Have you had your salad today? Experts say that eating salad almost every day may be one of the simplest healthy eating habits you can adopt.
Eating salads is a very convenient way to add a couple of servings of vegetables and/or fruit to your everyday diet. Different types of salads are on the menu of almost every restaurant and in many fast food chains. And you can also make a green salad at home in 5 minutes with a bag of pre-washed salad greens, a few carrots or other vegetables, and a bottle of light salad dressing.
Salads are full of textures, colors and flavors. Most people enjoy eating salads–even kids! You can customize them to your individual taste by including the fruits and vegetables that appeal to you the most.
Here are some important health reasons to reach for a salad today:
- Eat salads for the fiber. Eating a high-fiber diet can help lower cholesterol levels, prevent constipation, and lose weight.
- Eat salads for the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. There is plenty of evidence that nutrient-rich plant foods contribute to overall health.
- Green salads which include raw vegetables are full of powerful antioxidants that fight cancer causing free radicals and immensely contribute to your health. Some of these antioxidants include vitamins C and E, folic acid, lycopene, and alpha-beta carotene.
For years, researchers have noted a link between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and lower risks of many diseases, particularly cancer. A recent study from the National Cancer Institute suggests that people whose diets are rich in fruits and vegetables may have a lower risk of developing cancers of the head and neck. This even refers to people who smoke and drink heavily.
Salads cut calories and increase satisfaction: If you want to lose some weight, you may want to start your meals with a green salad. Eating a low-calorie first course, like a green salad, enhances feelings of fullness and reduces the total number of calories eaten during the meal.
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 helps your body absorb protective phytochemicals, like lycopene from tomatoes and lutein from dark green vegetables.
If you dress your salad with a little olive oil, you could live longer.
A diet that includes plenty of olive oil and raw vegetables is linked to reduced mortality, according to one Italian research.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR IN YOUR SALAD DRESSING
It can be confusing to know how to dress salads for optimal health benefits.
If you top your salad with a high-fat and high-sodium dressing, a healthy vegetable-rich meal will become counterproductive for you.
On the other hand, there are numerous health benefits if you use healthy fatty acids in your salad dressing like those in olive oil and avocado oil. A higher intake of olive oil and vinegar salad dressing (high in alpha-linolenic acid) is associated with a reduced risk for fatal ischemic heart disease. The addition of healthy fats enhances the absorption of precious nutrients like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and lutein.
Apple cider vinegar offers wide-ranging benefits. Let us name a few:
– It is high in acetic acid, which has powerful biological effects. It has a history of use as disinfectant and natural preservative due to its ability to prevent germ growth and kill some types of bacteria. If you have a sore throat, for example, apple cider vinegar can help soothe it. You can mix ¼ cup of vinegar with ¼ cup of warm water and gargle every hour or so.
– It has been shown to have numerous benefits for insulin function and blood sugar levels. It improves insulin sensitivity during a high-carb meal by 19-34% and significantly lowers blood glucose and insulin responses. Numerous other studies, in both rats and humans, show that vinegar can increase insulin sensitivity and significantly lower blood sugar responses during meals. For these reasons, this vinegar can be useful for people with diabetes, pre-diabetes, or those who want to keep their blood sugar levels low to normal for other reasons.
– It can help with weight loss. Several human studies suggest that vinegar can increase the feeling of fullness and help you eat fewer calories. By reducing calorie intake, you could achieve reduced weight over time. A study in obese individuals showed that daily vinegar consumption led to reduced belly fat, lower blood triglycerides and weight loss.
– Some rat studies showed that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. An observational study from Harvard has revealed that women who ate salad dressings with vinegar had a reduced risk of heart disease.
– It can help you free you body from toxins since it stimulates the circulation and detoxifies the liver.
– Some studies have shown that vinegar can kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.
– It regulates pH of your skin, helps tummy troubles, boosts energy and balances your entire body system.
To make this maple –shallot salad dressing with apple cider vinegar, you will need:
- ¼ C apple cider vinegar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ½ C extra virgin olive oil
- 2 T minced shallot
- 2 T grade B maple syrup
- ¼ t salt
- ¼ t freshly ground black pepper
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and whisk well to combine.