Have you had your salad today?
Have you had your servings of leafy greens today? If you aren't already a daily salad eater, ask yourself if having one every day is something you might be able to start. Eating salad everyday is one of the healthiest eating habits you can adopt, and one of the simplest. If you are interested in being healthier, slimmer, smarter or even more beautiful, eating leafy greens every day is the way to go! If you think salad is boring, think again. Consider all the things you can put in your salad... tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, carrots, peppers, radishes, mushrooms, onions, cranberries, grapes, apples, almonds, sunflower seeds,...I could go on! It's so easy to make salads delicious. I know you can do it!
Here are some reasons to eat salad daily that I hope will convince you to give it a try.
Daily intake of leafy greens like kale, spinach, arugala, Romaine lettuce, bok choy, and collard greens can sharpen your eyesight, strengthen your muscles, slim down your waist, help you get to sleep easier, lower your food cravings, keep you regular, protect against disease, and increase your immune system function. Yep! and Wow!
Leafy greens are extremely low in calories, yet super high in nutrients. Make them the base of your lunch and dinner and weight loss will come naturally.
Greens like kale, spinach, and Swiss chard contain antioxidants including beta carotene which helps renew and repair your skin. Greens also contain folate which increases hydration and lutein which protects against sun damage that ages skin.
According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the high folate content of dark leafy greens may protect agains cognitive decline. Dr. Terry Wahls, a TED TALK lecturer who claims to have cured her MS with a diet that includes dark leafy greens, recommends three cups of green leaves a day! It's easy to get those in a giant salad for lunch or dinner.
Kale Yeah! Kale has the most nutrition, per calorie of any plant. It contains B vitamins, plus A, C, K and minerals. B Vitamins protect your brain cells. Vitamin A and C support your immune cells. Vitamin K keeps your blood vessels and bones healthy. Salad greens can boost the production of proteins in muscles making them stronger and more efficient.
Salads are high in fiber which slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream, makes your intestines move faster, and speeds up the digestive process. Eating a salad will help reduce cravings for many other fatty foods, and eating a small salad before a meal helps prevent over-eating.
Of course you will need to avoid dumping things like pasta, loads of cheese and piles of croutons on top of the nutritious loveliness if you want to keep it a healthy addition to your diet. Stay away from Ranch, Creamy Caesars and Thousand Island dressings (you might as well throw a bomb on to the salad!) and salads that claim to be low fat but substitute the fat with sugar. Avoid any dressings that contain high fructose corn syrup. Try a vinegar based dressing or make your own with a little bit of oil and the juice of a lemon. My favorite is oil and vinegar.
Still don't think you can eat a salad every day? Get your greens via a daily green smoothie then, just do it!
My favorite green smoothie recipe book is Crazy Sexy Juice by Kris Carr.
Try this recipe:
One cup spinach or other leafy green
One handful of mint leaves
Three tablespoons of hemp seeds
Juice of one lime
One cup of coconut (or distilled) water
Blend and enjoy
Whether you go for the salad or the smoothie, be sure to get your three servings of leafy greens a day!