To put it simply, salads are fantastic for our wellbeing.
Their high nutrient content includes gut-friendly fibre, micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
However, eating salad after salad can leave some people feeling bored, bloated, and even hungry.
Here are some suggestions for making the most of your summertime salad consumption.
Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay, CC BY
Keep yourself fuller for longer
Salads have little calories or kilojoules due to their composition. This is due to the high water content of vegetables, which are the main ingredient in most salads.
This may leave you feeling unsatisfied with your salad and less likely to avoid snacking in between meals.
If you include all three macronutrients in your salad, you won’t feel as hungry as soon after eating it and will be less likely to seek for something less healthy to fill you up.
- good for you carbohydrates (pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnips, taro, brown rice, quinoa, barley or brown pasta)
- a Good Place to Get Your Fat (avocado, olive oil, toasted seeds or nuts)
- sources of protein that are low in fat (eggs, fish, chicken, tofu, tempeh, lentils or legumes).
Photo by Dana Tentis/Pexels, CC BY
Eating large quantities of salad can cause gas and digestive distress for many people.
If you suddenly switch to a high-fiber diet from a low-fiber one, you may experience some of these symptoms.
This is due to the increased production of plant-digesting enzymes by your gut microorganisms. This is good news for your digestive tract.
In any case, your digestive system will require some time to gradually adjust and adapt to new conditions. If you feel any pain, you can aid by:
- after finishing your salad, go for a short walk or do some stretching. As a result of the relaxation of the intestinal muscles and the release of the accumulated gas, this has been demonstrated to alleviate abdominal fullness.
- careful consideration when cooking legumes and lentils. If they are a new addition to your diet, make sure to give them a good washing and start with no more than a quarter cup (soaked).
- Take your time when eating the salad. Your body’s ability to absorb gas may be diminished if your digestive tract is tight and tense, or if it has recently been irritated by illness. Since the gas is prevented from escaping, this might cause swelling.
- preparation of some of the salad’s vegetables by cooking. Vegetables can be made more easily digestible by heating them, which also helps break them down.
- with your symptoms in mind. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is characterised by severe abdominal pain, abnormal bowel habits (such as persistent diarrhoea or constipation, or alternating diarrhoea and constipation), and bloating after eating salad (IBS). Seek the advice of a registered dietitian who can evaluate you for irritable bowel syndrome, diagnose you with it, and teach you how to recognise and avoid its causes and manage its symptoms.
- taking into account any medical needs you may have at the moment. One side effect of chemotherapy medicines is to impair digestion. It’s possible that the high-fiber vegetables and other ingredients in your salad are giving you stomach aches. As before, the best method to get evidence-based guidance on how to deal with this is to consult with an accredited practising dietitian.
Photo by Max Delsid on Unsplash, CC BY
Keep salad boredom at bay
Not sure what you should include in your salad? Lauren has perfected a six-part recipe based on these ingredients:
- lettuce, rocket, spinach, and other leafy greens
- a ripe, in-season fruit with a lot of sugar and juice
- vegetables like carrots, peppers, and broccoli that have a little of bite
- specific kinds of nuts, such macadamias and cashews
- cheese (typically feta, bocconcini, aged cheddar, parmesan, edam, etc.)
- herbaceous and aromatic, like mint, parsley, basil, or coriander.
Add a healthy carbohydrate, fat, and protein source to the salad to turn it into a balanced meal (the three macronutrients we mentioned earlier).
So, what’s the bottom line? Salads are an excellent option for achieving a balanced, nutritious diet. Make the most of the coming summer with these adjustments!