Making a Healthy Marinade

Patient Expert
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It’s that time of year when everyone loves to grill! Many cooks look to marinades to help impart flavor while also tenderizing the meat. You can make a marinade with five ingredients or less – an oil or other type of fat, an acid, something salty, something sweet, and aromatics. Many marinade ingredients also offer important health benefits! Let's get to marinating...



Using a beer marinade on meats can help prevent the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons while grilling. This chemical is a potential carcinogen that forms in smoked and grilled fatty meats. Black beer such as stout or porter is more effective than pilsners in preventing these chemicals.

Recipe: Beer-Braised Beef


Worcestershire Sauce

This ingredient which includes vinegar, molasses, sugar, onions, anchovies, salt, garlic, tamarind paste and water offers two critical vitamins. Vitamin B6 helps build red blood cells and offers support to your neurological system and skin health. Vitamin E boosts immunity, protects against hair loss and improves skin health. You can make this concoction instead of buying it.

Recipe: Healthy Homemade Barbecue Marinades



Vinegar helps improve digestion, keeps blood sugar levels stable and kills bacteria in the mouth and throat. Vinegar also may protect your heart and prevent cancer. There are four types of vinegar – balsamic vinegar, red vinegar, white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar.

Recipe: Barbecued Salmon with White Bean Salad



This ingredient offers many benefits since it is rich in niacin, riboflavin, calcium and iron. It is good for your blood, destroys bacteria and assists digestion. It also supports skin health and aids sleep. Darker honey can have more antioxidants than other types of honey.

Recipe: Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken with Zucchini Cakes


Citrus Juice

Lemons and limes offer flavonoid components that are antioxidants and also fight cancer. These fruits also are an excellent source of vitamin C, which neutralizes free radicals in the body. This vitamin also helps reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and prevent atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.

Recipe: Grilled Shrimp Cocktail



Onions have quercetin which provides protection against oxidative stress. Onions also support cardiovascular health and bone density. This vegetable offers anti-inflammatory benefits and protection against colorectal, laryngeal and ovarian cancer. Additionally, onions may help improve blood sugar balance and prevent bacterial infection.

Recipe: Smoky Tomato BBQ Sauce



This condiment is made from mustard seeds. The nutrients in these little health powerhouses help protect against a variety of conditions including cancer, an enlarged prostate, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol.  These seeds also support brain health.

Recipe: Orange Glazed Roast Pork 



Garlic offers many health benefits. Its nutrients can prevent or help treat issues including generalized hair loss, enlarged prostate, blood clots, cancer, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, flu, heart disease, high blood pressure, sickle cell disease, stroke, thrush and high triglycerides. Garlic also promotes healthy aging and supports skin health.

Recipe: Ginger-Grilled Sirloin Salad 



The nutrients in this spicy rhizome can help with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, colorectal and ovarian cancer, bad cholesterol, heartburn, indigestion, migraine, motion sickness, morning sickness, strokes and high triglycerides. Ginger also promotes healthy sweating which may help your body ward off infections.

Recipe: Jerk Pork Kabobs