The combination of tomatoes and garlic, olive oil, and onions in a soup boosts the number of carotenoids and polyphenols. These bioactive compounds help to fight cardiovascular diseases as well as cancer. This is a result of the study conducted in collaboration with researchers from the University of Barcelona and the CIBERobn network in Spain that confirms sofrito as an important component in diets that are part of the Mediterranean diet.
The study PREvention using the MEDiterranean diet (PREDIMED) is a recent study that has demonstrated the link between Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of cardiovascular diseases. The questionnaire used as a basis for comparison asked people to record what they ate most often, including pasta, vegetable rice, rice, and various other meals made using sofrito. However, the beneficial ingredients of this food had not been examined.
Researchers at The University of Barcelona (UB) as well as the Biomedical Research Centres Network- Physiopathology of Obesity and Nutrition (CIBERobn) of the Carlos III Health Institute, have for the first time discovered carotenoids and polyphenols -healthy antioxidant substances in sofrito with the help of a high-resolution mass spectrometry method.
Sofrito Nutrition Facts
The findings have been published in the “Food Chemistry journal and reveal the presence of more than 40 kinds of polyphenols. “These chemicals created by plants and that we consume are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease,” Rosa Maria Lamuela, research scientist of the UB and the researcher responsible for the research, said to SINC.
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Other bioactive substances present in the sofrito include carotenoids and vitamin C. Numerous studies have demonstrated that carotenoids, such as lycopene, helps prevent prostate cancer. Eating foods high in beta-carotene helps to lower the risk of lung cancer.
“Eating every day a total in the range of 120 grams sofrito as a pasta ingredient, for example, and the intake of polyphenols can range from 16 to 24 milligrams for each portion, and 6 to 10 milligrams when it comes to carotenoids,” Lamuela explains.
The study examined ten varieties of sofrito sold in the market, “although these results can be applied to homemade sofritos given that they usually contain the same ingredients without including thickeners like garlic, onions, tomatoes along with oil.” The combination of these ingredients provides the bio-health components of each.
Experts suggest using olive oil that is virgin in place of sunflower oils. They are trying to find the perfect proportion of all four ingredients. It seems that the addition of 10 percent additional virgin olive oil provides excellent results about the sofrito’s properties.
Researchers have also analyzed statistical significance using the amounts of phenolic and carotenoid compounds in each sofrito. This allows them to determine indicators that distinguish the constituents in each brand.
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