Barbecue sauces are good for health: Study

March 26, 2010 08:04 am | Updated November 18, 2016 08:17 pm IST - London

Fried fish with sauce. Barbecue sauces can be good for your health, scientists have found. File Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

Fried fish with sauce. Barbecue sauces can be good for your health, scientists have found. File Photo: R.M. Rajarathinam

Barbecue sauces can be good for your health, scientists have found.

A study by a team of biologists found that popular sauces and marinades contain a range of spices, fruits and vegetables with natural antioxidants.

These are chemical compounds which fight diseases associated with old age such as cancer, heart problems, strokes, Alzheimer’s, arthritis and cataracts, reported telegraph.co.uk

Antioxidants are known to fight harmful molecules called free radicals which damage the body’s cells.

The study, at the University of Western Ontario in Canada, found that barbecue sauces are packed with healthy ingredients, which can boost the body’s immune system.

“Herbs and spices are excellent sources of antioxidants, but estimating consumption rates can be difficult considering they are not generally consumed in large quantities, compared to fruits and vegetables.

“Instead, they are used in relatively small amounts as ingredients in recipes and formulations such as spice mixes and marinating sauces that enhance food flavour,” said Dr. Raymond Thomas, research team leader.

“Differing processing methods during manufacture, length of marinating time and exposure to various types of cooking can significantly alter the antioxidant status of these products and, consequently, the amount of antioxidants available to consumers,” he added.

The team was able to show for the first time the impact of marinating and cooking meat on the antioxidant status of seven different popular brands and flavours of marinade containing herbs and spices as primary ingredients.

Each is commonly available at supermarkets under various brand names and includes jerk sauce, garlic and herb, honey garlic, roasted red pepper, lemon pepper garlic, sesame ginger teriyaki and green seasoning.

The research found high quantities of antioxidants in all seven sauces.

Even though cooking reduced the antioxidant qualities of the sauces by about half, tests after barbecuing showed they still contain significant amounts of health boosting compounds.

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