DIET AND FITNESS:

Top 10 Healthy Salad Ideas for
Lunch and Dinner
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August 23, 2010, last updated April 22, 2014

By Muireann Prendergast, Contributing Columnist




So, lunch or dinner time is approaching and your stomach is
starting to demand food. What are you thinking about -- a
greasy burger or green salad? Recent studies would suggest
you might just well be veering towards the healthier option.
A 2010 poll carried out by Missouri-based market
researchers, Maritz Researchers, found that one in four
Americans is currently watching their weight. Moreover, a
recent USDA Agriculture Factbook revealed that Americans
consumed 20% more vegetables in 2000 than they did in the
1970’s.

However, there is much evidence to suggest that Americans
still lag behind their European counterparts in terms of
healthy eating. A 2006 study carried out by Dr. Bernie
Spiegel, former surgeon and author on health matters,
asserts that middle-aged Americans are less healthy than
their European counterparts overall with a higher incidence
of higher instance of diabetes (12.5% versus 6.1%), high
blood pressure (42.4% versus 33.8%), heart disease
(15.1% versus 9.6%) among other serious ailments.

Moreover, the USDA Agriculture Factbook also reveals that
the total US meat consumption (red meat, poultry, and fish)
is high. Figures reveal that it reached 195 pounds (boneless,
trimmed weight equivalent) per person in 2000, 57 pounds
above average annual consumption in the 1950, despite the
fact that poor quality cuts can have high fat and cholesterol
levels.  


What are the health benefits of salads?


If you are looking to turn over a new leaf, make it a green
one.  Numerous scientific studies prove that the
micronutrients of vegetables (phytophenols and
phytonutrients), fruits, herbs and other natural foods have
numerous health benefits ranging from arresting the growth
of cancer cells to reversing coronary artery disease and even
replacing the minerals lost in bones by those with
osteoporosis.


If you’re a reluctant eater of greens, there is still hope for
you. Delicious fruit salads have health benefits. A recent
report published by The Mayo Clinic concluded that the high
fiber levels in fruit means that it moves quickly and relatively
easily through your digestive tract, helping it function
properly. The report also asserted that a high-fiber diet may
help reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.



If that isn’t enough to get you interested, a 2004 report
published by Tufts University in Boston highlights the high
antioxidant value of fruits. Antioxidants fight cell damage
caused by free radicals. The Tufts test of commonly eaten
fruits and vegetables using an analysis called ORAC (Oxygen
Radical Absorbance Capacity) noted high antioxidant levels in
prunes, raisins, blueberries and blackberries.


Now, as you work up the courage to ditch the greasy burgers
for a healthier option, we will give you some salad ideas to
get you started.



Top 10 Healthy Salad Ideas For Lunch and Dinner


























1. Green Lentil Salad Fights Cancer

Lentil Salad can be prepared in a number of ways. However,
in its simplest variety, green lentils require only the addition
of red wine vinegar, black pepper, extra-virgin olive oil,
scallions and parsley to make a delicious main dish or side
salad.

Numerous studies have shown that lentils are a great source
of protein, fiber, and folic acid and also that they are effective
in lowering cholesterol and managing blood sugar disorders.
Furthermore, a 2005 study published in the International
Journal of Cancer concluded that women can reduce their
risk of breast cancer by eating lentils frequently due to their
high content of flavonols and possibly some other, as yet
unknown, cancer-fighting, component. Read about more
foods that fight cancer.

2.
Spinach Salad Prevents Cataracts

You can liven up those green leaves with some low-fat
cheese, nuts and even strawberries. Opting for spinach salad
can also help improve your eyesight. Spinach is rich in lutien,
a carotenoid associated with lower levels of cataracts as
revealed by various studies carried out by Harvard Medical
School in the late 90’s.

3.
Carrot Salad Can Lower Cholesterol

Carrot salad is one of the most enjoyable and straightforward
salads to make in that it requires only grated carrot, raisins,
chopped apple and low calorie mayonnaise. Moreover, its rich
colour and fun look make it popular with children as well as
adults. Carrots have numerous healthy qualities. Amongst
them is their ability to reduce cholesterol. A 1987 study
carried out by the US Department of Agriculture concluded
that high regular consumption of carrots could reduce
cholesterol by 10-20% in those with high cholesterol levels.
Here is a list of other
foods to lower cholesterol.

