5 Reasons to Say "Yes" to Salad
It's quite possible that no food that has more potential to pack so much good nutrition into one bowl than a creatively tossed salad. Salads are open to a wide variety of ingredients, and the more you add, the more vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients you get from your salad bowl. The right kind of salad mix helps you stay healthy, fight aging, stave off chronic disease, and keep your weight in check. Here's why:
Volume for Weight Control
You can eat volumes and volumes of tossed salad and never gain weight from it. Just go easy on the toppings. Most of the calories in a leafy green salad are in the dressing, but if your salad dressing is made with olive oil, at least those calories are coming from healthy fats. Don't overdose on dressing, however, because it is possible to get too much of a good thing in your diet, and too much fat of any kind in your food can end up as too much fat on your body.
Anitoxidants for Disease Prevention
Dark, leafy salad greens such as romaine lettuce, watercress, arugula, and spinach and deeply colored vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet red, green, or yellow peppers are packed with vitamin C and vitamin A in the form of beta carotene. Carrots and broccoli are also loaded with antioxidant vitamins that help protect against cancer and other chronic disease.
Phytochemicals to Prevent Premature Aging
Greens and other colorful salad vegetables are also rich in phytochemcials, plant chemicals that are not vitamins or minerals but that act as antioxidants in your body to prevent cell damage that causes premature aging and the breakdown of body systems.
Essential Minerals for Strong Bones
Very dark, leafy greens like as spinach provide hard-to-get but important minerals such as magnesium, which supports nerve, heart, and bone health and helps your body produce energy. Some greens are also good plant sources of calcium. For more minerals (and other good stuff), toss some nuts, sunflower seeds, dried fruits, or a sprinkling of crumbled cheese into your salad bowl.
Fiber for Intestinal Well-Being, Heart Health, and Blood Sugar Control
Plant fiber not only helps move food through your digestive tract, it decreases your risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. Vegetables and fruit are all good sources, but to really boost the fiber content of your salad, add legumes such as chick peas, white beans, and lentils. Beans also bring B vitamins and more minerals, such as iron and potassium, to the table.
For a nutritional bonus, add a little lean protein to your salad and call it a one-dish meal. Chicken, turkey ham, seafood, beans, and hard-cooked eggs are all nutritious, high-protein choices.
American Dietetic Association/Eat Right: Color Your Plate with Salad Web 20 April 2011
Colorado State University: Health Benefits and Safe Handle of Salad Greens Web 20 April 2011
Sign Up for Free Newsletters
Ask Your Doctor the RIGHT Questions!
the most from your doctor visit.
Emailed right to you!
The Ask Your Doctor email series
may contain sponsored content.
18+, US residents only please.
Explore Original Articles About...
Get the MOST from QualityHealth
- Top Searches
- 1. Arthritis Management: Nature Heals
- 2. 5 Digestive To-Dos
- 3. Men: Should You Shave It or Leave It?
- 4. Today's Top Fitness Trends
- 5. Sugar and Osteoarthritis : The Link
- 6. Can't Afford Your Hospital Bills?
- 7. Stay Energized All Day Long
- 8. Phobias: Who Has Them and Why?
- 9. What If Your EpiPen Fails?
- 10. 5 Costly Medical Billing Mistakes
- 1. Ice Falls Can Cause Serious Injuries
- 2. Can Inactivity Act Like a Disease?
- 3. Kale Snack Recipe for Diabetics
- 4. How Running Affects Arthritis
- 5. Sugar and Your Immunity System
- 6. Do Weight Loss Supplements Work?
- 7. 5 Super Foods for Spring
- 8. The Hazards of Reusable Bags
- 9. How to Avoid Ingrown Hairs
- 10. Health Tip: Constantly Change Shoes
- 1. 4 Common Treatments for Epilepsy
- 2. What Does a Urogynecologist Do?
- 3. GERD Without Heartburn? It's Possible
- 4. Graston Technique: Can It Work on You?
- 5. Music Therapy Can Help Autism
- 6. 8 Ways to Fight MS-Related Fatigue
- 7. Can You Still Bleed After Menopause?
- 8. Be Your Own Health Care Advocate
- 9. Why Is Syphillis on the Rise?
- 10. Ideal Weight vs. Happy Weight
The material on the QualityHealth Web site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a physician or other qualified health provider. See additional information.