Adding whole eggs to a colorful salad boosts the amount of Vitamin E the body absorbs from the vegetables, according to research from Purdue University.
This is good news because vitamin E is the second-most under-consumed nutrient in the average American diet. This fat-soluble nutrient has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Vitamin E is absorbed along with dietary fats, and can often be found in oils, seeds and nuts. Eggs, a nutrient-rich food containing essential amino acids, unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins, also contain a small amount of Vitamin E.
In the current study, researchers focused on how much total Vitamin E was absorbed when Vitamin E containing foods were co-consumed with whole eggs.
A total of 16 participants consume a raw mixed-vegetable salad with no eggs, a salad with one and a half eggs, and a salad with three eggs, 0 grams, 75 grams and 150 grams of eggs, respectively.
All salads were served with 3 grams of canola oil, and the eggs were served scrambled to ensure the whole egg was consumed.
Researchers found that Vitamin E absorption was 4- to 7-fold higher when 3 whole eggs were added to a salad.
This finding supports a good way to increase the absorption of Vitamin E found in foods that contain low dietary fat.
Also, this research highlights how one food can improve the nutrition value of another food when they are consumed together.
The study is novel because they measured the absorption of Vitamin E from real foods, rather than supplements, which contain mega-dose amounts of Vitamin E.
The results are published in The Journal of Nutrition. The American Egg Board’s Egg Nutrition Center, National Institutes of Health and Purdue Ingestive Behavior Research Center supported the research.
Citation: Kim JE, et al. (2016). Egg Consumption Increases Vitamin E Absorption from Co-Consumed Raw Mixed Vegetables in Healthy Young Men. The Journal of Nutrition, published online. DOI: 10.3945/ jn.116.236307.
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