4.
Asparagus Salad Fights Diabetes

When chopped and mixed with olive oil, garlic, and toasted
pecan nuts, Asparagus forms the base of a simple yet highly
original salad. Moreover, it is a salad that can be enjoyed at
any time of the day. A 2007 study carried out at University of
Ulster, Northern Ireland, showed that asparagus encourages
insulin secretion, good news for those suffering from
Diabetes due to an insufficiency of this hormone.

5.
Potato Salad Can Lower High Blood Pressure

Creamy potato salad with boiled cubed potatoes, peas,
carrots, eggs, onions, low fat cream and mayonnaise is one of
the most delicious salads that exists and makes for a great
accompaniment to a Sunday roast. What makes this salad an
even better option is that it could reduce your blood
pressure. In 2005 researchers at the UK Institute for Food
Research (IFR) identified blood pressure-lowering
compounds or kukoamines in potatoes.

6.
Egg Salad Curbs Your Appetite

A 2007 study at Louisiana State University found that eggs
can aid weight loss because their high protein content makes
the stomach feel fuller for longer and therefore makes us
inclined to eat less. This is a great reason to incorporate an
egg salad into our diet which can be eaten in a simple form
with celery, onion, pepper and paprika or jazzed up with
some low-fat cottage cheese and olives.

7.
Avocado Salad Lowers Cholesterol and Fights Heart Disease

Is there anything more delicious than avocado and smoked
salmon salad? What makes the avocado even more appealing
is that it can play a role in reducing cholesterol and heart
disease as conclusions of a 1996 study by Mexican
researchers found.

8.
Mango Salad Fights Cancer

Mango Salad makes for an excellent accompaniment to fish
and meat dishes. While there are many varieties of Mango
salad, the simple combination of mangoes, cucumber, and
fresh ginger will add life to any meal. As an added incentive
to eat mangoes, the University of Florida’s Food Science and
Human Nutrition Department revealed in a 2001 study that
mangoes’ antioxidant properties can inhibit the growth of
cancer cells.

9.
Blueberry Salad

Blueberries not only look great but they are a true superfood,
bring rich with fiber, vitamin C and manganese. The USDA
factbook on antioxidant activity puts blueberries as one of the
big players, thanks to their particular polyphenols or
anthocyanins which are responsible for its characteristic blue
color. Blueberries are delicious on their own as a fruit salad
but are also a great, tasty option when served with
raspberries and strawberries.

10.
A full fruit salad

Why limit yourself to one fruit when you can have them all?
In serving a full fruit salad you are giving yourself and your
family to a plate that’s pleasant to look at as well as delicious,
not to mention to a rich source of fiber and the broadest
possible spectrum of antioxidants. So go ahead and treat
yourself. This time you’ll be doing your health a favor.


11.
Even a Simple Salad Eaten Before Carbs Controls Blood
Sugar

Simple salads eaten before you eat your carbohydrates can
lower blood sugar.
Read more.

Related:
Eat Vegetables Before Your Carbs to Lower Blood Sugar
Beets Lower Blood Pressure-But There's a Big Catch
How Much Is Too Much Salt?
Sugar-The Disease Connection
Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health?
Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics
Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
Healing Foods Links
Foods That Shrink Your Waist / Foods That Lower
Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/ Foods That
Reduce Blood Pressure


DIETS AND FITNESS


HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH
SALT

HOW MUCH SALT IS IN MY
FOOD

SALT CONTENT OF COMMON
FOODS

150,000 DIE FROM EXCESS
SALT

I HAVE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE!

FOODS THAT LOWER YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

QUINOA-THE NEW
SUPERFOOD

INFLAMMATION INSIDE
THE BODY

FAT--IT'S ALIVE!

WHY WE GO SOFT IN THE
MIDDLE

WHY EUROPEANS ARE
THINNER

>VEGETARIAN RECIPES


MY HEART ATTACK

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Simplicity itself. A Salad of greens, tomatoes and egg white slices.
Topped here with a light vinaigrette. Again, great as a starter course
or the main choice for "light and easy" days.
A simple salad of greens and orange slices. Topped here
with a light vinaigrette. Makes a perfect starter course or
the main choice for "light and easy" days.  Or add chicken,
fish or your choice of protein to make it a main meal.