We all know by now that it is important to eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day and salad can count towards this. But have you ever wondered what is actually contained in those lettuce leaves that is so good for you?
Studies have been carried out to investigate the link between the amount of salad and raw vegetables eaten by both men and women and the nutrients present in the blood stream after this. From this is has been shown that those who eat these foods on a regular basis have a higher level of vitamin C and E, folic acid and beta carotene in their bloodstream. Before this there had been concerns about the body's ability to absorb nutrients from salad, but the levels present in those tested proved that regular salad eaters were benefiting from the nutrients and were obviously able to utilise them in the body.
Vitamin C is a useful antioxidant for humans and helps your body to perform certain function such as protection of cells and maintaining healthy cells and aiding the absorption of iron into the body. It is found in a lot of salad and vegetable items such sprouts, peppers, broccoli, kiwi fruit and oranges.
Vitamin E has a number of functions and one of these is to act as an antioxidant within the body. Vitamin E can be found in the wide range of foods and the richest source of this is in plant oils such as soya or olive oil. However, it is also very rich in nuts and seeds which are particularly good in salads!
Beta-carotene is actually changed into vitamin A when it enters the body and thus performs all the same functions such as maintaining the health of your skin, helps to protect you from infections and also assists sight in dim light. It is found mainly in yellow and green coloured vegetables and this is what gives these veg their colour! For instance spinach, peppers and mango are high in this nutrient.