Those searching for a healthy diet regimen may try Mediterranean cuisine, as Spanish scientists have determined that spices used in that region have powerful antioxidant properties.
Researchers from Miguel Hernandez University (UMH) in Catalonia determined that cloves contain high levels of phenolic compounds, which give them the highest capacity to give off hydrogen and allow them to reduce lipid peroxidation well. In addition, cloves were found to be among the best iron reducers.
"The results show that use of the natural oxidants occurring in spices used in the Mediterranean diet, or their extracts, is a viable option for the food industry, as long as their characteristics of the food product are not affected," Juana Fernandez-Lopez, an author of the study and a researcher at the UMH.
"These substances exhibit high antioxidant capacity, and could have beneficial effects for health," says the researcher," she added.
Essential oils from other spices used in the Mediterranean diet, including oregano, thyme, rosemary and sage, were also evaluated by the team, and found to be valuable natural sources of antioxidants.
For busy individuals who may not be getting enough nutrients from their food, dietary supplements may be a great option.