As soon as we hear salad, we think of two things: a barely-rememberable meal that comes before the real meal, or something that only, vegetarians, vegans, and people on diets eat.
Briefly, we just ignore it and always toss it to the side because it is not what will satisfy our hunger or our tongues, but we completely forget that it is what will “satisfy” our organs, boost our health, maintain our weight, and a lot more!
There are many types of salads and they are all popular for their health benefits, whether they are all green, with meat included, or with sweet dressings – They will always still provide your body with many things it needs to grow healthier and stronger.
As long as you are keeping the right balance of the ingredients you add to the bowl, you will enjoy all the health benefits of salads.
You can find many delicious salad recipes online, in fact, you will even find healthy salads available everywhere, even in fast-food restaurants. When you make the decision of eating salads every day, many things will happen to your body…
1. Improved digestion and gut health
The majority of salads have to include veggies and lettuce, which are enough to get your daily needed dose of healthy fiber. The latter is your body’s main tool to feel full and to help your digestive system to work better.
The fresh produce contains soluble or insoluble fiber (sometimes both). The soluble fiber usually gets digested and creates a substance that helps you go to the bathroom more.
The insoluble fiber, however, does not get digested by our bodies. Instead, it works as helpful nutrition for the good bacteria that live in our gut. Without them, our digestion system will not be able to extract nutrients properly.
2. Lower disease risk
It is a known fact that eating a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits can lower your risk of developing many diseases. According to a recent study conducted by the National Cancer Institute, a diet that’s full of fresh produce can protect your body against head and neck cancer, even if you smoke and drink heavily!
If you make salads one of your daily habits, then you would be compensating for some of your other unhealthy habits.
The NCI claims that perfect protective foods are carrots, tomatoes, peas, beans, peppers, string beans, pears, apples, and strawberries. You can find many interesting salad recipes that contain the majority (if not all!) of these ingredients.
3. Preserved vitality and youth
Any type of salad has high levels of antioxidants, like beta carotene, Lycopene, Folic acid, and vitamin C and E.
The benefits of antioxidants are basically endless, and one of them is preventing cellular damage which will keep you looking and feeling young for longer, especially that we are at risk of being exposed to free radical damage anywhere in the body, and it would be visible in the texture and quality of our skin.
Moreover, one of the best vitamin C benefits is keeping your skin soft and smooth all over. And of course, you will be enjoying the benefits of having better mental wellbeing and sustained energy.
4. Weight loss
©Harvard Gazette – Harvard University
Salads helping with weight loss is not news for you, obviously. But let us dig a little deeper to understand how salads helping you lose weight:
According to recent studies, when you start your meals with a green salad, you will feel full fast which will prevent you from consuming too many calories in the main course. Also, it wouldn’t be a bad idea if you replaced a meal with a salad some days – you will have better energy to go on in your day.
If you are looking for a diet for weight loss, then stick to green salads that have an extra touch of fruits, nuts, and lean meats.
5. The good fats
We have always heard about fats being our biggest enemy, but if you know how to keep balance, then it will be your best friend!
Of course, we are talking about the healthy unsaturated fat, not the artery-clogging saturated fats.
The healthy fats help your body digest food, improve your cholesterol level, and absorb important nutrients like lutein (found in dark green vegetables) and lycopene (in tomatoes).
The greatest sources of monounsaturated fat are nuts, olive oil, and avocado. One of the best salads you can consume, according to Ohio State University researchers, is a salad of carrots, lettuce, 2 ½ tablespoons of avocado, and spinach.
If you had the same salad without the avocado, you will be having 13 less than usual absorptions of beta carotene!
Also, you can extend your lifespan by adding olive oil to the majority of your meals, especially raw vegetables!
6. Your nutritional RDA
Technically, our bodies are supposed to get a specific amount of important nutrients every day, but according to statistics, many Americans fall short and the heavily processed foods are to blame.
You need to consume as much whole produce as you can because the foods that have grown from the earth have better diverse nutritional profile than processed foods that are basically filled with laboratory-made “nutrients”.
By eating a salad every day, especially when it includes many different greens, fruits, vegetables, proteins, and fats, then you can reach your recommended dietary allowance of essential minerals and vitamins to your overall health.