Are cloves worth the hype?

Cloves are the new “super spice” in town. Apart from their sweet and aromatic taste, everyone is talking about what appears to be a list of endless health benefits. 

Nutritionally, cloves provide little amount of calories, and contain rich amounts of manganese. In fact, just one teaspoon of cloves provide up to 55% of the daily value for this mineral. Cloves are also very rich in antioxidants. If you are not aware, antioxidants are compounds that help fight the process of oxidative stress in our body, which has been shown to play a role in the development of chronic diseases like cancer.

Some of the most important health benefits of this spice includes:

  • Its ability to help protect against the second leading cause of death, cancer. And such protective effect has been attributed to its eugenol content. 
  • Its ability to fight the proliferation of bacteria. This has been shown in laboratory studies, where the essential oil from cloves was able to kill up to 3 common types of bacteria, including the famous Escherichia coli that’s found in contaminated food, which can cause intestinal infection.
  • Its ability to help reduce the symptoms of stomach ulcers. This effect was seen in an animal study, where the essential oil in cloves was able to foster the production of gastric mucus. And interestingly, gastric mucus can act as a barrier and prevent the wearing away of stomach lining by gastric acid.