Some cooking methods can release disease-causing toxins called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). And other methods can maximize the antioxidant ability of certain foods, unleashing their anti-aging potential.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition evaluated the antioxidant content of foods after they were prepared in several different ways. Based on the results of that study, here’s how to get far more free-radical fighting ability out of some of your favorites than they have when they’re raw:

  • Carrots : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 291%; boiling by 129-159%.
  • Asparagus : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 205%.
  • Broccoli : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 122-654%.
  • Green Cabbage : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 448%.
  • Red Cabbage : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 270%.
  • Green Pepper : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 467%.
  • Red Pepper : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 180%.
  • Tomatoes: Steaming boosts antioxidants by 112-164%.
  • Spinach: Boiling boosts antioxidants by 84-114%.
  • Sweet Potatoes : Steaming boosts antioxidants by 413%.
[Ed. Note: Kelley Herring is founder and CEO of Healing Gourmet ( Simple choices – like how you cook your food – can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your health. Get more easy-to-follow suggestions for improving your health by signing up for ETR’s free natural health e-letter. Learn more here.]

Kelley Herring

Kelley Herring is the Founder & CEO of Healing Gourmet – a multimedia company that educates on how foods promote health and protect against disease. As a young adult, Kelley battled a debilitating health condition that went misdiagnosed by multiple doctors for more than a year. Finding no help from “modern medicine”, she turned to her own knowledge of biochemistry and her passion for health research. She soon learned that her symptoms were related to nutrition and within weeks, she charted a course back to health with nothing more than simple lifestyle changes and the power of the plate. The lessons she learned spawned the creation of Healing Gourmet. Kelley is a firm believer in vigorous exercise, moderate sun exposure and delicious, healthy, home-cooked meals. She is also the creator of Healing Gourmet’s Personalized Nutrition Software and Editor-in-Chief of the Healing Gourmet book series published by McGraw-Hill including Eat to Fight Cancer, Eat to Beat Diabetes, Eat to Lower Cholesterol and Eat to Boost Fertility.