Salads are foods that cater to your health as well as your tastebuds. They are the most appealing and colourful part of your meal. Eating a salad everyday is considered as one of the most healthiest and simplest habits one can adopt.
Typically, a salad is a dish consisting of small pieces of foods such as fruits,vegetables, grains, cooked meat, egg and cheese which may be mixed with a salad dressing and is served cold.
Types of salads:
1) GREEN SALAD: a green salad or garden salad is composed of leafy vegetables such as lettuce varieties, spinach and arugula. Due to their low caloric density, they are commonly considered as appetisers and are often garnished with nuts and croutons.
2) VEGETABLE SALAD: vegetables other than greens are added to make such salads. Vegetables that can be incorporated into this salad are onions, cucumbers, carrots, spring onions, radishes, mushrooms, bell peppers,etc.
3) BOUND SALAD: a bound salad can be arranged or put in a bowl and mixed with a thick dressing. They are assembled with thick sauces such as mayonnaise. They are often used as sandwich fillings and examples of this salad include potato salad, egg salad, tuna salad, etc.
4) MAIN COURSE SALAD: they are also known as dinner salads and may contain grilled or fried chicken pieces, shrimps or a fish steak such as tuna and salmon. Caesar salad, greek salad, Michigan salad and Chinese chicken salad are a few such dinner salads.
5) FRUIT SALAD: they are made of a variety of fruits such as apple, banana, pomegranate, orange, guava, etc and include the fruit cocktail that can be made fresh or from canned fruit.
A bowl full of salad is a power packed, nutrient rich meal. The greens alone are a rich source of iron, potassium and B vitamins and foods such as tomatoes and peppers are abundant in antioxidants. Salads composed from even a few ingredients can provide numerous benefits.
Here are a few:
Benefits of eating a salad:
1) Vegetables in salads are a good source of insoluble fibre that help in maintaining a healthy digestive tract and prevent constipation. Eating fibre can help you feel fuller, eat less and ultimately lose weight.
2) 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. Thus by incorporating loads of fruits and vegetables in your salads, you can reduce the risk of many diseases particularly ,cancer.
3) Many salad ingredients contain vitamin A and vitamin C in the form of antioxidant carotenoids. Vegetables that are rich in antioxidants include tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli.
4) Eat salads to increase satisfaction and lose weight. Studies show that eating a low-calorie first course, like a green salad of 150 calories or less, enhances satiety and reduces the total number of calories eaten during the meal.
5) Eat salads to get smart fats. Consuming monounsaturated fats 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.
Preparing salads are not time consuming and one can make then within a few minutes . Here are a few recipes that are simple, healthy and easy to make:
MACARONI AND VEGETABLE SALAD: serves 4
2 cups boiled macaroni, 2 spring onions, 1 capsicum, 1 tomato, 1/2 cup cheese, 1/2 cup sweet corn kernels, 1/4 cup boiled peas, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
1) Chop the spring onions into small pieces.
2) Cut the capsicum into halves. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices.
3) Cut the tomato and cheese into small cubes.
4) In a mixing bowl, mix together all the vegetables, cooled macaroni and cheese cubes.
5) Add the lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well and refrigerate.
POTATO SALAD: serves 4
4 boiled potatoes, 1 capsicum, 1 cup lettuce, 2 cheese cubes, 4 bread slices, 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon milk and 1 tablespoon tomato ketchup.
1) Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes. Wash and cut the capsicum into medium sized pieces.
2) Wash and tear the lettuce into small pieces. Also, cut the cheese cubes into small pieces.
3) Toast the bread slices till crisp and cut each slice into cubes.
4) In a mixing bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, milk and tomato ketchup.
5) Put the potatoes, capsicum, lettuce, cheese and bread pieces into a large serving bowl. Add the mayonnaise mixture and mix well.
So, have you had your salad today? If not, then start with making a simple change in your diet by adding more colour to your meal through these extremely scrumptious salads!