In a new study, researchers found that cooking vegetables with extra virgin olive oil can improve the absorption and release of bioactive compounds of its traditional ingredients (garlic, onion, and tomato).
This can make the cooked vegetables healthier and more beneficial to people’ health.
The research was conducted by a team from the University of Barcelona and their collaborators.
Previous research has shown that the Mediterranean diet is high in phytochemicals from vegetables, fruits, and legumes.
The diet has been shown to improve heart and metabolic health.
However, the health effects in the Mediterranean diet have been hard to reproduce in non-Mediterranean populations, and this may be due to differences in cooking methods.
In the study, the team focused on the effect of the extra virgin olive oil in bioactive compounds in tomato, onion, and garlic -traditional ingredients in sofrito, one of the key cooking techniques in the Mediterranean diet.
This sauce has been linked to an improvement of heart health and insulin sensitivity.
The team found that cooking vegetables with extra virgin olive oil favors the bioactive compounds that are present in vegetables.
The olive oil enables the absorption and bioactivity of these compounds.
The study also found out a new feature of olive oil.
Previous research has found that this oil and onion can produce molecules which are more bio-available and have a higher antioxidant capacity.
The current study showed that olive oil plays an essential role in this process.
These results may help explain why the oil increases the anti-inflammatory effect in the tomato sauce.
The researchers say that this increase can occur due to the migration of bioactive compounds from the tomato to the oil during the cooking process, which favors the absorption of these compounds.
The lead author of the study is José Fernando Rinaldi de Alvarenga, INSA-UB member and first author of the study.
The study is published in the science journal Molecules.
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