Do you know how to get the best out of your vegetables? Have you ever wondered if you are really absorbing most of the nutrients in the veggies that you eat? Well, a new study suggests that adding a spoonful of oil may be all you need to make a difference. The study funded by Unilever suggests that increasing the oil content of vegetable based dishes and salad markedly increases absorption of vitamins and minerals in the gut.
The study was recently published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
It included 12 college-age women who consumed salads with various levels of soybean oil, a common ingredient in commercial salad dressings. The subjects then had their blood tested to measure the absorption of nutrients. Women were chosen for the trial due to differences in the speed with which men and women metabolize the nutrients in question.
The results showed maximal nutrient absorption occurred at around 32 grams of oil, which was the highest amount studied, or a little more than two tablespoons. However, White said she found some variability among the subjects.
According to Dr White, the study’s lead author, “the best way to explain it would be to say that adding twice the amount of salad dressing leads to twice the nutrient absorption. For most people, the oil is going to benefit nutrient absorption,” she said. “The average trend, which was statistically significant, was for increased absorption.”
We all agree that vegetables are good for us. Generally, vegetables are prepared based on preferences for taste or convenience. But, do you know if you are really optimizing it nutrient potential?
Consider these suggestions for getting the best out of your vegetables
You are likely to get more nutrients from vegetables if you cook them. Cooking breaks down the tough outer layer of veggies and facilitates the release of its precious nutrients. According to Elaine Maggie, a dietician “cooking vegetables also helps increase the amount of minerals, like calcium, magnesium and iron, available to the body. ”
The best way to cook vegetables is steaming. According to a 2009 study, steaming had higher nutrient levels than boiling, microwaving and frying. Alternatively, consider microwaving since this requires little water. However, it is still possible to get vitamins that leak during boiling if you drink the soup.
Rather than frying, sauté using healthy oils to improve absorption of nutrients.
Be sure to consider these vegetable friendly methods to get the best out of it.