Cumin has been used as a spice for thousands of years. It was important to the Minoans, the Greeks, and the Romans. Today it’s used in many cuisines including Tex-Mex and South Asian food. Cumin has also been used in traditional medicine. Find out if dogs can eat cumin below.
Cumin is a spice with an earthy, warm, aromatic flavor. It’s a member of the parsley family. Cumin is valued in foods such as chili and it’s often combined with other spices to make curry powder.
Cumin contains essential oil that produces its particular aroma. Cuminaldehyde is the most prominent oil but cumin also contains several other aroma compounds.
For a spice, cumin seeds are high in fat, particularly monounsaturated fat; protein; and dietary fiber. It also contains B vitamins, vitamin E, iron, magnesium, and manganese. It even contains some calcium.
You would have to eat a large amount of cumin (100 grams or 3.5 ounces) to obtain lots of these vitamins and minerals but they are present in the spice.
Cumin has traditionally been used to promote good digestion. Recent research appears to prove that it actually does help digestion. It may increase the activity of digestive enzymes. It also seems to increase the release of bile from the liver. Bile helps to digest fats in your gut. It may help reduce the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.
We’ve already mentioned that cumin is a source of iron. One teaspoon of ground cumin contains 1.4 mg of iron. That’s 17.5 percent of the recommended daily allowance for adults. Even if you use cumin as a seasoning, it’s a good nutrient-dense source of iron.
Cumin also contains a number of healthful plant compounds such as flavonoids, terpenes, phenols, and alkaloids. Some of these compounds act as antioxidants to fight harmful free radicals in your body.
Cumin may also help fight diabetes. The spice contains several components that may help control blood sugar in diabetics. More research is needed.
In clinical studies, cumin has helped reduce triglyceride levels as well as LDL or “bad” cholesterol. In a few studies, taking concentrated cumin supplements has promoted weight loss.
Another traditional use for cumin has been to prevent the growth of food-borne bacteria. Cumin appears to have antimicrobial properties. When cumin is digested, it releases a compound called megalomicin which acts as an antibiotic.
Some compounds found in cumin may also have anti-inflammatory properties but more research is needed to determine which compounds are useful.
Most people can consume small amounts of cumin used as a food seasoning. Some of the results mentioned here from studies were achieved with higher doses. Talk to your doctor before adding cumin supplements to your diet, especially in larger doses. Although it’s rare, some people do have severe allergic reactions to cumin.
Cumin should not be confused with “black cumin” which is also known as black seed. They are not the same. Black cumin is sometimes used as an anti-parasitic.
According to WebMD, cumin may slow blood clotting. If you take a blood thinner, you should probably avoid cumin. Talk to your doctor.
Can you give your dog cumin to eat?
First of all, for dog lovers, cumin is not related to curcumin, though the names can be confusing. Cumin is a spice related to parsley. Curcumin is the active ingredient in turmeric which is completely different. Turmeric is a member of the ginger family. Turmeric and curcumin have been very popular with some dog owners in recent years, especially for treating some health issues such as arthritis. Just be careful not to confuse cumin with these supplements.
Small amounts of cumin should be safe for most dogs. It can be added to your dog’s meal or used as a flavor in homemade dog cookies, if your dog likes the taste. Cumin is found as an ingredient in some dog foods. It may be added for its digestive benefits.
Large amounts of cumin could make your dog ill so make sure you only use a dash or sprinkle of cumin when you give some to your dog. Or, one bite of your chili, for example.
As with humans, allergies to cumin in dogs are rare but they are possible. If you notice your dog having an allergic reaction or sensitivity after eating cumin, contact your veterinarian.
Signs of a food allergy or food sensitivity
- Facial swelling
- Chronic ear and skin problems
If your dog has any bleeding disorder or problem with blood clotting, you should avoid giving him cumin since it can slow blood clotting.
How much cumin can your dog eat?
You should only give your dog a small amount of cumin. It has a strong flavor and aroma. Too much of it is likely to discourage your dog from wanting to eat it or the food that it’s in. You can add a dash or pinch to your dog’s food.
If you are making treats or cookies at home for your dog, 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin would be enough to add lots of flavor to most recipes.
Your dog might like these cumin cheese cookies made with Cheddar cheese instead of the cheese mentioned in the blog. If your dog doesn’t like them, you can eat them. They sound delicious. This recipe uses just 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds to make 50 little cookies.
How often can you give your dog Cumin?
As long as you only give your dog a small amount of cumin, you should be able to add a little to his food or include some in his treats several times per week.
Cumin appears to help with digestion and may help with some other health issues in humans. Some dog foods add cumin to their recipes. As long as you only give your dog a small amount of the spice, it should be safe to add to his food or include in his treats. There is nothing harmful or toxic to dogs about cumin in small amounts.