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Salad eaters show higher levels of carotenoids, antioxidants in their bodies

Wednesday, September 27, 2006 by: Jerome Douglas
Tags: carotenoids, nutrient absorption, nutrition

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(NewsTarget) Salad eaters receive more nutrients daily than those with poorer diets, say Louisiana State University researchers. In this study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, salad consumption was assessed based on study participants' intake of salad, raw vegetables and salad dressing.

Of particular interest in this study was the finding that the consumption of salads and raw vegetables was 10 to 15 percent less among non-Hispanic African-Americans.

Of the sample surveyed and studied were 9,406 women and 8,282 men aged 18 to 45, and both men and women above the age of 55. The study was led by Dr. Joseph Su, who concluded, "From this analysis we know that one extra serving of salad daily increased levels of a variety of nutrients."

Nutrients such as Vitamin C and E, folic acid and carotenoids are most readily absorbed by the body from raw vegetables, according to the study. This added to the body of evidence that suggests U.S. citizens are not receiving enough fruits and vegetables into their daily diets. According to the researchers, the results of the study suggest that more attention needs to be given to the issue of the nutrient content of raw vegetables versus supplements.

Although many nutrition conscious consumers prefer organic vegetables in their diets, the authors of this study noted that the reduced bio-availability of nutrients in raw vegetables and salads does not appear to be a concern of the average citizen. While both raw fruits and vegetables are appropriate for most all diets, the study also suggested that vegetable consumption was more strongly associated with reduced risk of disease, including cancer, than fruit intake.


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