Salads are rich in nutrients and vitamins and low on calories. Eating salads everyday is the healthiest habit you can adopt in your lifestyle. For a vegetarian it can be a mixture of vegetables, fruits or both. Add up some pieces of chicken or tuna for a non vegetarian salad and mix it with a little bit of seasonings, nuts or sauce which will give a spicy, crunchy feeling and it’s fun to eat. Everyone can make a salad. It is not necessary to be a chef to prepare a salad. Your own ingredients such as fresh cream, mayonnaise, yoghurt or limejuice available in your kitchen can be used to make good salad dressings for delicious and healthy homemade salads.
Health Benefits of Salads
Salads with Fiber: Almonds, beans, bran, wheat, and peas are all high in fiber content. Add some of these in your salads to pep up the fiber content in your diet. This can lower the cholesterol level, keep bones strong and prevent constipation. Vegetables like carrot and broccoli frequently used in salads sharpen our eyesight as they contain vitamin A.
A mixture of Fruits and Vegetables: The more colourful the plate is the more appetizing it looks. Well, I’m talking about the combination of vegetables and fruits in your salad. They are rich in vitamin A, B and C that keep our body fit and healthy. Vegetables and fruits also ward off a wide range of ailments and lifestyle diseases.
Salads to Tackle Weight Loss Problem: Having a tough time trying to lose weight? Try having raw vegetables with high fiber content such as broccoli, celery, spinach, carrots and sweet potatoes in the form of plain salads or have them steamed as part of your food routine. It helps to cut off calories and maintain an ideal body weight. Start off your meal having a bowl of salad that contains a variety of healthy vegetables or fruits with some toppings. Salads contain a lot of nutrients, vitamins, proteins, and fiber and so they help to fill you up before you have main dinner. Here the calorie intake will be less as you tend to get full just after having the salads whereas the vitamin intake will be more which is nutritious and good for your body.
A Diet with Healthy Fat Contents: Our body also needs a little bit of good fat. A little mixture of good fats in our salads like avocado and olive oil will help protect us against cancer and heart diseases.
Healthy Salad Dressing
Do names like Fresh dressing, Greek dressing, Italian dressing, Thousand Island dressing or vinaigrette puzzle you? There are a variety of dressings for salads depending on how special one can make a mixture of it well. The basic ingredients for salad dressings include olive oil, lemon, vinegar, cream, yoghurt, buttermilk, mustard, salt and pepper.
All salads are not meant only for vegetarians, so you don’t have to worry about it, as there are also lots of choices of salads even for non-vegetariansas well. The more mixtures of fruits and vegetables in your salads, the more healthy it is. So make use of all the fresh items you have in your house to prepare a healthy nutritious salad. Salads, which are nutritious and tasty are the perfect meals during the hot summer.
Special Salads for Kids: Try making your kid eat a salad! That would probably be the biggest challenge. Kids love dessert and find salad boring. But here’s a tip to make salads so irresistible that your kids will be tempted to take a bite. Find vegetables and fruits that your kid likes, toss them together with cool shapes, fun toppings and colourful dressing and make your own salad.
A Perfect Diabetic’s Salad: A mixture of a healthy and nutritious green lettuce vegetable with some toppings of your favourite cooked whole grain such as broken wheat, or soya granules with a bit of proteins as in egg white or tofu, is a perfect salad for a diabetic.
Are Fast Food Salads Healthy? Fast food chains include many salads on their menus but the salad dressings and toppings can pack in loads of fat and calories if you’re not watching the amount of mayonnaise and grated cheese added in these salads. Next time you order coleslaw or a chicken salad wrap in a restaurant, ask for reduced fat dressings.
Tips to Make a Healthy Salad
• Choose salads that have dark green lettuce, to get more vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.
• Along with vegetables, add nuts, beans and seeds to make a filling salad packed with extra protein and fiber.
• Make your salad a one-dish meal by adding lean meat and lightly cooked seafood along with the vegetables.
• Use low fat salad dressing and roughly calculate the calories in mayonnaise, cream or oil used, to know that you are really eating a light salad.
• Use only fresh, raw vegetables or lightly steamed vegetables. Choose colorful vegetables like red, yellow and green capsicum (bell pepper), carrots, broccoli, peas, cucumber and beetroot to get maximum health benefits.
• Choose a light, low-cal, low fat dressing if you’re buying. You can make your own salad dressing by mixing 1 part olive oil, with 2 parts vinegar, a dash of lemon, pepper and salt.
Here’s a simple recipe for a quick healthy salad:
Cherry tomato, cucumber and green bean salad:
• 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
• 1 Lebanese cucumber, sliced
• 90g baby green beans, trimmed
• 1/4-cup olive oil
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
• 1 avocado, peeled, stone removed, sliced
• Salt and pepper
Step 1: Take a large bowl and place the tomato and cucumber.
Step 2: Heat some water in a saucepan and add the beans in the boiling water, leave it for 2-3 minutes till it gets cooked.
Step 3: Drain the beans aside and refresh it in cool water.
Step 4: Once it gets cooled, add some olive oil and lemon juice and mix it well.
Step 5: Add the beans and avocado to tomato mixture and season it with a bit of salt and black pepper.
Step 6: Mix it well and place the salad in a bowl and serve.