With Father’s Day fast approaching, if you’re like me, you’re planning a BBQ dinner to celebrate the day and honor, or remember, your Father or Father-figure in your life.
While BBQing your meat is a fast, easy and tasty way to prepare a meal, there are a few things to be mindful of to keep yourself healthy. Consuming char broiled and well-done meat has been linked to an increased risk in cancer, specifically prostate cancer risk.
Why you ask?
Cooking meat at high temperatures creates chemicals called HCA’s (heterocyclic amines) and PAA’s (polycyclic aromatic hydracarbons). These 2 substances are known carcinogens that can cause changes in DNA and possibly lead to cancer.
No need to panic. You don’t need to give up your favorite BBQ meals just yet as there are several things you can do to minimize the formation of HCA’s in your meat.
Perfect Summertime BBQ Marinade Recipe
1/3 cup coconut sugar (packed) 6 TBSP grapeseed oil or olive oil
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar 3 garlic cloves (crushed)
3 tbsp mustard (grainy) 4 TBSP lemon juice
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and add the meat of your choice; coat all sides. Marinate for a minimum of 10 minutes. You may soak longer to intensify the flavors but research shows that longer marinating times do not increase the anti-cancer benefits.
Remove meat from marinade and place on hot grill. Grill times are different depending on the type of meat you are cooking. Remove meat from grill as soon as it's done and serve with colorful, anti-oxidant rich salads.
In good health,
The development of drugs in the past 100 years have revolutionized health care and the way we treat major diseases. However, there are still many countries that rely on herbal medicines and traditional practitioners for their primary care. 70% of the population in India and 40% in China depend on traditional medicines to help meet their health care needs.
It is increasing in popularity in the rest of the world too. According to stats Canada, in 2016, 21% of Canadians are using herbal remedies and the Fraser Institute reports that over $8 billion was spent on complementary and alternative medicine in the same year.
So, what herbs and spices are already in your kitchen that you can add to your meals for flavour and added health benefits?
Basil and Oregano – contain phytonutrients that act as antibacterial agents, and are loaded with antioxidants, preventing cellular damage
Dandelion - yes, those ‘weeds’ that we see at this time of year have antioxidant properties and can help reduce inflammation. Add the leaves to salads or sauté with other greens
Dill - packed with flavonoids, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and reduce levels of LDL (the ‘bad’ cholesterol)
Garlic and Chives - these are part of the allium family. Epidemiological studies have shown that the organosulfur compounds in allium products have been associated with a reduced risk of certain types of cancers
Ginger - may inhibit tumour cell growth and is useful in reducing nausea, a common side effect of some types of cancer treatments
Rosemary - has high antioxidant properties and is very helpful in reducing the carcinogenic effect of charred meat due to grilling
Dried herbs are great but why not start a fresh herb garden. You can enhance the flavour of your food by sprinkling them on veggies, mix them in your soups and stews, marinade meats before BBQing and make your own salad dressings. The possibilities are endless.
A note of caution: some herbal supplements can have contraindications with certain prescription drugs. Please check with your pharmacist before taking herbal supplements.
In good health,
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