Monounsaturated fats help absorb more cancer-fighting nutrients, researchers say.
Want to know a surprising and simple way to make salads and salsas healthier? Add fat. Researchers from the Ohio State University found that study participants who added avocado to their salads absorbed up to 10 times more carotenoids (natural plant chemicals that can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts) than those eating greens without avocado. And adding avocado to salsa quadrupled the amount of lycopene absorbed. Study authors think the monounsaturated fats in the soft green fruit help the carotenoids dissolve in the intestines and travel in the bloodstream. Don't have an avocado around? Other fats, like an ounce of cheese or a couple of tablespoons of full-fat dressing can have the same effect.