Your mother taught you to eat salads because they are “good for you”. If you’re like me this phrase is synonymous for “yucky”. The problem is that we usually won’t eat what we don’t like and we need to eat greens. So how do we overcome this stigma?
The first thing we need to do is get over thinking that a salad is lettuce. When I started putting lots of different veggies into salads and making my own salad dressing, I began liking salads. They also became a lot healthier.
Here are some suggestions for salad ingredients:
- Lettuce – use a variety of types of lettuce and don’t use so much head lettuce. Leaf lettuce, such as romaine, red leaf and arugula is much better for you. Buy your lettuce by the head, not already prepared in packages. Remember that companies are usually out to make a profit and cheaper types of lettuce means more profit. Your incentive is nutrition.
- Other Greens – Spinach, Kale, etc. are full of nutrition and especially vitamins A and K. This is especially important for moms who want to avoid the vitamin K shot given to newborns. By eating plenty of greens your baby will have the vitamin K it needs when it is born. Choose heads that are darker green because they will have a better nutrition content.
- Cruciferous vegetables – fancy word for cauliflower, broccoli, kale and cabbage. These vegetables are another miracle food. In a study by the National Cancer Institute people eating one to two cups of cruciferous vegetables a day had a 22% drop in oxidative stress. For us, that translates into less hemolysis. Very, Very important food item. Add some to all your salads.
- Meat, Chicken, Pork Eggs and Fish – you might think it odd that I would suggest adding these products to a salad, but there is a very good reason for doing so. The B vitamins, which we tend to be deficient in, are most plentiful in these products, especially liver. Adding a hard boiled egg to a salad helps improve its overall vitamin B content considerably. They are high in B1, B2, B5, B7 and B12. To complete the B vitamins add whole grains, meats, chicken breast, bell peppers, cheese, broccoli, spinach, asparagus or okra. These are especially important for pregnant women.
Bottom line. Make your salad colorful, add a variety of the products from each category listed above, not just lettuce. Add your favorite home made salad dressing and you have a wonderful first course or even complete meal. Especially during the hot summer months when you don’t want to heat up the house cooking. Healthy, anti-oxidants, great tasting, and doesn’t heat up the house…it doesn’t get much better than that.
All the best,