Barbecue, Hold the Cancer: Grilling With Antioxidants

Barbecue, Hold the Cancer: Grilling With Antioxidants

 Researchers have found that we can actually reduce our exposure to harmful carcinogens when we grill if we incorporate antioxidant-rich ingredients into the mix.

A 2010 story in The Washington Times told us of a study where researchers looked at the power of spiced marinades in protecting us from cancer-causing compounds that can form in grilled foods. They found that marinades, along with other spices and antioxidant-boasting foods, are an effective way to help protect us from damage. Here are some useful cooking tips you can incorporate into your grilling this summer to boost the protective power of your foods.

It’s In The Spices-   As researchers at the University of Western Ontario found in their 2010 study, prepared marinades can contain high amounts of antioxidants, depending on what spices and other ingredients are inside them. Antioxidants have been known to fight cardiovascular diseases, inflammation and diseases related with aging, and this study showed that even spices and herbs in prepared sauces and marinades can carryover those benefits to us.

Different spices, herbs and marinade ingredients add differing levels of protective compounds, and researchers note that it’s hard to gauge exact how much active “protective” power any one spice will have over another. But in their studies, jerk blends and sesame/ginger/teriyaki marinades were shown to outperform other blends.

Timing Is Everything-   Interestingly enough, researchers also found that the longer a marinade sits on a food, the fewer antioxidants will remain in the food. Take-home lesson here: marinate for less time, or brush on extra spiced sauce just before serving.

Diversify Your Grilling Menu-   Spices in your marinade are one way to boost your grilling menus with antioxidants. Another is by simply adding antioxidant-rich foods to the menu. Planning to grill a grass-fed steak or some marinated tofu? Why not add a broccoli-kale salad and fresh peach parfait to the menu?

If you’re ready to give a go at an antioxidant-rich grilling menu, give the following foods a shot–they’ve been documented to be high in antioxidants. (Bear in mind this is no exhaustive list, just one to get you started!)

Spices known to be high in antioxidants include:  

•Curry powder  •Ground cinnamon  •Ginger  •Dried oregano

Herbs known to be high in antioxidants include:

•Basil  •Oregano  •Sage  •Peppermint  •Thyme

Vegetables/plants known to be high in antioxidants include:

 •Collard greens  •Kale  •Spinach  •Brussels sprouts  •Tomatoes

Fruits known to be high in antioxidants include:  

•Blueberries  •Cantaloupe  •Watermelon  •Mangos  •Almonds  •Red beans  •Nuts _____________________________________________________

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Los Angeles based Co-Founders of The Fitness Underground, Texas and Markus have drawn off their years of experience as certified personal trainers, an elite yoga instructor, a professional athlete and accomplished mixed martial artist, to create a new and innovative approach to health, fitness and well-being that not only enhances the body, but also enriches the mind. With a loyal following in the Los Angeles area, their powerful message of good health, clean living and the importance of exercise is changing people’s lives and in some cases, saving lives. It’s their strong belief that good health is the greatest gift we are given in life, one that we should always be mindful of, be incredibly grateful for and never take for granted. Life is too short not to listen to their powerful message. Start moving in a healthier direction today.
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