Salad must be a part of your Daily Menu Plan
Salads should be a very important part of a personís daily diet. Salads are high in their fiber content, and a rich source of the daily vitamin and mineral requirement. The fiber in the salad helps to raise your metabolism as the body has to work harder to digest and break down these raw vegetables and the fiber in it. It is also observed that those consuming salad daily both at lunch and dinner in a quantity of 1-2 cups at a time can see their cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels coming down. Regular salad consumption helps to raise the production of good cholesterol Ė HDL in the body. It also helps to keep constipation away.
Today as the occurrence of cancer is very high, research shows that we should eat salads twice a day. At both lunch and dinner which will help to prevent and protect us from getting cancers. It is not humanly possible to provide great variety in salads when we prepare them in our homes twice a day. The first point is to accept it as a simple routine part of our life and keep the preparations simple and easy.
The simplest salad is tomato, cucumber and onion, sliced and garnished with minimum salt, pepper and lemon juice or vinegar. The same 3 vegetables may be finely chopped, garnished with green chilly, coriander leaves and lime or made into a pachadi/raita by adding curds after the cream is removed. Olive oil or coconut is not to be added to the salad as it makes it too fatty.
Another good salad combination is shredded cabbage, very finely chopped onion and half a grated carrot. Squeeze lemon juice on this, add a pinch of salt and crush the cabbage a little with clean fingers. The bitter taste comes out, then you may add pepper or green chilli and your salad is ready.
To these above mentioned vegetables you may add capsicum, radish, spring onions and lettuce to vary the combinations. We donít advice the addition of fruits, corn or non-veg to the salad. Also avoid adding boiled potato, pasta or beetroot as they are high in calories. Please avoid cooking any of the salad vegetables, all raw is ideal. The fiber, vitamin, and mineral content is lost if cooked.
Sprouts may be added in small quantities, 1- 2 tablespoons at a time, provided the person does not suffer from a condition called gout. One point to be remembered is that all vegetables carry sprayed pesticides and fertilizers. Also soils with many microorganisms are present on all vegetables. Vegetables must be thoroughly washed before even placing them on a kitchen counter or cutting board and the preparation must be very clean as severe attacks of diarrhea may otherwise occur.
If you are eating outside your home the safest thing to do is to ask for just plain slices of tomato and cucumber and a slice of lime to garnish it. Avoid eating carrots from outside, as they are usually not cleaned properly.