Cloves are the flower buds of the clove tree, an evergreen also known as Ã‚Â Syzygium aromaticum Ã‚Â
Found in both whole and ground forms, this versatile spice can be used to season pot roasts, add flavor 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.
Cloves are best known as a sweet and aromatic spice, but they have also been used in traditional medicine.
In fact, animal studies have found that the compounds in cloves may have several health benefits, including supporting liver health and helping stabilize blood sugar levels
This article reviews 8 of the most impressive health benefits of eating cloves.
Cloves contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, so using whole or ground cloves to add flavor to your food can provide some important nutrients.
One teaspoon (2 grams) of ground cloves contains:
Ã‚Â Manganese is an essential mineral for maintaining brain function and building strong bones.
Apart from being a rich source of manganese, cloves are only used in small amounts and do not provide significant amounts of nutrients.
In addition to 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.
Cloves also contain a compound called eugenol, which has been shown to act as a natural antioxidant.
In fact, a test-tube study found that eugenol stopped oxidative damage caused by free radicals five times more effectively than vitamin E, another potent antioxidant.
Including cloves in your diet along with other anti-oxidant rich food Ã‚Â can help improve your overall health.
Cloves have been shown to have antimicrobial properties, meaning they can help stop the growth of microorganisms like bacteria.
One test-tube study showed that clove essential oil killed three common types of bacteria, including Ã‚Â E. coli, which is a strain of bacteria that can cause food poisoning.
WhatÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s more, the antibacterial properties of cloves could even help promote oral health.
In one test-tube study, the compounds extracted from cloves were found to stop the growth of two types of bacteria that contribute to gum disease.
Another study in 40 people tested the effects of an herbal mouthwash consisting of tree tea oil, cloves, and basil.
After using the herbal mouthwash for 21 days, they showed improvements in gum health, as well as the amount of plaque and bacteria in the mouth.
In combination with regular brushing and proper oral hygiene, the antibacterial effects of cloves may benefit your oral health
Research shows that the compounds found in cloves may help keep blood sugar under control
An animal study found that clove extract helped moderate blood sugar increases in mice with diabetes.
Another test-tube and animal study looked at the effects of clove extract and nigericin, a compound found in cloves, both on human muscle cells and in mice with diabetes.
Cloves and nigericin were found 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.
Insulin is a hormone responsible for transporting sugar from your blood into your cells. The proper functioning of insulin is essential for maintaining steady blood sugar levels.
In combination with a balanced diet, cloves could help keep your blood sugar levels in check