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Eating Raw Salad Drives Up Healthful Serum Nutrients

Every salad serving gives women a 165 percent greater chance of meeting daily vitamin C needs

TUESDAY, Sept. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Raw salad consumption increases levels of serum vitamins E and C and other beneficial micronutrients, researchers report in the September issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

Lenore Arab, M.S., Ph.D., of the University of California Los Angeles, and a colleague analyzed 24-hour recall data from the 1988-1994 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 17,688 men and women on their consumption of salad, raw vegetables and non-mayonnaise salad dressing.

The researchers found higher-than-median serum micronutrient levels of vitamins C and E, folic acid, carotenoids and lycopene in people who consumed salads and raw vegetables. Each salad portion gave women a 165 percent greater chance of meeting recommended daily vitamin C targets, and men a 119 percent greater chance, the report indicates.

"Salad consumers tended to have more favorable intakes of vitamin C, E, folic acid and carotenoids," the authors write. "The significant and consistently higher serum values of these vitamins suggest that they are being well-absorbed from salad. Salad, salad dressing and raw vegetable consumption can be an effective strategy for enhancing nutritional adequacy."

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