If you eat salad every day, this can happen to your body
Too often we think of salads as the forgettable first course to a real meal, or the exclusive domain of dieters.
We ignore the fact that salad is an infinitely customizable dish, packed with flavor and nutrition, which can actually be quite filling and satisfying.
Eating some salad every day provides a host of health benefits, including weight loss, but encompassing so much more.
Salads can also be unhealthy, depending on how you build them. Too much fatty dressing or rich cheese can kill some of the health benefits. But we’re not saying to skip the tasty toppings all together.
The key is in the proportion of ingredients. The right balance of your favorite greens, vegetables, fruits, and proteins is sure to create a thrilling flavor profile that doesn’t need a ton of dressing.
And don’t forget – if you don’t have the time or energy to toss your own diverse salad at home, you can buy them prepared almost anywhere food is sold, including fast food restaurants.
Still not convinced? We’ve got a list of reasons why eating some salad every day is a fantastic habit to pick up.
1. Lower Disease Risk, Especially Cancer
The fact that eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables lowers your risk of many different diseases is probably not news to you. What is interesting, though, is the results from a recent study done by the National Cancer Institute, which suggest that a diet full of produce can protect against cancers of the head and neck – even if you drink and smoke heavily!
A daily salad habit could therefore compensate (at least a little) for some of your other less healthy indulgences. According to the NCI, foods that are especially protective include tomatoes, carrots, beans, peas, string beans, peppers, apples, pears, and strawberries. Any of those could be a tasty addition to your salad.
2. Preserved Youth And Vitality
The ingredients in salad tend to have high levels of antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, lycopene, folic acid, and beta carotene. Antioxidants prevent cellular damage and therefore help you feel and look young.
Free radical damage can occur anywhere in the body, but it is visible in the quality and texture of your skin. Vitamin C especially is good for staying smooth and soft all over. And again, it is no surprise that eating well provides the sustained energy and mental wellbeing necessary to attack your day with gusto.
3. Lose Weight
Studies have shown that starting your meals with a green salad enhances your feeling of fullness without costing a lot of calories. As you move on to your main course, you will eat less without feeling deprived.
You can also replace a meal per day with a salad. Just about any protein can go nicely in order to provide the sustained energy you need. If weight loss is your goal, stick to lean meats like chicken or fish; beans of various kinds also contain a good amount of protein.
4. Reduce Your Bad Fats
One of the nice things about salad is that it is easy to rely on healthier unsaturated fats for that delicious flavor and texture we associate with fatty foods. But you may also want your salad to pack more protein with some slices of chicken or beef, and amp up the flavor with a sprinkling of cheese.
When those items are just part of a diverse set of ingredients, you need less to feel satisfied than if they were the centerpiece of your meal.
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