Have you had your salad today? Eating salad almost every day may be one of the most healthy eating habits you can adopt — and one of the simplest, experts say.
Not only that, but salads are cool, crunchy, and fun to eat (lots of textures, colours, and flavours). Most people enjoy eating salads–even kids! You can customize them to include the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most, and whichever ones you have on hand.
Here are four health reasons to reach for a salad today
1. Eat Salads for the Fiber
It’s hard to believe that something we can’t even digest can be so good for us! Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation.
Not only that, says Barbara Rolls, PhD, author of The Volumetrics Eating Plan, eating more fiber can help you feel fuller, eat less, and ultimately lose weight.
2. Eat Salads for the Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables
If you frequently eat green salads, you’ll likely have higher blood levels of a host of powerful antioxidants (vitamin C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha- and beta-carotene,) especially if your salad includes some raw vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that help protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.
Foods found to be particularly protective include beans and peas, string beans, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, apples, nectarines, peaches, plums, pears, and strawberries.
3. Eat Salads to Cut Calories and Increase Satisfaction
If losing weight is your goal, you may want to start your meals with a green salad. Studies have shown that eating a low-calorie first course, like a green salad of 150 calories or less, enhances satiety (feelings of fullness) and reduces the total number of calories eaten during the meal.
“We saw reductions in consumed calories when people ate salads that were 1 1/2 cups and 3 cups in volume but around 100 total calories,” she says. The 3-cup, 100-calorie salad reduced the total calories consumed at the meal by about 55.
4. Eat Salads to Get Smart Fats
Eating a little good fat (like the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil, avocado and nuts) with your vegetables appears to help your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.
That doesn’t mean you can’t eat all the good stuff you want but in proportion though because you can’t live on salads alone forever and you also need to be active (exercise)