Foundation for Diet and Health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

The best perspective for your health

Ground cumin

Ground cumin has a fresh and slightly spicy flavor, which is particularly suitable for Arabic, Oriental, and Asian dishes.
52/21/26  LA18:1ALA

Ground cumin, freshly ground in a spice mill or using a pestle and mortar, is a commonly used spice in cooking. It is also frequently found in spice mixes. And although the names are similar, cumin is not related to caraway.

General information:

From Wikipedia: “Cumin (Cuminum cyminum) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native from the east Mediterranean to South Asia.

Its seeds (each one contained within a fruit, which is dried) are used in the cuisines of many different cultures, in both whole and ground form. It also has many uses as a traditional medicinal plant.”

Culinary uses:

“Cumin seed is used as a spice for its distinctive flavour and aroma. It is globally popular and an essential flavouring in many cuisines, particularly South Asian (where it is called jeera), Northern African, and Latin American cuisines. Cumin can be found in some cheeses, such as Leyden cheese, and in some traditional breads from France. It is commonly used in traditional Brazilian cuisine. Cumin can be an ingredient in chili powder (often Tex-Mex or Mexican-style), and is found in achiote blends, adobos, sofrito, garam masala, curry powder, and bahaarat. In Myanmar, cumin is used as a spice. In South Asian cooking, it is often combined with coriander seeds in a powdered mixture called dhana jeera.

Cumin can be used ground or as whole seeds. It helps to add an earthy and warming feeling to food, making it a staple in certain stews and soups, as well as spiced gravies such as chili. It is also used as an ingredient in some pickles and pastries.”

Traditional uses:

In Sanskrit, cumin is known as jiraka “that which helps digestion" and is called zira in Persian/Urdu. In the Ayurvedic system, dried cumin seeds are believed to have medicinal purposes. These seeds are powdered and used in different forms like kashaya (decoction), arishta (fermented decoction), vati (tablet/pills), and processed with ghee (a semifluid clarified butter). It is used internally and sometimes for external applications also.

In southern Indian states, such as Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, a popular drink called jira water is made by boiling cumin seeds.

Nutritional value:

In a 100 gram amount, cumin seeds are nutritionally rich, providing high amounts of the Daily Value for fat (especially monounsaturated fat), protein and dietary fiber. Values for B vitamins, vitamin E, and several dietary minerals, especially iron, are also considerable when expressed in 100 gram amounts.

One tablespoon of ground cumin powder contains negligible food energy and nutrient content.

Confusion with other spices:

Cumin is sometimes confused with caraway (Carum carvi), another umbelliferous spice. Cumin, though, is hotter to the taste, lighter in color, and larger. Many European languages do not distinguish clearly between the two. Many Slavic and Uralic languages refer to cumin as "Roman caraway". Examples include Czech: kmín – caraway, římský kmín -cumin; Polish: kminek – caraway, kmin rzymski – cumin; Slovene: kumina – caraway, kumin – cumin; Hungarian: kömény – caraway, római kömény – cumin. Finnish: kumina – caraway, roomankumina – cumin, although sometimes also called juustokumina, cheese caraway. In Norwegian, caraway is called both karve and kummin while cumin is spisskummen, from German Speis(e) meaning "food". Similarly in Swedish and Danish, caraway is kummin/kommen, while cumin is spiskummin/spidskommen. In German, Kümmel stands for caraway and Kreuzkümmel denotes cumin. In Icelandic, caraway is kúmen, while cumin is kúmín. In Romanian, chimen, chimion is caraway, while chimion turcesc (Turkish caraway), cumin, camon is cumin.

The distantly related Bunium persicum, Bunium bulbocastanum and the unrelated Nigella sativa are both sometimes called black cumin (q.v.).

Nutritional Information per 100g 2000 kCal
Energy 375 kcal18.8%
Fat/Lipids 22 g31.8%
Saturated Fats 1.5 g7.7%
Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber) 44 g16.4%
Sugars 2.2 g2.5%
Fiber 10 g42.0%
Protein (albumin) 18 g35.6%
Cooking Salt (Na:168.0 mg)427 mg17.8%
Recommended daily allowance according to the GDA.
Protein (albumin)
Cooking Salt

Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal
MinIron, Fe 66 mg474.0%
MinManganese, Mn 3.3 mg167.0%
ElemCalcium, Ca 931 mg116.0%
ElemMagnesium, Mg 366 mg98.0%
ElemPotassium, K 1'788 mg89.0%
MinCopper, Cu 0.87 mg87.0%
ElemPhosphorus, P 499 mg71.0%
VitThiamine (vitamin B1) 0.63 mg57.0%
MinZinc, Zn 4.8 mg48.0%
FatLinoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 3.1 g31.0%

Detailed Nutritional Information per 100g for this Ingredient

The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.

If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.

For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.

Essential fatty acids, (SC-PUFA) 2000 kCal
Linoleic acid; LA; 18:2 omega-6 3.1 g31.0%
Alpha-Linolenic acid; ALA; 18:3 omega-3 0.18 g9.0%

Essential amino acids 2000 kCal

Vitamins 2000 kCal
Thiamine (vitamin B1) 0.63 mg57.0%
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) 0.44 mg31.0%
Niacin (née vitamin B3) 4.6 mg29.0%
Vitamin E, as a-TEs 3.3 mg28.0%
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 0.33 mg23.0%
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) 7.7 mg10.0%
Vitamin A, as RAE 64 µg8.0%
Vitamin K 5.4 µg7.0%
Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11) 10 µg5.0%
Vitamin D 0 µg< 0.1%

Essential macroelements (macronutrients) 2000 kCal
Calcium, Ca 931 mg116.0%
Magnesium, Mg 366 mg98.0%
Potassium, K 1'788 mg89.0%
Phosphorus, P 499 mg71.0%
Sodium, Na 168 mg21.0%

Essential trace elements (micronutrients) 2000 kCal
Iron, Fe 66 mg474.0%
Manganese, Mn 3.3 mg167.0%
Copper, Cu 0.87 mg87.0%
Zinc, Zn 4.8 mg48.0%
Selenium, Se 5.2 µg9.0%