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Soybean Oil Makes Vegetables More Nutritious

S u m m a r y :

Oil makes vegetables more nutritious by enhancing the absorption of vitamins and carotenoids, says a new study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Eating Veggies is Not Enough

Make sure to eat your greens, goes the advice. Well, this might not be enough for you to truly benefit from the consumption of vegetables. Rather, to unlock their full nutritional value, you will have to add oil—a spoonful of soybean oil. According to the new research, conducted by a team of investigators from Iowa State University, oil dressing boosts the absorption of nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins as well as various types of carotenoids.

Which Nutrients Are Better Absorbed?

So, while you might think that the added fat is defeating the purpose of eating salads, study lead author Wendy White explains that salad dressing in the form of soybean oil aids the absorption of 8 micronutrients that are known to promote health; these are vitamins E and K together with 4 carotenoids, alpha and beta carotene,  lutein, and lycopene. Additionally, vitamin A absorption is also enhanced, after it is formed in the intestine by alpha and beta carotene.

Moreover, when the same salad is consumed without the oil, the body has a lower chance at absorbing the nutrients.

Better Eyesight

Better absorption of nutrients comes with a number of health benefits: it is thought that it helps in the prevention of cancer, and in eyesight preservation.

More Oil, More Nutrient Absorption

How much oil is needed to obtain these benefits? According to the findings, the amount of oil is proportional to the amount of nutrient absorption, implying that the more oil added leads to more absorption.

“The best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption,” says White.

How Much Soybean Oil?

However, White also warns against using too much dressing though. The US dietary recommendation should be enough: 2 tablespoons of oil daily would do the job.

So, you might want to have one (or two!) spoonful of oil to unlock the nutrients in your greens!

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