A nutritional guide to salad
Long life to salad, the perfect nutritional partner! Light and yet brimming with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients, salad leaves go well with all sorts of other foods.
There is surely more than one salad variety to suit your taste buds, so don’t be afraid to mix and match… make the most of our dietary advice and our recipe ideas.
Salad: A leafy green dose of vitamins
Like all foods from the vegetable world, salads supply precious nutrients. Iceberg, romaine, cos, radicchio rocket, endive, watercress… all gorged with beta-carotene, with dandelion coming in as the winner in the beta-carotene category.
Salad leaves are also a source of Vitamin C, B-group vitamins (folic acid) and small amounts of calcium. To get the most out of your salad, remember that most of the vitamins are found in the greenest parts of the leaves.
Salad as an appetite filler
Even though salad is low in calories, it plays a central role in satiety and an American study* has proven this. By adding a salad at the beginning of a meal, American scientists were surprised to see that the total meal’s calorie count actually reduced. The explanation is simple: salad fills the stomach due to its high fibre content, while supplying a low amount of calories. The consequence of this is that once the salad is eaten as a starter, hunger is calmed and fewer calories are consumed over the meal.
In fact, the study showed that the larger the serving of salad, more the total calorie count of the meal declined: avec 300g of salad as a starter, calorie intake reduced by 12 %, while eating 150g of salad as a starter, calorie intake reduced by only 7 %.
If you want to try out this American study at home, remember NOT to add salad dressing, small goods or cheese to those leaves!
Culinary creativity with salad
Mixing salad leaves with other foods such as fish, meat, eggs, noodles, rice or pulses, these dishes can take pride of place as a main meal. Easy to prepare, you can use salad in a myriad of dishes to bring local and seasonal fruit and veg into their own glory.
Of course, we all know Caesar salad, Gem salad or the Waldorf salad, but these days, there is a huge range of innovative and delicious salad recipes freely available online. To get you started, here’ some of Doctissimo’s salads:
- Rocket salad with parmesan
- Warm chicken salad
- Watercress and roasted walnut salad
- Spinach, pear and chicory salad
* “Salad and satiety: Energy density and portion size of a first-course salad affect energy intake at lunch,” Rolls, B – Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Vol 104, Issue 10, Pages 1570-1576, October 2004
Copyright © 2010 Doctissimo
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