garden cress (Halim) Seeds Benefits, Nutrition, And Side Effects

Cress (Halim) Seeds Benefits, Nutrition, And Side Effects

Garden cress, also known as Lepidium sativum, is a speedy-growing edible herb. Originally from Egypt and West Asia, it’s now grown all over the world. Its seeds are like tiny treasure chests filled with proteins, fiber, important minerals, and amino acids. These seeds pack a punch with 25% protein and 16% fat, and the bran part can hold lots of water thanks to its high fiber content, a whopping 74.3%! [1].

Garden cress (Gc) seeds, also known as Halim seeds, are packed with phenolic compounds, which give them powerful antioxidant abilities. But that’s not all – these seeds also have medicinal superpowers. They can help with diabetes. Plus, they’re good for your bones, liver, and more. People enjoy the taste of healthy drinks and foods that include Halim seeds, and they’re more than just tasty – they’re a versatile source of medicine for various needs [2].

Due to the diverse and surprising health benefits of garden cress seeds, this article will delve into the health benefits, nutritional content, and potential side effects of garden cress seeds.

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    Garden Cress Seeds Nutrition

    Garden cress seeds are like a nutrition powerhouse. They’re chock-full of proteins, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and other vital nutrients and natural compounds.

    The minerals in garden cress seeds include potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, calcium, sulfur, sodium, iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, manganese, boron, and molybdenum. When it comes to amino acids, garden cress seeds contain both essential and non-essential types, like aspartic acid, histidine, glutamic acid, and more. 

    Moreover, you’ll find a variety of phytochemicals in halim seeds, including gallic acid, caffeic acid, and quercetin-hexoside, which contribute to their health benefits. These little seeds are like nature’s nutritional treasure chest! [2]

    garden cress seeds benefits

    Garden Cress Leaf Nutrition

    Garden cress leaves are a nutritional marvel. They are composed of about 82.3% water, 5.8% protein, 1.0% fat, 8.7% carbohydrates, and 2.2% mineral matter. In this leafy goodness, you’ll find 0.36% calcium and 0.11% phosphorus. There are also trace elements like iron (28.6 mg per 100 g), nickel (40 μg per kg), cobalt (12 μg per kg), and iodine (110 μg per kg).

    When cooked, these leaves provide essential vitamins such as 3,300 IU of vitamin A, 70 μg of thiamin, 0.15 mg of riboflavin, 0.08 mg of niacin, and 39 mg of ascorbic acid.

    One of the standout features of garden cress is its glucosinolates, which are compounds that give it a unique flavor. When you distill it, you get a colorless, pungent-smelling oil called cress oil, which contains various proportions of benzyl isothiocyanate and benzyl cyanide. These leaves are a nutritional powerhouse with a touch of aromatic flair! [1].

    Halim Seeds Health Benefits

    Halim seeds can be a valuable addition if you aim to enhance your well-being. Here are some potential benefits of garden cress seeds:

    cress seeds in spoon

    Anti-Diabetic Properties

    Another amazing Halim seed benefit is its anti-diabetic effect. A group of scientists looked into how garden cress seeds might affect the breakdown of starch into glucose in diabetic mice. They gave diabetic mice garden cress seeds every day for 21 days, and after this period, they found something remarkable. Out of 11 mice, 9 showed a drop in their blood glucose levels from 10.2 mM/L to 8.3 mM/L. This suggests that garden cress seeds have the potential to lower blood sugar levels, which is great news for diabetes management. 

    In another study, researchers found that the extract from garden cress seeds had a strong blood sugar-lowering effect in rats. What’s interesting is that this effect didn’t seem to be linked to insulin production. Even though they used insulin-independent diabetic rats, there were no changes in their insulin levels after treatment. This hints at the exciting possibility that garden cress seeds can help control blood sugar in a unique way, which could be valuable for those dealing with diabetes [3].

    Anti-Diarrheal Properties

    Scientists wanted to see if garden cress seeds could help with diarrhea. They tested this using three different methods, including one where they induced diarrhea using castor oil. When they used methanolic extracts from garden cress seeds, they noticed something exciting. The more of the extract they used, the less diarrhea happened in the castor oil-induced model.

    So, the researchers concluded that garden cress seed is quite effective at preventing diarrhea. It works by slowing down the movement of the intestines and reducing the secretion of fluids in the gut. This suggests that garden cress seeds might be a helpful remedy for tummy troubles! [4].

    cutting cress sprouts

    Fracture Healing Ability

    In 2007, Abha Juma conducted a study on the healing power of garden cress (Gc) seeds in adult New Zealand White rabbits. To test this, they performed surgery on the left femur, causing fractures, and then gave some rabbits 6 grams of Gc seeds in their daily diet.

    After 6 and 12 weeks, X-rays were taken of the rabbits’ left femurs, comparing those that had Gc seeds with a control group. What they found was quite interesting. In the rabbits that ate Halim seeds, the fractures showed significant signs of healing compared to the control group. This suggests that Gc seeds might have a positive impact on bone healing [5].

    Hypertensive Activities

    In 2005, a team of researchers explored the potential of the aqueous extract from garden cress (Gc) seeds to lower blood pressure and increase urine production. They conducted their study on both normal rats and rats with high blood pressure.

