New York: Staying healthy can be just a matter of eating a salad a day. With the cold and flu season just around the corner, Americans will welcome a new study that could keep them out of the doctor's office this year.
The study, conducted by the UCLA School of Public Health and recently published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, revealed eating salads with salad dressing and raw vegetables is a great way to defend your body against a variety of seasonal illnesses because it provides essential nutrients that promote a healthy immune system.
The study, titled, "Salad and Raw Vegetable Consumption and Nutritional Status in the Adult US Population", examined salad consumption by more than 17,000 adults, showed that those who eat salads with salad dressing and raw vegetables every day, have considerably higher levels of vitamins C, E, B6 and folic acid - key nutrients that aid in promoting a healthy immune system. A weakened immune system can result in colds, flu, chronic viral infections, fatigue and other ailments.
According to pediatricians, children get an average of eight colds per year, which is one more reason for them to finish their vegetables! Adults can expect a cold at least four times per year. If we do get sick, the old stand-by, chicken soup, is great - but it will only help you once you already have the cold, due to the warm broth and amino acids that aid in decongestion. However, the most important thing we can do this season is to put up our best defense so we don't get sick in the first place. Besides boosting your levels of nutrients that aid immunity, "Eating a salad a day is a convenient way to improve your nutritional status," said Dr. Lenore Arab, professor of epidemiology at UCLA's School of Public Health and lead researcher of the study. "Just one salad daily helps to satisfy the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends eating two and a half cups of vegetables each day for a 2000-calorie diet."
Though it's already known that salad is a healthy meal option, the bottom line, according to the UCLA study - eating one salad a day is a simple way to help boost your health.
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