Cumin, a rich source of antioxidants

Indian researchers have found that cumin, the bitter spice used as a key ingredient in curries, contains high levels of antioxidants.

Cumin, which is extensively used in traditional medicine to treat a range of diseases from vitiligo to hyperglycemia, is also considered to be antiparasitic and antimicrobial and science has backed up claims of its use to reduce fever or as a painkiller.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), also known as free radicals, are produced as part of the metabolic processes necessary for life. Oxidative stress, however, is caused by overproduction or under-removal of these free radicals.

Oxidative stress is itself involved in a number of disorders, including atherosclerosis, neural degenerative disease, inflammation, cancer and ageing. Antioxidants are thought to mop up these free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and prevent disease.

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