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Salad vegetables
Salad and Raw Vegetables

Dietitian, Juliette Kellow, BSc RD, talks about a new study which highlights the importance of eating healthily. By making salads and eating raw vegetables the study showed the increase in better intakes of essential vitamins and minerals in the diet.

Rabbit Food is Good for Us

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

It’s official! Just in case you were in any doubt, a new study from America has proven that salad and raw vegetables are good for us!

The research, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, looked at nutrition data for more than 17,500 men and women and discovered that eating salads and raw vegetables was linked to better intakes of vitamins C and E, folic acid (a B vitamin) and antioxidant nutrients, such as lycopene and beta-carotene.

Lenore Arab, co-author of the study said, “The findings endorse consumption of salad and raw vegetables as an effective strategy for increasing uptake of important nutrients. Our findings suggest that eating just one serving of salad or raw vegetables a day significantly boosts the likelihood of meeting the recommended daily intake of certain nutrients.”

WLR says:

It’s not the most earth-shattering piece of research to be carried out, but it’s sometimes good to go back to basics and remind ourselves how eating well helps to keep us healthy.

Benefits of Healthy Eating:

It’s not just the vitamins in salad and raw vegetables that make them so important – they’re also packed with fibre and are low in fat and calories, making them great choices for filling you up while slimming.

Salad also counts towards the recommended five daily servings of fruit and veg – and you don’t have to eat as much as you might think. Just one tomato, a cereal bowl of mixed leaves, a 2-inch piece of cucumber, 3 sticks of celery or half a pepper all count as one serving.

Ideas for salad and raw vegetables in the diet:

  • Serve carrot and celery sticks, baby corn and strips of pepper with reduced-fat hummus, salsa or tzatziki.  
  • Don’t just stick to lettuce, tomato and cucumber – add peppers, radishes, celery, button mushrooms, grated carrot, sweetcorn, mange tout, kidney beans, chick peas and spring onions to salads to add different tastes, textures and nutrients.  
  • Use different varieties of lettuce – in general, the darker the leaf, the more nutrients it will contain. This means oak leaf lettuce contains more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Try butterhead, romaine or cos (of which little gem is a variety). You’ll also find oak leaf and lollo rosso in most supermarkets.
  • Add other leaves to your salad bowl. Rocket, spinach, watercress, endive and radicchio will all add taste, texture and various vitamins and minerals.  
  • You can completely change the flavour of salads by adding different fresh herbs – try coriander, basil, mint, chives and parsley.
  • Stock up on a selection of reduced-fat salad dressings. That way you can vary the ones you use from day to day so that you’re less likely to get bored.
  • Keep a carton of cherry tomatoes on your desk at work to nibble on when hunger hits.
  • Add sliced tomato to sandwiches, wraps or rolls or snacks such as cheese or sardines on toast.
  • Make your own tzatziki by adding finely diced or grated cucumber to low-fat natural yoghurt, together with crushed garlic, lemon juice and black pepper.

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