Eating just one salad a day provides even greater health benefits than doctors and nutritionists previously thought, says eye-opening new research.The study of 17,000 adult men and women conducted by the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center and UCLA School of Public Health revealed that people who eat salads and raw vegetables with salad dressing have considerably higher levels of vitamins C, E, B6, and folic acid—key nutrients in promoting a healthy immune system and reducing the risk of obesity, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.
“Eating a salad a day is a convenient way to easily improve your nutritional status,” says Dr. Lenore Arab, professor of epidemiology at UCLA School of Public Health and lead researcher of the study.
“Just one salad daily helps to satisfy the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommends eating two and a half cups of vegetables each day for a 2000-calorie diet.”
According to the study, less than 50 percent of the US population meets the daily recommendation for vegetables necessary for healthy living – which means over 150 million men, women and children are loading up on junk while ignoring an inexpensive and easy way to increase their energy, feel better and save money on medical bills.
Americans simply don’t get enough of the water-soluble vitamins that salads provide better than any other food. The raw vegetables in salads offer the added benefits of fiber for better digestion and antioxidants for boosting immunity.
Interestingly, clinical trials have shown that adding salad dressing to a salad not only adds a delicious flavor, but also increases the absorption of certain nutrients being consumed. One of the best is simply raw and unfiltered apple vinegar and olive oil, many nutritionists agree.
“It’s not just the leafy greens and vegetables that are doing a body good,” said Arab. “Some fat can also enhance the absorption of nutrients such as lycopene and alpha- and beta-carotene.”
Olive oil, of course, is a rich source of healthful fats made famous by the heart-healthy Mediterrean Diet, which uses lots of oil.
Though it’s already known that salad was a healthy meal option, the bottom line, according to the LSU-UCLA study – eating one salad a day is a simple way to live a healthier lifestyle.