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Can I Eat Cumin Seeds Raw? [Nutrients & Mineral Benefits]

Can I Eat Cumin Seeds Raw

I’ve been interested in eating raw foods diet because I’d heard of their purported health and environmental benefits.

I love adding cumin to lots of different dishes, so I wanted to know whether you can eat cumin seeds raw.

It’s perfectly fine to eat raw cumin.

It’s commonly believed to be a good remedy for stomach pain or digestive issues.

But, roasted or fried cumin seeds are more flavorful and are therefore generally preferred for cooking.

Cumin is in the same family as much loved herbs such as parsley, and mint.

So, I took a deep dive into cumin seeds, both raw and cooked, and below I’ll summarize everything there is to know about eating cumin seeds.

Are Cumin Seeds Good for You?

Are Cumin Seeds Good for You

I find cumin seeds naturally delicious, however, I’ve found it’s often the things that taste the best which are the worst for you.

So, I was curious about whether cumin seeds are good for you.

Cumin seeds are good for you.

However, through studies, some data suggests that eating cumin seeds can affect the fertility of males.

At this stage, however, there is no recommendation from health professionals that you should not eat cumin seeds.

There are various health benefits to eating cumin seeds which are:

  • It’s an anti-carcinogen
  • Promotes good digestive health
  • It’s a good source of iron, calcium, and vitamin A.
  • It’s antibacterial
  • Helps with cholesterol levels

It’s an anti-carcinogen

Carcinogens are known to lead to the formation of cancer.

And studies have suggested that cumin seeds are an anti-carcinogen, and actively eliminates carcinogens from the body.

It’s not something that you will notice from day to day, but it’s interesting to know that cumin seeds are on your side.

Promotes good digestive health

I find I commonly get bloated if I stray too far from my diet, or eat certain combinations of foods.

Although I don’t always know what causes it, it’s clear that cumin seeds help your digestive system, and can alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Irritable bowel syndrome is where you experience regular pain, and bloating in the stomach region.

It’s a well-known remedy for diarrhea, and stomach cramps.

The general prescription is to chew on a tablespoon of cumin seeds.

You can also soak them in water to soften them.

Because cumin seeds are quite small it can be difficult to chew them completely without swallowing them whole.

When you swallow cumin seeds whole you don’t get as much of the beneficial nutrients found in cumin seeds.

Good source of minerals

Generally, if you eat a varied diet consisting of lots of fruits and vegetables you’ll tend to get a good amount of all of the nutrients you need.

But, if you’re deficient in certain nutrients, it’s generally considered better to get them from natural sources rather than supplements where possible.

So, cumin seeds have the added benefit of being high in various nutrients you need.

Here’s a breakdown of the nutrients found in cumin seeds:

Nutrient % recommended daily intake (RDI) per tablespoon of cumin seeds
Energy 2.85%
Carbohydrates 5.10%
Protein 4.80%
Total Fat 11.10%
Cholesterol 0.00%
Dietary Fiber 3.90%
Folates 0.38%
Niacin 4.28%
Pyridoxine 4.95%
Riboflavin 3.68%
Thiamin 7.80%
Vitamin A 6.30%
Vitamin C 1.95%
Vitamin E 3.30%
Vitamin K 0.68%
Sodium 5.70%
Potassium 1.65%
Calcium 13.95%
Copper 14.40%
Iron 124.35%
Magnesium 13.65%
Manganese 21.75%
Phosphorus 10.65%
Zinc 6.53%

(source, USFDA).

I’ve bolded those nutrients that are found in relatively high amounts which are:

  • Thiamin
  • Calcium
  • Copper
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Phosphorus

Thiamin is considered a vitamin, whereas the rest of the nutrients are found in high amounts in cumin seeds, are known as minerals, and include zinc.

But, zinc isn’t found in high levels and one tablespoon of cumin seeds only contains about 5% of your daily zinc needs.

Another related seed to cumin seeds is flax seeds, which are also known to be good for your health.

Through researching the nutritional quality of flax seeds, I noticed they are also low in zinc, and found that the foods that contain a good amount of zinc are:

Food % daily zinc intake for an adult per average serving
Pumpkin seeds 20%
Cashews 15%
Chickpeas 12%
Oatmeal 10%
Almonds 8%

If you’re interested in the nutritional benefits of flax seeds, then click this link to read about flax seeds, and whether they’re good for you, and if they help with weight loss.

