Health Benefits of Star Anise
Star anise is a spice, which resembles star in shape. It has a wooden texture and is used in various cuisines for its sweet aroma. Star anise is produced extensively in China and Vietnam, though it is consumed worldwide. Star anise is plucked before it ripens and then it is dried to obtain its flavour. It is used in the preparation of tea, soup, juices. So, let’s have a look at the nutritional and health benefits of star anise.
Nutritional Benefits of Star Anise
Star anise provides around 330 calories for 100 gram of its consumption. It is rich in carbohydrate, protein, dietary fibre and fat. It contains healthy fat in the form of monounsaturated fatty acid and polyunsaturated fatty acid and has low amount of saturated fat. Vitamin-A and Vitamin-C are present in it. Minerals like iron, magnesium, copper and calcium are found in it.
Star Anise Promotes Digestion
Star anise’s aroma has a stimulating effect on various digestive enzymes and also promotes saliva production. Digestive enzymes are helpful in disintegrating the food particles and aid in the process of digestion. Gulping star anise along with hot water is a good remedy to prevent gas pain and bloating. Star anise is high in dietary fibre too. It aids in binding the food particles and can promote healthy bowel movement.
Star Anise Combats Respiratory Problems
Star anise has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can aid in removing congestion. It is rich in phytochemicals like creosol and alpapinene, which can help ease the congestion and can clear the respiratory tracts. Various cough syrups contain its extract, due to presence of many volatile oils. They are helpful against dry cough, asthma and bronchitis. Star anise tea is even recommended when a person suffers from cold and flu.
Star Anise for Women
Star anise is recommended to lactating women. It is rich in a compound called anethol, which has estrogenic properties. It aids in increasing milk production and has been found to combat menstrual problems.
Other Health Benefits Of Star Anise
- Antiseptic Properties – Star anise is rich in volatile oils. These include anethole, anise alcohol, limonene, estragol. These volatile oils have anti-septic and anti-bacterial properties and can be applied on cuts and bruises.
- Star anise is rich in Vitamin-B complexes like niacin, riboflavin, thiamine and pyridoxine. These are helpful in keeping the brain cells active and play a key role in the normal functioning of nervous system. They help in suppressing homocysteine level, responsible for brain shrinkage and can prevent dementia.
- Star anise oil can be applied to combat rheumatism and back pains.
- It has anti-bacterial properties and is beneficial for maintaining healthy oral hygiene. Star anise can be chewed to ward off germs and bad odour. It can be used as a mouth freshener after meals. It is even used in tooth pastes and mouth washes.
- It is rich in iron and copper. Copper acts as a cofactor for various enzymes. Also, copper is necessary along with iron for the production of red blood cells.
- Linolool and Vitamin-C are the antioxidants present in star anise, which can improve the overall immunity of the body against free radicals and pathogens.