    The findings were fascinating. Daily oral administration of the aqueous Gc seed extract for three weeks revealed that it had antihypertensive (blood pressure-lowering) and diuretic (increasing urine production) effects. This suggests that Halim seed extract might be a natural way to help manage high blood pressure [6].

    sprouting cress seeds

    Anti-Cancer Activities

    In 2013, researchers studied the impact of garden cress (Gc) seed extract on human breast cancer cells, particularly using the MCF-7 cell line, which is a type of invasive breast ductal carcinoma. They wanted to see if Halim seeds had any anti-cancer properties.

    What they discovered was quite promising. The Gc seed extract appeared to have an anti-cancer effect on these breast cancer cells. This effect is thought to be linked to compounds called isothiocyanates, especially one called benzyl isothiocyanate, which the authors confirmed was present in Gc seed extract. So, it seems that Gc seed extract may have the ability to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, providing hope in the fight against this disease [7]. 

    In another research study, scientists tested the antioxidant power of garden cress seeds using various solvents like ethanol, chloroform, and more. Among these, the methanol extract of the seeds stood out with impressive antioxidant activity. This means that garden cress seeds can combat harmful molecules and protect our cells from damage [8].

    Anti-Asthmatic Activities

    Researchers looked into the effectiveness of Lepidium sativum (garden cress) in patients with bronchial asthma. They gave 30 patients, aged 15 to 80, 1 gram of garden cress seed powder three times a day for four weeks. These patients had mild to moderate bronchial asthma, and they didn’t take any other medications during the study.

    Before and after the four-week treatment, the researchers used a spirometer to assess their respiratory functions. They also interviewed the patients and conducted physical and hematological examinations to check their symptoms and the severity of their asthma attacks.

    The results were quite promising. After the four-week treatment, the patients showed significant improvements in their pulmonary functions, clinical symptoms, and the severity of their asthma attacks. Even better, none of the patients experienced any adverse effects from taking garden cress. This suggests that garden cress seeds might be a safe and effective option for managing bronchial asthma [9].

    cress leaves

    Anti-Bacterial Effects

    That’s not all garden cress benefits. A study set out to explore the anti-bacterial, antioxidant, and cell-toxicity properties of garden cress (Gc) polysaccharides. They tested the anti-bacterial effects of Gc polysaccharides against two common bacteria, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

    What they discovered was exciting. Garden cress polysaccharides exhibited anti-bacterial properties, suggesting that they could be a natural source of antibiotics. This means that Halim seeds might hold the potential to fight off harmful bacteria, making them a valuable resource in the world of natural medicine [10].

    Garden Cress Seeds Benefits For Male

    In 2013, researchers explored how phenol extract from Halim seeds affects the sperm of adult male rabbits. They determined the ideal dose, which they called the “Medium Effect Dose” (MED50), and found that it was 36.1 mg/kg of body weight.

    The exciting part? When they used this MED50 of garden cress seed phenols, they observed some significant improvements in various sperm-related factors, such as sperm concentration, motility, and sperm quality. This suggests that even small doses of garden cress seed phenols can enhance fertility in rabbits. In simpler terms, Halim seed extract appears to boost certain aspects of sperm performance, potentially benefiting fertility in these animals [11].

    cress seed sprouting

    Garden Cress Seeds Benefits For Female

    In 2006, a team of researchers investigated whether garden cress (Gc) seeds had the power to stimulate milk production in female virgin Norway rats. Each rat received 1.6 mg of ground Gc seeds per gram of their body weight every day for two weeks.

    What they found was fascinating. Halim seeds had a strong influence on the mammary glands of these rats, making them produce more milk. This suggests that garden cress seeds could indeed be a real galactagogue, which means they have the potential to help induce lactation. In simpler terms, Gc seeds might be a natural way to encourage milk production, which could be valuable for new mothers or nursing animals [12].

    Garden Cress Side-Effects

    Researchers conducted tests to check if garden cress (Gc) seeds could be harmful to mice. In acute toxicity tests, they gave mice a single dose of the seed extract ranging from 0.5 to 3.0 grams per kilogram of their body weight. Fortunately, there were no harmful effects or deaths from these doses.

    In chronic toxicity tests, where mice were given 100 milligrams per kilogram per day for three months, there were no signs of toxicity, except for a small increase in the mortality rate, which was not statistically significant. This suggests that Gc seeds are generally safe and non-toxic. So, they appear to be a safe option for consumption [13]. 

    In another study, researchers found that when they fed male and female rats garden cress (Gc) seeds for 14 weeks, there were no harmful effects. Both the short-term (acute) and medium-term (subchronic) consumption of Halim seeds did not produce any toxic effects. This indicates that Halim seeds are safe and non-toxic for both male and female rats. So, they can be considered a safe and harmless food option [14]. 

    Garden cress seeds are generally good for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, traditional medicine advises caution, as excessive consumption of these seeds can be unsafe during early pregnancy. It’s always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you are expecting, to ensure a safe and balanced diet [15].

    garden cress microgreen

    How To Use Garden Cress?

    Numerous studies have demonstrated that garden cress (Gc) has the potential to be a beneficial and functional food [16]. Garden cress is a versatile ingredient! You can use it in various ways – toss it in salads, add it to soups, or place it on sandwiches for a peppery kick. You can also sprinkle garden cress seeds as a garnish in certain drinks. For an extra burst of flavor, consider adding a bit of lemon juice to your healthy beverages. Enjoy experimenting with this nutritious herb! [17]. Get creative with garden cress! You can blend it with scallions, yogurt, or buttermilk to create a delicious dressing for salmon. It also makes a great bed for roast beef or roast chicken, soaking up all those flavorful juices and adding a fresh, vibrant touch to your meal. Explore the culinary possibilities of garden cress and elevate your dishes! [18].

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