Salad dressings aren’t just for show and taste. They also serve an important function when it comes to helping you absorb the vitamins and minerals present in your leafy greens, shared APD dietitian and nutritionist Rachel Scoular. “Adding salad dressing helps our bodies absorb the fat-soluble nutrients (Vitamin A, D, E, K) that are found in the vegetables … Salad dressings also help us feel fuller for longer as fat is more satiating… This might mean you’re less tempted to overeat or pick at foods afterwards.”
What’s more, the antioxidant carotenoids (lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) found in vegetables like spinach, kale, orange bell peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots — are also better absorbed when salads are drizzled with salad dressings that contain fat. Carotenoids, also fat-soluble, are what give vegetables their hue; they lower inflammation in your body and combat health conditions like macular degeneration, heart disease, and cancer (via Healthline). Now that you know why undressed salads aren’t the way to go, what kinds of salad dressings (and how much of them) should you be consuming?