Add your spinach to a smoothie to maximize the nutrients: Study & nbsp | & nbspPhoto Credit: & nbspAFP
New research in Europe found that eating spinach that is not eaten in the form of a smoothie or juice is the best way to get antioxidant lutein, especially when healthy fat is added to help absorb absorption.
researchers at Linköping University, Sweden, the new study looked at various ways of preparing spinach to maximize the amount of lutein available after cooking.
Lutein is a natural soluble pigment found in plants. Green green vegetables contain a particularly high level. However, like many other nutrients, lutein levels are reduced by cooking.
Researchers choose to study spinach because it contains a relatively high level of lutein, and one of the more popular dark green vegetables. To replicate how it was prepared at home, the team bought the baby spinach at a supermarket and fried, chilled or boiled it for 90 minutes, measured lutein content at different times.
The findings, published in the journal Food The chemistry has shown that the times of heating and cooking are both important for maintaining lutein.
The longer the spinach is boiled, the lower its lutein, and when the spinach is fried in high temperatures, a large amount of lutein is lost after just two minutes.
"What is unique in this study is that we use the methods of preparation that are often used when cooking food at home, and we compare some temperatures and hours of heating. We also investigate the method of preparation where spinach is eating cold, such as salads and smoothies, "says study author Lena Jonasson.
The team also looked at the effect of reheating spinach on a microwave as part of a packed lunch, a common practice. They found that microwave heating appeared to partially compensate for the previous recipe, with more lutein released from spinach and made available for the body while the plant structure was dropped by the microwave.
However, researchers conclude that it is best to eat spinach raw.
"The best is not to warm the spinach at all. And even better is to make a smoothie and add fat from dairy products, such as cream, milk or yoghurt When the spinach is chopped into small pieces, the lutein is removed from the leaves, and the fat adds solubility to the lutein in fluid, "says Rosanna Chung, principal study.
In an earlier study, the team discovered that lutein can reduce swelling in immune cells from patients with coronary artery disease. Low-grade acute inflammation is associated with a higher risk of heart attack.
They also show that lutein can be stored in immune cells, meaning it is possible to build a lutein reserve within your body.