Summer salads? Yes, thanks, but only if seasoned with extra virgin olive oil

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Eating summer salads - rich in vitamins and minerals - is an excellent weapon to fight the heat and stay healthy, as long as they are dressed with extra virgin olive oil!

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Eat the summer salads - rich in vitamins and minerals - it is an excellent weapon for fight the heat and stay healthy, as long as they are topped with extra virgin olive oil!

According to an American research from Purdue University, published in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, the condiments used to flavor lettuce and carrots are not all the same, because they do not give the same results: to better absorb all the substances contained in raw vegetables, such as carotenoids, it is necessary to accompany them with a condiment rich in unsaturated fats, as ours extra virgin olive oil.

Therefore, i dressing americani, french vinaigrettes and yoghurt sauces, but also unseasoned salads, which - although less caloric - do not allow the body to reap the benefits of the vitamins and mineral salts of raw vegetables.

On the other hand, to dress lettuces and fill up on beneficial substances it is not necessary to float them in oil: they are enough in fact just 3 grams (about a teaspoon) of oil to flavor our salad and at the same time get the maximum benefits.

To arrive at these conclusions was Mario Ferruzzi, an expert in food sciences, who carried out a series of texts on 29 volunteers.

Participants ate portions of green salad dressed differently from time to time: with saturated fat (such as butter), monounsaturated fat (such as canola or olive oil) or polyunsaturated fat (corn oil).

For each type of dressing, three different doses of 3, 8 and 20 grams were tested and at the end of these sessions the blood tests were carried out on all the participants, to understand how many carotenoids they had absorbed, by measuring in detail the lutein, the lycopene and beta-carotene.

The result? From the test it emerged that - since these are fat-soluble substances - the unseasoned salad it does not provide a large amount of vitamins, while the best way to absorb them is to accompany summer salads with an oil rich in monounsaturated fats, because with a small amount of fat it allows the greatest absorption of carotenoids.

“By choosing fat-free condiments - commented Ferruzzi - like lemon juice alone, calories are reduced but many of the benefits of vegetables are lost. The more fats there are in the sauce, the better the carotenoids are absorbed; saturated and polyunsaturated fats are also useful in this sense, but larger quantities are needed to obtain the same effects as a few grams of olive oil. “Unfortunately - added Andrea Ghiselli, researcher at the National Institute for Research on Food and Nutrition - being a people of fat people, we are obsessed with fats and we would like to eliminate them completely from our tables. But fats are essential and vital, to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and more. Olive oil is perfect for dressing salads and it's true that you don't need huge quantities of it ".

Once again, therefore, green light to the fundamental principles of Mediterranean diet, like fresh seasonal vegetables seasoned with healthy extra virgin olive oil, perhaps self-released or bought directly from the farmer!

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