SALADS to protect against Cancer

Salads should be a very important part of a personís daily diet. Salads are high in their fiber content, and a rich source of daily vitamin and mineral requirement.

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. In the West many people are suffering from intestine and colon cancer. One of the leading causes for this is lack of complex carbohydrates and roughage in the diet. With their busy lifestyles people are seen to skip meals and mostly eat refined and fast foods. Nobody has the time to cut and clean vegetable and fruits and even children develop the habit of living on white bread sandwiches, aerated drinks, chips and chocolates. This trend is being taken up quite rapidly in India too. It is our duty to consciously include fresh fruits and vegetables and proper meals in our homes so that our children learn a healthy eating pattern from a young age.

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 non-veg or corn to the salad. Also avoid adding boiled potato 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 Ė 2 tablespoons at a time, provided the person does not suffer from a condition called gout or any kidney problems. 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 board and the preparation must be very clean as severe attacks of diarrhea may otherwise occur.

If you are eating out side 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.

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