I love salad and eat one every day, and sometimes two. It would be nice to admit the habit is my commitment to healthy living- but that’s kinda it, but not really. I crave leafy greens and raw vegetables and will happily make a meal around them anytime. You will rarely find me in a packaged food aisle at a grocery store except when it’s time to stock up on paper goods and detergents. My real food shopping is at a local farmers’ market or at a purveyor’s store of fresh produce, along with bins of bulk beans, nuts and grains. Hand selecting items and amounts as one needs gives me the sense that this is the thinking man’s way to shop. Buying for freshness and little waste is both wise and environmentally responsible.
Here at our company it’s obvious that our handmade salad bowls and salad sets are big-time customer favorites. The craze has caught on. Americans eat salad and lots of it. Nutritional awareness has officially crowned leafy greens and fresh produce to the nobler cuisine status of today. It is no longer considered the lowly side dish of wilted greens of days gone by.
Benefits of Eating Salad
Those leafy greens such as spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are nutritious foods providing loads of dietary fiber and goodness. Being excellent sources of vitamin A, B, C and K, folate, molybdenum and other vital minerals, they are your super power-packed greens, the body’s building blocks. Natural plant compounds, known as phytonutrients, work diligently with other essential nutrients to prevent disease, cell damage throughout your system and may even reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. How good is that?
Kale has risen through the ranks as today’s much-talked-about leafy vegetable. Due to its intense rich antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer nutrients it has created a lot of nutritional buzz. Research shows that kale may provide some special cholesterol-lowering benefits due to its fiber components which bind acids in the digestive tract and excretes them. The results are lowered cholesterol levels.
It’s all really great news for today’s active baby boomers who want to live longer, healthier lives. They rather deal with their aging concerns proactively through good nutrition and exercise to keep their engines running at peak performance.
Salad makes you feel full and helps decrease your desire to snack after a meal. That’s a good thing. Being low in calories and supplying a bountiful source of dietary fiber, it is a prudent practice to begin your meal with an appetizer salad particularly if you are interested in watching your waistline. Healthy salads add powerful nutrition to your meal with the added benefit of diminishing the likelihood of overeating during your next course.
Sadly, there are still many Americans whose diet consists of processed baked goods, lots of fatty red meat, fried foods and sugary drinks. Meals like these make you lethargic and low in mental focus. It is not surprising the leading causes of death in the USA- heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer are directly linked to poor food choices.
When preparing your salad keep a close eye on your calorie count by avoiding croutons, cheese and creamy dressings which are high in fat. Instead, reach for a good low-calorie vinaigrette. Add lean chicken breast or fish and substitute the high fat crouton crunch with a sprinkling of nuts for a wiser, heart-healthy choice.
Convenient Full Meal Mash-Up
Many people are not happy eating raw fruits and vegetables because preparation takes extra time. That’s a poor excuse anymore. Some growers do all the work for you by cleaning, peeling, slicing and shredding. You can find their ready-to-sell produce in individual bags where you shop. Buy a variety and kick start your love affair with raw produce salads.
We recommend that you experiment with all the selections. Mixing salads with as many different vegetables and fruits will give you the best synergistic effects from each. Raw foods should be part of your daily diet because they contain all the natural enzymes to boost digestion. Cooking destroys much of the nutritional value of plant foods, so eating raw is sure to give you the most benefit from those foods.
Monounsaturated, (the good fats) from olive oil, avocado and nuts are key ingredients to have because they help your body absorb fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K from your leafy salad greens and other vegetables. Fats are a source of energy. Oils rich in monounsaturated fats also contribute vitamin E to the diet, an antioxidant vitamin which many Americans lack.
Jumble, mix and toss a delicious combo of leafy greens, vegetables, fruits and nuts. Balance all of that with healthy carbohydrates like beans or quinoa and layer in a good source of omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon. Presto! You have just now created a plate full of the ultimate nutritional blend that keeps your body, mind and heart-healthy strong.
Prepare your own special whole meal mashup in one of our wildly popular handmade stainless steel bowls. Visit http://www.maryjurekdesign.com to find your favorite style. We guarantee one of our lovingly made lustrous bowls will end up being your all-time favorite table gem for years to come.