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This wonder spice can help you keep cancer at bay

You can easily incorporate star anise in various Indian dishes.

Written by Bhakti Paun Sharma |Published : November 5, 2015 2:50 PM IST

The environment poses a big threat to our health these days. The toxins from the environment carry carcinogens that enter the body and generate free radicals, which cause damage to the healthy cells, giving rise to diseases like cancer. Making dietary changes and adding foods that are rich in antioxidants can prevent cancer. Antioxidants interact with these free radicals and kill them before they damage the cells. Spices like star anise have a large number of benefits and are rich in antioxidants. It is an important ingredient in the Chinese 5 spice powder and studies have indicated that it may help keep cancer at bay.

How star anise helps?

The pollutants that enter our body through various sources give rise to free radicals that are one of the main causes for most chronic diseases, including cancer. Antioxidants or anti-oxidant rich foods and spices like star anise have radical scavenging properties to get rid of toxins and other carcinogens. Star anise is found to be rich in flavonoids and phenols too, which protect the DNA from damage. The severity of cancer increases due to cell metastasis wherein cancer cells undergo translocation to another organ and then develop or grow there. A study shows that star anise inhibits the cancer cell migration thereby preventing the spread of cancer [1]. Star anise has also shown anti-carcinogenic potential in in-vitro studies by lowering the oxidative stress and therefore, can be used as a spice to prevent or lower the risk of different types of cancer [2]. Here s why you should have star anise tea every day.

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How to use star anise?

This spice has a sweet and spicy aroma and hence blends well with most dishes. It can be added to the traditional tea masala or star anise brewed in water can be sipped as tea for its medicinal benefits. Did you know star anise helps relieve colic and gas troubles in infants and adults?

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  1. Jayakumar, R., & Kanthimathi, M. S. (2012). Dietary spices protect against hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage and inhibit nicotine-induced cancer cell migration. Food chemistry, 134(3), 1580-1584.
  1. Yadav, A. S., & Bhatnagar, D. (2007). Chemo-preventive effect of Star anise in N-nitrosodiethylamine initiated and phenobarbital promoted hepato-carcinogenesis. Chemico-biological interactions, 169(3), 207-214.

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