A new study shows that adding oil to your salad and vegetables is better for you than eating the veggies alone. Researchers out of Iowa State University (ISU) discovered that adding fat in form of vegetable oil to vegetables helps the body absorb nutrients.
Wendy White is an associate professor of food science and human nutrition at ISU who headed up the research. Her study claims that oil makes eating salad vegetable more beneficial. Without it, the body is less likely to absorb as many vital nutrients that it needs to stay healthy.
Specifically, the study discovered that oil promotes the absorption of eight different micronutrients present in vegetables. These nutrients are vital in supporting ideal health. They include four carotenoids, two forms of Vitamin E, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.
Alpha and beta carotene are two common carotenoids. They are plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow and orange hues in many fruits and vegetables. In addition, they serve an important antioxidant function of deactivating free radicals.
Thus, people who eat foods containing carotenoids benefit from their protective properties. White said better absorption of the nutrients promotes a range of health benefits, including cancer prevention and eyesight preservation.
The study also found that the amount of oil added to the vegetables had a proportional relationship with the amount of nutrient absorption. That is, more oil means more absorption. White comments:
“The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption.”
Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should drench your green in salad dressing. The results showed maximum absorption occurred at around 32 grams of oil. This is a little more than two tablespoons.
The study included 12 college-age women who consumed salads with various levels of soybean oil. It appeared in in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
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