Why is salad good for you?
We’re all aware that eating fresh vegetables and fruit is good for us – particularly if they’re raw. But many of us don’t know why. Here we take a look at the many ways in which eating salads regularly can help to keep our bodies healthy and improve our wellbeing.
A lot has been said about the health benefits of green vegetables. They’re packed with healthy vitamins and minerals which can help your body to fight disease by reducing inflammation and balancing the activity of your cells and DNA. They have also been shown to reduce the risk of life threatening illnesses including cancer, strokes, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
Celery is full of potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. Green peas contain Vitamin K for healthy bones, and significant amounts of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. Broccoli, spinach and kale are particularly good for us. They are high in B vitamins, which help to convert our food into energy, keeping our bodies nourished and boosting the production of new cells. The B vitamins have numerous benefits for health and wellbeing, from reducing the risk of heart disease and helping to alleviate the symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, through to promoting healthy skin, hair and bones.
Red, orange and white vegetables
Red fruits and vegetables including tomatoes, radishes and peppers are high in the antioxidant lycopene, which reduces the risk of heart disease. Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, which strengthens the immune system and is beneficial to the skin and eyesight.
Cauliflower, onions and mushrooms are all classed as white vegetables. These have been shown to help combat serious illnesses including heart disease and even cancer.
Beans, seeds and nuts
These are all high in fibre, which helps the digestive system and metabolism. They can assist with weight loss by helping us feel full while consuming fewer calories. Some of the fibre they contain is soluble fibre, which helps to lower cholesterol and balance the blood sugar, to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and diabetes.
Beans, seeds and nuts are also a great source of protein – it’s essential we get this from our diets because our bodies can’t store it.
Don’t forget the dressing
Dressing your salad with olive oil or including avocado can boost the health benefits of all those fresh veggies even further. They contain good fats, which help your body to absorb the protective nutrients found in other vegetables. Research shows that including avocado in your salad will enable you to absorb eight times more of the goodness from lettuce, carrots and spinach, while dressing your salad with olive oil is likely to help you live longer.
Make sure it’s fresh
Salad is healthiest when it’s fresh and organically grown – especially if you’ve grown it yourself, so you know exactly how it’s been treated before it ends up on your plate! Get in touch to find out how the Salad Table can help you get into growing your own fresh herbs and vegetables.