I like vegetables. I don’t hold them to the great esteem that most others hold them to, but I like them. To me they add a mix of flavour, texture and colour to a meal, and of course, they have some pretty decent nutritional properties. Your vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, (notice I didn’t say GREAT, as that is reserved to the truly great vitamin/mineral superfoods – the organ meats!) and they salad greens almost have zero caloric influence.
Greatist.com has a nice graphic showing the different vitamin content of various salad greens. It’s in no way complete, but it’s a decent every day salad gauge.
The one thing I however did not like about the article at the Greatist, was the following sentence towards the end;
The final key to becoming a lean, green fighting machine? Dress for success. Hold off on the creamy dressings, croutons, bacon bits, and layers of shredded cheese. Instead, opt for a lighter vinaigrette and a sprinkling of chopped walnuts or sunflower seeds for added crunch and protein.
Whats the point of eating all those greens for Vitamin A and Vitamin K when those two vitamins are fat-soluble so will not be absorbed to their full potential without a nice fatty dressing (with bacon bits). In fact, a recent study says it all; No-Fat, Low-Fat Dressings Don’t Get Most Nutrients out of Salads. Here are some choice quotes from the Science Daily article, emphasis mine.
The vegetables in salads are chock-full of important vitamins and nutrients, but you won’t get much benefit without the right type and amount of salad dressing, a Purdue University study shows.
and what is “the right type”?
The study, published early online in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, found that monounsaturated fat-rich dressings required the least amount of fat to get the most carotenoid absorption, while saturated fat and polyunsaturated fat dressings required higher amounts of fat to get the same benefit.
break it down for us Mario (Study lead author);
“If you want to utilize more from your fruits and vegetables, you have to pair them correctly with fat-based dressings,” said Mario Ferruzzi, the study’s lead author and a Purdue associate professor of food science. “If you have a salad with a fat-free dressing, there is a reduction in calories, but you lose some of the benefits of the vegetables.”
Which makes absolute sense. So next time you have a peace of broccoli, slather it in butter, make it drip yellowy goodness. Making a salad? Cover it in a bagon grease dressing, with added bacon bits (and people have the audacity to claim paleo is such a limited food diet!).
Absorbing nutrients has never been so much fun.