The Benefits of a GOOD salad
Although it can be frustrating for a person who eats a whole food plant based diet or a vegan to only have salad as an option on a menu (and usually not a very good salad) there is a reason we eat salad so often away from the typical lettuce, tomato and if your lucky cucumber salad from a restaurant. The reason we eat so much salad is that it’s delicious and it’s super good for you! My favorite salad consists of kale, cabbage, spinach, brussels sprouts, radishes, red and green bell pepper, tomato, quinoa, beans, nuts, english cucumber, scallions, avocado and fruit. Below I've noted some of the benefits of these whole foods.
Kale One cup has 33 calories, 3 grams of protein, 2.5 grams of fiber, Vitamins A, C & K, Folate (a B vitamin that is key for brain development), Alpha-linolenic acid (an omega 3 fatty acid.)
Cabbage which is an excellent source of fiber, vitamin B6, folate, and manganese, as well as healthy amounts of thiamin (vitamin B1), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and pantothenic acid (vitamin B5).
Spinach One cup is 7 calories. You read that right! 7 calories! It is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, copper, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, protein and choline.
Brussel Sprouts 56 calories, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 274% vitamin K, 162% vitamin C, 24 % vitamin A, 24% folate, 18% manganese.
Radish 1 calorie per radish. Yes just 1 calorie and here's all your get, folate, fiber, riboflavin, and potassium, as well as good amounts of copper, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and calcium.
Tomato 22 calories, 1 gram protein, 3 grams sugar, 5 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 6 milligrams vitamin C (26 percent DV), 1025 milligrams vitamin A (20 percent DV), 7 milligrams vitamin K (12 percent DV)
Red & Green Bell Pepper are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C and vitamin B6. They are a very good source of folate, molybdenum, vitamin E, dietary fiber, vitamin B2, pantothenic acid, niacin and potassium.
Quinoa One cup of quinoa provides about 220 calories and 8 grams of protein.
Black Beans 227 calories,15 grams protein,15 grams fiber,0 fat.64% folate,40% copper, 38% manganese, 35% vitamin B1 Thiamine.
Baked Tofu (occasionally)
I tend to go with either Jane Esselstyn’s 3/2/1 dressing which is a vinegar based dressing or Back to the Ranch cashew based dressing from Salad Samurai written by Terry Hope Romero.
As you peruse this list of salad items and the nutrients that these items provide you can see that a salad provides all the protein a person needs, plus some (we need 42 grams daily), in addition to being low in fats and calories and high in fiber. I emphasize fiber because to be honest, my friends, that is what we should be more concerned with not protein. We all get more than adequate amounts of protein daily in our lives but fiber is a different situation. Watch NutritionFacts.org to see the concerning evidence about our lack of fiber at https://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vegetarians-get-enough-protein/
So why not add a few items to your salad and allow your taste buds to come alive. A salad doesn't have to be iceberg lettuce, a tomato and cucumber with a processed dressing. It’s amazing what a palate that has been cleansed with whole fresh foods can experience.
Wishing you Grace, Peace & Healthy Living,
*Nutrition facts from draxe.com, webmd.com, whfoods.com, mercola.com
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