Why Should I Eat Salad?
I recently dished up a green salad as a side dish. I put it on the table to proclamations of “it’s very green!” and, “why should I eat salad?” Salad is often described as “rabbit food” and accused of having no nutritional content. That couldn’t be more wrong when we dissected our green side salad at the dinner table!
Here’s what I’d put into our salad, and the health benefits of each ingredient.
I used Romaine Lettuce which is the best lettuce nutritionally wise for you. Lettuce contains magnesium and potassium and is packed with vitamin C and fibre. Also due to lettuce’s high water content it has hydrating benefits too.
Famous thanks to Popeye, spinach is high in iron which supports red blood cell function. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins K, A, B2 and C, magnesium and folate. All of these vitamins and nutrients are beneficial for bone and muscle health. The dark green colour of spinach means it has a high chlorophyll content resulting in great anti-inflammatory properties too.
Ever popular avocados are a great source of vitamin E and monounsaturated fat. Avocados are higher in calories than other salad ingredients due to a higher fat content. Avocados contain high soluble fibre levels, as well as iron, copper, potassium, vitamin B and folate.
The most hydrating of salad ingredients, each cucumber is made up of 95% water. Cucumbers are high in fibre, vitamins C and K, magnesium and potassium. Cucumbers regulate and keep blood sugar levels low and contain anti-ageing and anti-wrinkle properties.
Herbs such as chives, coriander and parsley add lots of flavour to salads. Adding herbs to salads gives an extra boost of vitamins, minerals, and fibre.
So as we found out, a green side salad is more than “rabbit food”. Salad ingredients are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, and water. All of which help maintain healthy bone, muscle, heart, and liver function. This means there really are no excuses for dodging that salad anymore!
Written by Rhea Malkin BSc (Hons) Sports Therapist MSST and STOTT/APPI Pilates Instructor.