Cumin seeds have unusually high levels of iron.

The maximum amount of iron that you should consume in a day is 45 mg for an adult, according to medical professionals.

One tablespoon of cumin contains 10 mg of iron.

So, it’s perfectly fine to consume 1 to 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds per day.

But, any more than about 4 tablespoons puts you at risk of consuming too much iron.

Doing so will trigger a reaction in your body to get the iron out of your body.

Which can include diarrhea, vomiting, as well as nausea, and stomach pain.

Considering that there is also iron in other foods that you’ll consume throughout the day.

Excessive consumption of iron can decrease your body’s ability to take up zinc.

Which is an important nutrient for your body.

Therefore, you should aim to limit how many cumin seeds you eat to around 1 to 2 tablespoons per day.

Do Cumin Seeds Have Any Side Effects?

Do Cumin Seeds Have Any Side Effects

I love using cumin seeds on a bunch of different dishes, and do eat them quite regularly so I was curious whether there are any side effects to eating cumin seeds and how many cumin seeds you should eat.

Overall, cumin seeds do not have any side effects.

There is some evidence to suggest that cumin seeds can affect men’s fertility, and can cause miscarriages in pregnant women.

However, a direct link has not been established and it’s not an established fact that cumin seeds have any side effects.


Medical professionals agree it’s fine to eat a moderate amount of cumin seeds as part of a healthy diet.

And to eat them as you would normally as a spice, or as a remedy for an upset stomach.

Cumin has a strong flavor and therefore you don’t need to use a lot of it, to enjoy the delicious flavor they provide.

What Happens if We Eat Cumin Seeds Daily?

What Happens if We Eat Cumin Seeds Daily

Since I eat cumin seeds very often, sometimes everyday I wanted to know what happens if you eat cumin seeds everyday, and whether it is bad or good.

Based on the nutrients found in cumin seeds, here’s what happens if you eat cumin seeds daily.

Generally, it will increase your nutrient intake, particularly your levels of minerals such as calcium, iron, and manganese, which are known to be good for your health.

Cumin seeds are particularly high in iron, and eating more than ½ a tablespoon a day can cause health issues.

Half a tablespoon is generally a good amount in typical dishes.

A tablespoon of cumin seeds has very high amounts of iron that will cause issues if you regularly consume a tablespoon or more of cumin seeds consistently.

Therefore, you should generally try to consume less than half a tablespoon per day if you eat cumin seeds everyday.

This is because you will also get iron from other foods that you consume during the day.

Other foods that are high in iron are:

  • Organ meats (offal) = 34% RDI per 100g
  • Legumes = 18% RDI per 100g
  • Shellfish = 17% RDI per 100g
  • Spinach = 15% RDI per 100g
  • Red meat = 15% RDI per 100g
  • Pumpkin seeds = 45% RDI per 100g

So, keep that in mind when you’re thinking about what dishes to add cumin seeds too.

The common serving size of meat for an adult is around 200g.

Therefore, if you combine cumin seeds with red meat or organ meats it will put you over the recommended amount of iron.

A little bit over, every now and then is OK. But, if you go drastically over the excess iron can cause organ failure according to medical professionals.

Also, if you consistently consume too much iron it can cause a range of health issues.

Can I Drink Cumin Water Before Bed?

Can I Drink Cumin Water Before Bed

Crunching on some cumin seeds is a known remedy for an upset stomach.

But, I’m aware that eating certain foods before bed can disrupt your sleep.

So, I researched whether it’s OK to drink cumin water before bed, and here’s what I found.

Drinking cumin water before bed is perfectly fine.

Cumin seeds do not contain caffeine or sugar which can keep you awake.

A large meal before bed can cause you to wake up more tired.

However cumin water is very light and easy for your body to digest, so it’s fine to drink before bed.

As you may know, ground cumin seeds bring out more of the nutrients and your body can break them down more easily.

So, it’s a good idea to drink cumin water made from ground cumin seeds rather than whole cumin seeds.