Go Salad

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Have you ever thought of a quick and easy meal rich in vitamins and minerals, but low in calories and fat? A meal is considered healthy when  it is rich in essential nutrients. A salad plays vital in improving a meal with its nutrients, vibrant color and flavor! Salad is an excellent way to fill your plate and your body with more nutrients and at the same time low calories.

Salads are loaded with heart-healthy, cancer fighting, bone building vitamins, minerals and enzymes. They are a real good weight-loss and weight-maintenance tools, for they are good source of fibers both soluble and insoluble! Fiber along with water prevents constipation and lowers the cholesterol level!

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Cucumber, celery, mushrooms’ water content helps to fill up and keeps you full for a longer period.

Healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination.” Small consistent changes in your daily eating behavior can result in gradual weight-loss and developing healthier eating habits. Make a simple change to your diet -like add a salad every day, to reap the health benefits and to make you look pretty and fit!

A good salad contributes heart-healthy nutrients like Vitamin – C, a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E , folate, Viamin A.

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Bell peppers, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli are good sources of Vitamin C. Nuts like almond, peanuts & seeds like sunflower, pumkin seeds, sesame seeds, and cooked spinach, swiss chard, avocados are good sources of Vitamin E. Romaine lettuce, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, mustard greens are loaded with heart-healthy, folate. Romaine lettuce, spinach and tomatoes, great for salads, are considered good sources of carotenoids. Carotenoids turned into vitamin A in human body, are essential for immune system, healthy skin and for good eye health.

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A study at Tufts University in Boston found that low dietary intake of vitamin K in women was associated with low bone mineral density (BMD). Spinach and watercress are good sources of vitamin K. In addition, watercress modulates the anti cancer pathway, too!

Many of us count salad as vegetables. I love to make my own salad. My first salad was a simple mixture of diced cucumber, tomato and onion with lemon & mint dressing. Making salad is an art. Thoughtfully, paired ingredients that complement one another in color, taste and texture creates a spectacular and appetizing salad. Chopped salads are incredibly simple and easy to make.

Build a perfect salad! Go raw and brighten up with carrots, tomatoes and pineapple. Vegetables and fruits add different taste & texture while nuts add richness and complexity to salads.

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Dress your salad to your taste. You can make a good dressing with simple and easy ingredients like lemon juice, olive oil, chopped mint, honey and pepper. Why bottle dressings when it can be whipped up in seconds?

Plain yogurt is versatile, and nutritious. Use yogurt in place of mayonnaise for egg, tuna, or potato salad. The probiotics in yogurt help inhibit the growth of some harmful bacteria in the gut.

Herbs like parsley, mint, sage, rosemary, thyme have been associated with  lowering blood pressure and controlling blood cholesterol. Incorporate them to your diet by just sprinkling them on your salad or adding them to vinaigrette.

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If you want your salad with extra protein, add some chopped turkey, chicken or fish. Salad can be a beautiful side dish or a spectacular main dish. A classic salad is a meal by itself. Protein rich salmon salad sandwich is a great post-workout meal!

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Fruit salads are very light, refreshing, and more beautiful that can be served as side dish or as dessert

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Some produce is most nutritious uncooked, while other kinds need heat to bring out the best in them. For example, enzymes in papaya and pineapple, will enhance the digestion of protein, and spinach -cooked, will enhance the absorption of more calcium, iron, and magnesium. 

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One cannot live with raw salad alone, for fruits and vegetables are low in calorie and poor sources of protein. So, just combine salad with whole-grains, beans, egg or meat to balance your diet with adequate protein, carbohydrate and good fat. 

A salad can transform a simple meal to an “Extra-value” meal!

References

  • Sarah L Booth, Kerry E Broe, David R Gagnon, Katherine L Tucker,  Marian T Hannan, Robert R McLean, Bess Dawson-Hughes, Peter WF Wilson, L Adrienne Cupples, and  Douglas P Kiel,Vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in women and men 1’2’3’4Am J Clin Nutr February 2003 vol. 77no. 2 512-516
  • Johanna W Lampe, Health effects of vegetables and fruit: assessing mechanisms of action in human experimental studies 1’2’3 Am J Clin Nutr September 1999 vol. 70 no. 3 475s-490s

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