Fiber is the main health benefit of lettuce and other vegetables in salads.Salads are usually packed with nutrient fiber, but they’re not for you! Fiber is real food for your microbiome., Trillions of bacteria that live in your gut. Dietary fiber is also key to metabolic health. Bacteria in the gut convert fiber into short-chain fatty acids, which regulate immune function and reduce inflammation.
For more fiber in leafy green salads, add a variety of vegetables such as broccoli and bell peppers, along with beans and lentils.
However, the healthiest salads also contain plenty of other good-for-you ingredients, such as antioxidants. Your liver needs these antioxidants to perform this magical trick.
For antioxidants, try chopped brightly colored vegetables (the darker the better), chopped fresh fruit, herbs (fresh or dried), and spices. Then add proteins like free-range eggs, free-range beef, fish, chicken, tofu, beans, and lentils.
Add Fats and Fermented Foods to Salads
Then layer in whole food fats like avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Nuts and seeds (such as chia seeds and walnuts) are rich in the anti-inflammatory alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
For other sources of omega-3, try small fish such as anchovies (commonly found in Caesar salads). You can also include other wild-caught fish (sardines, salmon, mackerel) or chicken (free-range and pastured chicken has less antibiotics)..
Cheese is a great addition because it contains odd-chain fatty acids. Prevent diabetes and heart diseaseWe’ve been taught to avoid fat because it’s high in calories, but dairy fatty acids are unique in that they have specific phospholipids at the end that prevent inflammation. Instead, try varieties such as feta, cotilla, parmesan, and mozzarella.
Bonus points are cruciferous vegetables like kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts that can boost your body’s nutrition. Natural production of antioxidants Stimulates the production of liver detoxification enzymes. Another bonus: fresh tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant. Supports eye function and prevent cataracts.
Adding fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut can give you a gut-friendly boost, as can homemade dressings made with natural, unsweetened yogurt. .
Avoid store-bought salad dressings
all right.Now let’s talk about salad dressing. To make a great homemade dressing, look out for ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, tahini, vinegar, Dijon, herbs, spices, and low-sugar citrus juices (lemon, lime, grapefruit).
of oleic acid with olive oil activate the liver Produces factors that speed up metabolism.of acetic acid in vinegar It inhibits enzymes that break down starch in the mouth, reducing the amount of glucose that appears in the bloodstream. Some homemade dressings get extra antioxidants from spices and seasonings like ginger, garlic, turmeric, thyme and oregano.
However, the same cannot be said for most store-bought dressings.The store-bought versions are often made with canola and soybean oils. linoleic acidan inflammatory omega-6 fatty acid.
You can also sneak in large amounts of fructose (sugar molecules) in the form of cane sugar, high fructose corn syrup, or honey. harm mitochondria, an energy production factory that powers each cell.when Mitochondria not functioning properlyblood sugar and insulin spikes, and the liver has no choice but to turn fructose into fat.
You might be surprised that bottled dressings are often laced with sugar. For example, high fructose corn syrup kraft creamy french dressing, 5 grams of sugar added. Also, pay attention to fat-free dressings. For example, Ken’s Sundried Tomato Vinaigrette has 12 grams of added sugar.
Commercial dressings can also contain ingredients that are bad for your gut and the trillions of bacteria that live there.If you don’t feed the bacteria, they actually start eating you — Strips the protective layer of mucin from the intestinal cells. Over time, this can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and what some people call “leaky gut,” changes in intestinal permeability. there is.
Commercial dressings often contain emulsifiers such as: Carboxymethylcellulose, polysorbate-80, or carrageenan can prevent fat and water from separating and dissolve it Intestinal protective mucin layerThese pesky added sugars can trigger an overgrowth of bad microbiome bacteria, causing gastrointestinal upset, gas, bloating, diarrhea and inflammation.
croutons and crispy
But that doesn’t mean you should skip the dressing. Research Shows Fats such as avocado actually help the body absorb nutrients from vegetables. The key is choosing the right ingredients and ideally making your own dressing at home.
It’s also a good idea to avoid anything “crispy” like fried onions or tortilla strips. These are often fried in seed oil at high temperatures, risking the formation of trans fats and acrylamide, known carcinogens. It is also recommended to be careful with dried fruits. Some varieties and brands coat them in sugar to make them sweeter and tastier.
And finally, watch out for processed bread. A Caesar salad isn’t a Caesar salad without croutons, but store-bought croutons are usually packed with preservatives, sodium, and vegetable oil. Bake your own croutons or serve salads with sourdough bread. But don’t eat the fried tortilla bowl.
Robert H. Lustig Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco,Metabolism: processed foods, nutrition, the charms and lies of modern medicine“