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Cloves: The Miracle to a Healthy Diet

You may recognize cloves as an ingredient to your favorite meal or an addition to your favorite scent, especially around the holidays. What is now a common inclusion to our spice rack was once one of the most sought after delicacies before the birth of Christ, causing conflict and even war to be fought over the control of cloves.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Top 11 Benefits of Cloves

1. Oral Health

Cloves have been found to contain pain killing properties making them a natural way to cure toothaches. They have also been shown to reduce pathogens that can cause gum disease such as gingivitis.  If you are someone who prefers to look at a natural cure for your body, cloves may be the answer to maintaining healthy oral hygiene.

2. Digestion

If you struggle with anything within your digestive tract, the answer might be to incorporate cloves into your diet. Cloves have been shown to increase the output of digestive enzymes reducing flatulence, gastric irritability, dyspepsia and nausea. Cloves are not difficult to incorporate into your every day diet and can make a big difference if you struggle with any negative symptoms in your digestion.

3. Lung Cancer Prevention

Recently, it was found that cloves can be used to treat lung cancer in its early stages due to their chemo-preventive or anti-carcinogenic properties. This has attracted the medical community to begin exploring the true potential of cloves.

4. Liver Protection

Cloves contain large amounts of antioxidants which protect organs from free radicals, especially the liver. As your metabolism creates more free radicals and draws more antioxidants from the liver, cloves can go a long way to countering these free radicals and adding more antioxidants to our body.

5. Anti-Inflammatory

Eugenol is an incredibly strong anti-inflammatory substance and cloves contain lots of it! On top of eugenol, cloves contain flavonoids which also contribute towards anti-inflammatory effects, as well as other properties that numb the pain just like with toothaches. In simpler terms, eugenol creates an environment that is not at all friendly towards anything not from your body.

6. Immune System Booster

If you're looking to get prepared for the cold and flu season naturally, look no further than cloves. Cloves contain agents that can boost white blood cell production strengthening the immune system from harmful disease. This keeps your body ready for any sort sickness that comes its way.

7. Aphrodisiac Properties

Experiments were conducted on both clove and nutmeg to determine aphrodisiac properties. Both came back with strong positive results of improving sexual health in men and delaying orgasm. Cloves and nutmeg were tested against standard drugs by Unani medicine.

8. Diabetes Control

Perhaps one of the most interesting cases for cloves is the properties within it that can assist with people who are diabetic. Cloves contain properties that can help to regulate blood sugar levels if you have trouble or the inability to regulate your own insulin naturally.

9. Bone Preservation

Eugenol is back at it again with yet another benefit, this time for our bones. Cloves can play a huge part in strengthening our bones by preserving density and mineral content as well as increasing overall tensile strength of bones in the case of osteoporosis.

10. Anti-Mutagenic Properties

Mutagens can change the genetic makeup of DNA by mutating it in a harmful way. The biochemicals found within cloves posses properties that when administered, were able to significantly control the mutation. This also links in with the ability to prevent and attack cancer.

11. Bug Spray?

Yea! Clove oil was found to be incredibly effective and WAAAY less toxic when it came to repelling bugs compared to strong chemicals such as deet. This can open the door to many people wanting to avoid less toxic options.

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Fresh Cloves being picked as flowers in hand

Wikimedia

A Brief History on Cloves

Cloves began on the island of Moluccas, formerly known as the spice island of Indonesia. When the Chinese courtiers found out about them, they would often put them in their mouths for better breath as to not displease the emperor. Arab traders brought them to Europe and they quickly gained popularity for their strong and pungent flavor and ability to mask poorly preserved foods. Many wars were waged over the Moluccas islands during the medieval and modern periods. The Dutch emerged victorious and held the islands for many years. On top of being a delicious and useful addition to food, Cloves were also used for traditional medicine, especially oral health.

A Few Helpful Recipes For Eating Cloves

Because cloves have a super intense flavor, you might want to consider a few creative ways of eating them that will make your meals taste great!

5 Spice Onion Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 TBS + 6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 inch fresh peeled ginger, sliced
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick, about 4 inches long
  • 3 star anise
  • 1/2 tsp dried fennel seeds
  • 6 whole dried medium shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS blackstrap molasses
  • Additional Soup Ingredients
  • 2 onions, cut in half and sliced thin
  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Chop 1 onion. Thinly slice two onions and garlic, which will later be added.
  2. To prepare onion broth, heat 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth in medium soup pot. Healthy Sauté chopped onion over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add 6 cups of chicken or vegetable broth and remaining onion broth ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer ingredients briskly together for 20 minutes, uncovered. This will bring out a lot of flavor from the ingredients.
  3. In a separate medium sized stainless steel skillet, heat 1 TBS of the onion broth over medium heat. Healthy Sauté sliced onions over medium low heat in broth, stirring often for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  4. After cooking broth for 20 minutes strain while it is still hot and return liquid to pan.
  5. Slice mushrooms (and discard rest of strained ingredients) and return to broth.
  6. Add sautéed onions and garlic and season with salt and white pepper to taste.

Mushroom, Tomato, Basil Frittata

  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBS +1 TBS chicken broth
  • 1 cup thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1/2 medium tomato diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 TBS chopped fresh basil
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Mince onions and press garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in a 10-inch stainless steel skillet. Healthy Sauté onion over medium low heat for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add garlic and mushrooms and continue to sauté for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add 1 TBS broth, tomato, salt, and pepper and cook for another minute. Stir well, and gently scrape pan with a wooden spoon to remove any slight burning.
  5. Beat eggs well, and season with salt and pepper. Mix in chopped basil. Pour eggs over vegetables evenly and turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until firm. Cut into wedges and serve.

No-Bake Apple Walnut Tart

Ingredients:

  • Crust
  • 2-1/2 cups walnuts
  • 1-1/2 cups dates (Medjool dates work well)
  • sea salt to taste
  • Filling
  • 3 green apples, such as Granny Smith, sliced
  • juice of 1 lemon in 2 cups water
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground clove
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/4 cup raisins

Directions:

  1. Combine walnuts and dates in food processor. Make sure you remove pits if dates have them and cut off end where stem was. Process until well mixed and ground, but not smooth (about 40 seconds). It should be a coarse texture when done. Press evenly into a 9-inch tart pan. Set in refrigerator while making the filling.
  2. Slice apples by cutting into quarters. Cut out core and slice crosswise in 1/4 inch thick slices. Put into lemon water while you finish cutting apples. Drain well in colander when done.
  3. Place apples in a large skillet with rest of the ingredients and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently on medium heat.
  4. Remove apples with a slotted spoon from hot pan to a bowl and cool completely.
  5. Reduce liquid to about half the volume and then cool.
  6. Spread apples evenly over crust. Brush apple-juice syrup over apples. The tart can be served right away or it will keep in refrigerator until needed. Keep tart covered in refrigerator so it doesn't pick up moisture. Top with a little vanilla yogurt if desired.

These are only a couple recipes but I think you get the idea

Check out this quick helpful video!

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References:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/health-benefits-of-cloves.html

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-9991/6-health-benefits-of-cloves.html

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=69

http://www.whfoods.com/recipestoc.php

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=67

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=125

www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/health-benefits-of-cloves/

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=recipe&dbid=79

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