Do You Know What Your Salad Can Do For You?

I was looking out on my balcony at my amazing lettuce plants which are still going after 2 months.  I began to wonder if there was more to eating a salad than low calories.  What I discovered changed the way I will look at salads forever. 

Salad can be any combination of vegetables that you choose.  There are bean salads, Greek salads, Tabouleh salads and I am sure millions of variations.  Today I am going to go with one of my favourites.

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Lettuce

Believe it or not, lettuce is filled with an amazing array of nutrients.  My favourite is romaine.  Romaine lettuce has an abundance of vitamin K, folic acid, fibre, potassium, omega 3 fats and more.  The vitamin c in romaine is an antioxidant which can assist in heart health.  Antioxidants prevent oxidative damage from free radicals.  Vitamin C also keeps muscles healthy and protects arterial smooth muscle tissue. 

canstockphoto9326788cucumber slices

Cucumber

Cucumber is a refrigerant that cools you from the inside out.  It helps keep you hydrated and is great for hair and nails.  A previous weeks post covers off why you should drink cucumber lemon water.  It can be found here.  

Cucumber contains Silica which promotes joint health, strengthens connective tissue and even helps your hair and nails grow strong.  It helps in gout and arthritis by lowering uric acid levels.

It’s anti-inflammatory properties can ease puffy eyes and calm the inflammation of skin from acne, eczema and oxidative damage.  It can also cool the pain of sunburn. 

Cucumber Hydration

Cucumber is 95% water which helps your body hydrate.  Cucumber is also a source of electrolytes.  Electrolytes are used by your nerves and muscles to function.  They need to be replenished and cucumber can help.  

 canstockphoto8477753tomato

Tomato

Tomatoes contain Alpha-Lipoic acid which helps convert glucose to energy, helps control blood glucose and even improves vasodilation.  The lycopene which gives tomatoes their colour also has the benefit of reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease and age related eye disorders.  All of these benefits from eating tomatoes!

 canstockphoto8552539onion

Onion

The onion has been used medicinally for centuries.  It is a member of the Allium family which means it has an enormous number of health benefits.  Among those health benefits are effects on:

  • Blood Pressure
  • Cancer
  • Skin Issues
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Mood 
  • Diabetes

Onions contain Vitamin C, B6, Manganese, Calcium, Iron Folate, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Quercetin and Sulfur.

The greatest source of flavonoids in onion are concentrated in the outer layers.  When peeling an onion try to remove as little of the edible fleshy part as possible.

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Celery

Some of the uses of celery include

  • Sedative
  • Diuretic
  • Carminative
  • Gout
  • Pain Reliever

Celery and Pain

Celery contains Cox2 inhibitors.  Cox2 inhibitors are Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs that target the inflammation that causes pain.  This makes celery an excellent pain reliever for things such as arthritis and rheumatism.  Cox2 inhibitors have the added benefit of causing less stomach problems than other pain relievers.  Celery has been used to prevent gas and bloating for centuries as well as preventing stomach pain.

This is the basic ingredient list for my go to salad.  I also sometimes add nuts which have a whole range of health benefits.  I love to add walnuts in particular.

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Walnuts

Studies show that walnuts are beneficial for preventing Alzheimer’s because they help reduce the buildup of amyloid plaques that are in the brains of alzheimer’s patients.   

Herbalism has an idea known as the Doctrine of Signatures.  This means that like cures like.  In the case of Walnuts, when you crack the shell you will notice that the nut looks like the left and right hemispheres of the brain.  This is why walnuts have been used to treat brain issues for centuries. 

Walnuts contain melatonin which is an antioxidant that assists you in getting a good nights sleep.  Eating a handful for a bedtime snack will help you sleep and give you all the other benefits at the same time.

For more info on walnuts see my blog here. 

You can add ingredients like fish or cheese but for an extremely healthy salad the ingredients above are superb.  Add an oil and lemon juice dressing to add even more health benefits. 

THIS BLOG IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE THE ADVICE OF YOUR DOCTOR.

 

Reference: 

 

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/273031.php

http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/lycopene/background/hrb-20059666