese is a mineral that is involved in the formation of bone and is incredibly important to bone health. Adequate intake of it also helps prevent osteoporosis.
Meanwhile, one teaspoon of ground clove provides 55% manganese. So taking cloves can increase your bone mineral density and bone growth.
A study also found that clove extract high in eugenol improved several markers of osteoporosis and increased bone density and strength.
- Keeps diabetes in control
Cloves also serve as an anti-diabetic agent. The compounds found in cloves, particularly eugenol, can help protect against cancer.
Several studies and tests have proven that cloves may reduce cancer cell growth and promote cancer cell death.
A test-tube research found that eugenol promoted cell death in cervical cancer cells.
Another study found that clove extract helped stop the growth of tumors and promoted cell death in cancer cells.
- Helps with weight management
The compounds in cloves may help improve metabolism and control body weight.
In a study of mice, researchers found that clove extract reduced the incidence of obesity resulting from a high-fat diet.
Mice who received the clove extract had lower body weight, less abdominal fat, and less liver fat than those in the control group.
Adding cloves to your diet could support weight management efforts.
- Improves oral health
Cloves, particularly its oil, can serve as a natural method for maintaining oral health due to their effect on plaque, gingivitis, and bacteria in the mouth.
Researchers have compared the effectiveness of an herbal mouth rinse containing cloves, basil, and tea tree oil with a commercially available essential oil mouth rinse.
Both mouth rinses were effective against plaque and gingivitis, showing that they may help decrease oral inflammation and bacteria.
However, it was found that the mouth rinse that contained cloves decreased the number of harmful bacteria more than the commercial mouth rinse.
Also, after using the herbal mouthwash for 21 days, the participants showed improvements in gum health, as well as the amount of plaque in the mouth.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Cloves contain eugenol, a natural compound with strong anti-inflammatory effects.
This can help reduce inflammation in the body, making cloves potentially beneficial for individuals with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and asthma.
Cloves also have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can help stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria.
A study showed that clove essential oil killed three common types of bacteria, including E. coli, which is a strain of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
To easily incorporate cloves into your dishes, you can get the ground form.
You can also simmer whole cloves in boiling water for 5–10 minutes to make a soothing cup of clove tea.
However, it is important to consume in moderation.
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