Salad greens are indeed an indispensable part of a healthful diet. No healthy diet is complete with out lettuce and spinach salads. Available throughout the year, these salad greens are abundant in essential nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, carotene, calcium, folate, fiber, and phytonutrients. It is found that red and dark green leafs are richer in their nutrient content when compared to their lighter colored vegetable counterparts. However, since most of these leafy vegetables are added in either completely raw or partly cooked form, extreme care should be taken in order to prevent food-born illnesses.
The nutrient rich nature of the leafy vegetables is due to the light-absorbing and energy-converting system of plants. They are naturally low in calories and sodium and also do not contribute to cholesterol accumulation. Phytonutrients present in salad greens provides long-term health. These elements also act as antioxidants and are found to help in preventing chronic ailments such as cancer and coronary irregularities.
One cup of lettuce, the most popular leafy vegetable used in salads, contributes seven calories. That is why health-conscious people take in more lettuce. It will easily satisfy your hunger though the calorie contribution is less. However, lettuce is not considered as an independent vegetable. In salads, it gets mixed up with a variety of other leaves. All the salad greens, including lettuce are made available in a variety of flavors with slight difference. Some of the salad greens are crispy, some are bitter, still others are tangy.
It is always better to store salad greens in plastic bags or in lettuce keepers. Before preparing salads, it should be ensured that both the hands and the cutting board are kept clean. Lettuce and almost all other salad greens can be cleaned by running cold water over the leaves. It is also advisable to keep the leaves immersed in clean water for a few minutes before cutting them. After washing, the excess moisture can be effectively removed with paper towels or with salad spinners.