A Salad is considered as the ”king of the menu”. Throughout the day we consume different foods but none of them is as important as a salad. However, It is usually served as the smallest portion of the meal or sometimes completely ignored. Read to understand the importance and benefits of eating salads. It will definitely motivate you to make salad an important portion of your daily meals.
Few benefits of Salads
- Salads are a good way to get your daily vegetables into your diet.
- Salads provide a daily dose of antioxidants, in the form of vitamin A, Vitamin K, and vitamin C. This also helps improve immunity and prevent infections.
- They help to control hunger pangs and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Salads can help to cut significant amounts of calories from your daily diet thus, helps in weight loss.
- Soluble fibre in salads helps reduce belly fat.
- The high fibre content in salads aids in digestion as it helps probiotic bacteria to flourish inside the intestine.
- As salads are high in fibre, they aid in reducing cholesterol levels. They bind to cholesterol and bile acids in the intestine and excrete it out of the body.
- Salads are a must to have food to get relief from constipation. Roughage in these salads increase the bulk of faeces and push the waste out of the body.
Few tips to make salads colourful and tasty
Making and eating salad can be a boring chore for some of us. We traditionally prepare it with a selected set of raw vegetables. Most commonly used are cucumber, onions, carrot, onion, beetroot and tomatoes. The most common seasoning is salt, pepper powder and lemon juice.
Instead, Include a variety of seasonal vegetables and fruits to get synergistic effects. Add greens, peppers, radish, apples, pears, watermelon, grapes, pomegranate or corn to get different textures and plenty of fibre.
- Toss some greens like spinach, fenugreek, lettuce, chives, coriander or mint.
- Add proteins to your salads like grilled or shredded meats, sprouts, cheese or paneer, roasted or boiled pulses, nuts or tofu.
- Add herbs like basil, garlic, mint or lemon juice to the salad. It gives a strong punch of flavour and a boost of disease-fighting antioxidants.
- Fat soluble vitamins in salads are readily absorbed by the body if a healthy fat is added to it. You can use 1-2 tsp of virgin coconut oil or olive oil for the salad dressing.
- To prevent blood sugar spikes more effectively, you can also use vinegar as a salad dressing.
- Salad dressings is the one mistake that is most often repeated. Most of the salad dressings available in the market are high in sugar (fructose corn syrup), salt and preservatives. These dressings when used in large quantities make the salads unhealthy.
- Low fat dressings are more unhealthy when compared to regular dressings. In order to reduce the fat content, additional portions of sugar, salt and preservatives are added. Diets with large quantities of fructose creates insulin resistance and increases risk of diabetes and other chronic diseases.
- Healthy fats must be an integral part of every salad. This could be in the form of olive oil, avocado, nuts, cheese, eggs, lean meat, chia seeds. Absorption and assimilation of vitamins, minerals and fat soluble nutrients is supported by healthy fats. Further, fats are filling and satiating. This will help you manage your hunger pangs and keep unwanted weight away. In general, frequent hanger pangs could be due to insufficient healthy fats in your diet. Adding healthy fats to your salad make it a complete meal.
- Best time to have a salad is before a meal. The reason is, it is always better to consume foods that are easily digested, as vegetables are easy to digest. This way, food effectively passes through our digestive system. This helps to control digestive issues like gas or bloating.
- Eating a salad before your meal is also a way of ensuring that you get your daily needs of vegetables and fibre. When you are hungry, in all probabilities having a salad first will ensure it gets eaten.
- Eating a salad before a meal will also ensure that you are partially full and do not over eat other calories rich foods. This creates a balance in your meals and helps you stay healthy while keeping unwanted weight away.
- You can have also have a salad during the meal to cut down the total calorie intake. In fact, salad
can be prepared in such a way that you can have it as a complete meal itself. This is one of the best options for people who are looking for weight loss.
- For people with digestive issues, consult a nutrition expert before adding salads to your everyday meal.
Salads are cool, crunchy and fun to eat. Learn to customise your salads as per your taste by including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Consult experts at BucketListDreams for more ideas to add more nutrition to your plate and achieve your health goal.