Cardamom is a spice with an intense, slightly sweet flavour that can be compared to mint.
Both the seeds and the pod have a rich aroma and are often used in desserts, hot and spicy dishes, as well as aromatic beverages like coffee and tea.
In Rwanda, the plants thrive mostly in the Ruhengeri Prefecture where women groups cultivate it.
The primary nutrients in cardamom include vitamin B6 or folate at 10 per cent.
Emmy Ntamanga, a Kigali-based nutrition consultant, says cardamom is known for having protein which helps in bodybuilding and is present at 22 per cent in each serving.
He says studies indicate that this is an equal portion as carbohydrates, whose 22 per cent daily value margin makes it an energy-giving produce.
The spice is also rich in potassium at 31 per cent, which controls blood pressure. And the presence of calcium in cardamom helps supports teeth enamel growth.
Ntamanga says cardamom is also believed to have antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties, which help in protecting the heart from elevated cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.
The antioxidants may also help manage diabetes and lower liver toxicity, as well as alleviate oral health problems like cavities and bad breath.
Ntamanga adds that cardamom has antiemetic properties, which can help with mild vomiting and nausea. And that it has been established that it is more beneficial when vomit comes out with a sour taste and burning sensation.
“Cardamom has potent antimicrobial...
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