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The next time you decide to serve a side of Brussels sprouts for dinner, it’s A-OK to drown 'em and deep-fry 'em first, according to science.

That is, in extra-virgin olive oil.

Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain compared four different cooking methods--sautéing, deep-frying, boiling in water and boiling in a water/oil mix--to determine the amount of antioxidants that the veggies retained.

The result? The vegetables tested (potato, tomato, eggplant and pumpkin) all showed higher amounts of phenolic compounds (disease fighters) when deep-fried or sautéed in EVOO. Here’s why: Those veggies not only absorbed the good-for-you nutrients from the oil but they also held onto their own antioxidants better. (Veggies that were simply boiled actually lost some of their original phenol content.)

Of course, the EVOO-enriched veggies also showed higher caloric and fat content. But everything in moderation, right?

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