Why are salads a healthy option?Including salads in your regular meals is one of the healthiest eating habits you can adopt. It is also one of the simplest ways to stay fit. Salads are disease-fighting, nutrient-packed powerhouses. They are low in fat and calories, do not contain cholesterol and have a high vitamin and mineral content.

According to nutritionist Priya Kathpal, healthiest of salads are those which have an array of raw vegetables and/or fruits. Healthy salads are dressed with a light dressing like lemon juice, vinegar, olive oil, herbs and spices. They are low in fats and high in nutrients.

Nutritionist Priya Kathpal lists the key components in a salad

Fibre: Salads make a very healthy, nutrient-rich meal. They are high in fibre and as they are mostly consumed raw, steamed or sautéed and they take longer to digest keeping you full for a longer time. It is an excellent way to aid weight loss. Eating a high-fibre diet can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent constipation. Add vegetables like Brussels sprouts, carrots, broccoli, beans and peas to your salad.

Vitamins: Salads are full of various vitamins especially vitamin A, C and K. Green leafy vegetables are a good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K contributes in strengthening bones and plays a major role in blood coagulation. Vegetables rich in vitamin A like spinach, lettuce and kale keep skin and eyes healthy and boost the immune system to prevent and fight infections. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C is responsible for healing wounds. Vegetables like broccoli and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C.

Antioxidants: Your body cells produce free radicals which can sometimes cause damage leading to conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants found in fruits such as strawberries and cranberries and vegetables such as onions, cabbage and yellow corn can slow down or repair this damage. Common antioxidants found in vegetables that protect the cells against free-radical damage include beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, and selenium.

Other benefits 

Salads are multifunctional when it comes to health. Apart from keeping you full, they can provide a lot of other health benefits like keeping your gut healthy, keeping nutrient deficiencies and their ill-effects at bay, controlling sugar and keeping lipid profile in-check especially cholesterol. They also help in maintaining a healthy weight. In order to get maximum benefits out of salads, one should consume at least 2 servings per day.

Image source: Getty Images

Source – Thehealthsite

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