Traditionally salads were known to be prepared with only raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, cabbage and onion which are cut into slices and sprinkled with a pinch of salt and lemon. They were either served as the smallest portion of the other food items in the meal plate or totally overlooked.
Hey folks, if you have also been doing the same, it’s now time to change.
But, let me first tell you the importance of having salads which will definitely lead you to start having salads with your meals. You can also be very creative in making your salad colourful, tasty, crunchy, balanced, appealing to eat and obviously healthy.
· Starting your meals with a bowl of salad will help you attain weight loss. Not a joke, it’s true because salads are low in calories, high in fibre and rich in other nutrients. Fibre helps you feel full making you eat, the remaining meal less and ultimately lose weight.
· Eating a high fibre salads aids in lowering cholesterol and also is known to prevent constipation.
- Eating a little good fat (like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables in salads appears to help your body absorb protective phyto-chemicals (known to protect against cancer and heart disease), like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.
- The best way to skip croutons (deep fried pieces of wheat bread) which are few in nutrients and have a high glycemic load is to replace them with nuts and seeds and maintain the crunchiness in the salad.
- Want to balance it with proper carbohydrates and protein to make it a whole meal; you can add brown rice or protein packed Quinoa, grilled chicken, low-fat Paneer, Tofu or Sprouts.
· People, who do not like to eat fruits, can relish on salads which combine fruits and vegetables and eat it as a whole meal or in between snacks. This will provide them with a host of powerful antioxidants which will protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Now let’s have a look at some tips to prepare a healthy salad
· Salads are known to be rich in Vitamins. Fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K cannot be absorbed and used by the body without the presence of some fat. So go for the unsaturated (good fats) olive oil or canola oil. Toss the oil with vinegar which helps to prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.
· The best way to include greens like romaine, radicchio, iceberg and spinach in our daily diet is to mix them all up or use one at a time in salads.
· Don’t forget to add the medicinal herbs like basil, garlic, lemon juice or parsley to the salad for that strong punch of flavour and loads of disease fighting antioxidants. The more flavorful your salad is naturally, the fewer high-calorie ingredients you will need to add for the taste like extra cheese and cream.
· Pack your salads with as many other veggies or fruits as possible to get the synergetic effects. Carrots, cucumbers, different coloured peppers, broccoli, peas, artichokes, strawberries, raspberries, or pears are great choices to get in different textures as well as plenty of filling fibre.
Hope reading this will add a lot of nutrition to your food plate and lead to your ultimate health goals.