A cool crisp salad can be the basis for a light and refreshing meal. And with multiple health benefits, consuming a serving of leafy greens each day can be one of the best habits to get into, summer or winter.
Eating salads makes a substantial contribution to disease prevention, healthy weight and youthful energy – and who isn’t interested in a bit more energy and vitality?
Here are 5 of those healthy benefits:
Salad ingredients are loaded with vitamins and minerals, and a diet rich in vegetables and fruits can:
The “super-greens”, such as kale, spinach, beet greens, watercress and Romaine lettuce, offer a huge nutritional benefit.
Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in the red family fight inflammation and are linked to improvements in heart disease risk factors. This group includes produce with orange, purple, red and burgundy flesh, such as tomatoes, red and orange peppers, carrots, peaches, plums, and berries.
Carotenoids are a class of compounds synthesized from the yellow, orange and red pigments of fruits and vegetables. This includes vitamin A and all its varied compound forms: beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. All of these have substantiated positive effects, plus antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits within the body.
Add a small handful of mixed raw or roasted seeds like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and ground flax or chia to boost your daily intake of good fats. Using various oils in your dressings, or slicing a quarter avo into the salad will also give you a boost. These foods also help the body to absorb all of the protective compounds, phytochemicals, and lutein, and will help you feel fuller for longer.
Low vitamin K levels have been linked with low bone mineral density in women. For healthy bone growth, a recommended full daily serving can be found in just 1 cup of watercress, or spinach.
The high levels of water found in salad veggies improves hydration in our bodies, which is necessary for youthful skin tone and many basic bodily functions.
It is important to remember that the many health benefits of adding a salad to your daily diet can be quickly counteracted with the addition of commercially produced additives, in particular, salad dressings. Rather add healthy dressings to your salad, using olive oil, herbs and lemon or vinegar.
Check out Famous Bean’s healthy salad menu here