You may have heard that sometimes paving way for the belief that salads are meant for the super thin and people who just don’t know how to enjoy life!
Normally it is perceived to be not very satisfying and usually part of an extreme diet. So not true. If all the components of a salad are considered into making it, it is not only fully satisfying but is also a powerhouse of nourishment. Fruits and vegetables are not only calorie weak and nutrient dense but are considered to have major health benefits and have anti cancer properties. A refreshing salad can be a side to a main dish or even a complete meal by itself.
When planning a salad,the colours need to be a definite first based on which the nutrition comes in. Not all greens need to be leafy although they greatly enhance the texture. A protein source is also quite essential esp. if pursuing resistance training. Good sources being meats,low fat cheese such as mozzarella, feta , cottage cheese and legumes, pulses and beans. Added texture with nuts increases the protein and fat percentage of the salad. Adding a healthy fat source ( like nuts, avocado, e.v olive oil, olives, cheese, eggs, tuna etc) increases our chance of better absorption of nutrition from all other food sources in the salad.
Some simple examples of a nourishing salad based on the above components are :
1. Pomegranate, cucumber and cottage cheese
2. Corn, tomato, lettuce with feta cheese and pistachios with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil.
3. Totally green salad: small cut green capsicum, cucumber,green olives and lettuce . Garnish with Gouda flakes. You can add pesto as a dressing with kiwis or avocado.
4. Totally red: Romaine( red) leaves, small cut beetroot, tomatoes garnished with some pomegranate. Add lemon juice.
5. Boiled potato, pineapple, sprouts bound with hung yoghurt and a dash of rock salt.
6. Fruit salad: Cut apple, banana slices, grapes,peaches with lemon and cinnamon powder.
Creativity juices get flowing when planning a nutritious and yummy salad with all the right textures, flavors and nutrient combinations. Salads can be fun and add an immunity boosting characteristic to our food intake especially when had as complete meals. But even so, a simple salad of at least 3 vegetables is quite a must at every meal to add fibre and balance out the nutrition. Simple fruits and vegetables which look deceptively plain are actually storehouses of minerals,vitamins, fibre and anti oxidants and they get a chance to become part of our daily food intakes. Just that when you go to a restaurant and order salad, make sure you order dressing on the side , so you have complete control on the added thousand calories (give or take) or so!
We do end up with too much cooked, processed or blended foods if we consciously do not clean up our eating with salads. Getting used to them is like a gateway to health and immunity not to mention clearer complexions, colorful cheeks, brighter hair and greater energy levels. So the next time you hear someone say , “I’ll just have a salad” , know that that person is healthy, strong, energetic and therefore- happy. Now, why not be that person!