The neighborhood store may be well stocked with all the vegetables that strike your fancy, but are you really picking out the healthiest greens from the bunch? Team HTV is dedicated to helping you select and purchase the finest natural foods so that your body is supplied with the best possible nutrient content that these vegetables can deliver. Are you ready to evaluate and revamp your vegetable shopping skills? We sure are!
What Are Salad Greens?
It is always a good idea to stock up on salad greens. After all, health experts have recommended the consumption of at least 5 servings of vegetables daily. Salad greens are leafy green vegetables that are suitable for consumption without being cooked. As the name suggests, they are usually added to salads for that lovely crunchy texture and a dose of nutritional goodness. Leafy greens include iceberg lettuce, regular lettuce, spinach, romaine lettuce, arugula, kale and red leaf lettuce.
Salads are an excellent food choice for several reasons, including the following:
- They are easy to prepare especially if you are short on time.
- They are versatile in nature. This means that there is no set recipe for the perfect salad. You can substitute vegetables as per availability and taste preferences; you can add chunks of fruit for a juicy bowl of fruit and vegetable salad, or throw in a handful of nuts for that added crunch and earthy texture.
- Salads are highly nutritious and wholesome, especially when they are prepared without any additional store-bought salad dressings.
- Salads can give you that feeling of being satiated, and prevent those irresistible cravings for sugary, fatty snacks from catching you off guard.
How To Pick Out The Best From The Bunch
So what exactly do we mean when we say that it is important to choose the healthiest salad greens? This means that the vegetables you buy should be fresh, crisp, and uncontaminated. Here are a few important tips to keep in mind before you buy those leafy greens:
- The salad greens should have a rich, bright color. Some greens may naturally be darker while some may be a lighter shade of green. In both cases, the salad greens should not show signs of yellowing or development of brown spots.
- The vegetables should be crisp, not soft or wilted.
- Smell the leafy greens to determine their freshness. They should smell slightly sweet and earthy. It is best to avoid buying the vegetable if you are unable to identify a prominent scent or if the leaves smell dull or bitter. Leafy greens that lack freshness will taste bland and unpleasant in your salad.
- Check closely for rotting leaves or the presence of mold.
- Once you have bought the salad greens wash them properly with cold water to remove dirt and other contaminants. Remove any damaged leaves. After washing and drying the salad greens place them in a zip-lock bag (a plastic bag will do as well) and place them in the refrigerator.
The Right Food Choices For A Healthy You
Salads are light, yet filling. They are nutritious and wholesome, but low in calorie content. Their benefits cannot be denied, and that is exactly why you should try to include more leafy green vegetables into your daily diet. Salad greens supply your body with essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Folate and Iron. Health is one of the greatest treasures that you can garner, and with the right food choices you can ensure the well-being of your mind and body. As always, stay happy and healthy!