(NaturalNews) New research from the Miguel Hernandez University (UMH) has found that cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are the "best" natural antioxidant. The study examined five antioxidant properties, with cloves showing amazing results for each. Cloves are used primarily in cooking throughout the world but found primarily in Indian cuisine. Cloves have also been used for medicinal purposes, such as in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese medicine, and western herbalism. In dentistry, cloves are also used as a painkiller.
The study found that cloves contain high levels of phenolic compounds, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties. This was a major factor in labeling cloves the best natural antioxidant, but the study found that cloves also have other beneficial properties.
"Out of the five antioxidant properties tested, cloves had the highest capacity to give off hydrogen, reduced lipid peroxidation well, and was the best iron reducer," says Juana Fernandez-Lopez, one of the authors of the study and a researcher at the UMH.
Lipid peroxidation is the process in which free radicals take electrons from the lipids in cell membranes. The end result of this process is cellular damage. The fact that cloves help to inhibit this destructive cycle is one that helped drive them to first place. Furthermore, the ability to reduce iron is yet another profound characteristic of cloves.
Iron deficiencies are rather simple to treat with adequate supplementation or dietary changes, but excessive iron
in the body can be quite difficult to treat. Many people suffer from too much iron in the bloodstream, and many of which develop hemochromatosis. Hemochromatosis is a serious condition that is a result of untreated iron overload. Hemochromatosis can lead to arthritis, abnormal liver function, diabetes, or even heart failure.
Another goal of the study is to convince large corporations to begin adding cloves
to their food products. Cloves are very inexpensive and have been a major part of the Mediterranean diet for centuries.
"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 the organoleptic characteristics of the food product are not affected", adds Juana.
Cloves may be what people are looking for when it comes to finding an affordable and practical spice.
About the author
Anthony Gucciardi is a health activist and wellness researcher, whose goal is centered around educating the general public as to how they may obtain optimum health. He has authored countless articles highlighting the benefits of natural
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