Salads and Fibre play an Important Role in Our Fitness and Good Health
Salads should be a very important part of a person’s daily diet. Salads are high in their fibre content, and a rich source of daily vitamin and mineral requirement. The fibre 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 fibre 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 also helps to raise the production of good cholesterol – 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 from the curd. 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 don’t advice the addition of non-veg or corn 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 fibre, vitamin, and mineral content is lost if cooked. Do not add any fruits like pomegranate or chopped apple, etc. to the salad. Fruits are to be eaten as a snack between meals and not along with a meal or immediately after the meal.
Sprouts may be added in small quantities – 2 tablespoons at a time, provided the person does not suffer from a condition called gout, (raised uric acid levels). 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 diarrhoea 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 and salad leaves from outside, as they are usually not cleaned properly.