Salads are the ‘queen’ of all dishes for us veggie lovers.
The best part about them are the limitless possibilities—the variations that make them a constant source of surprise and delight.
Given all the great health reasons to enjoy salads, we thought it would be nice to celebrate National Salad Month together!
The History of Salads and National Salad Month
May is officially National Salad Month in the United States, a holiday that started in 1992.
It is a month devoted to salads, but also a celebration of creativity, focusing on the many different ways the humble salad can be prepared and enjoyed daily.
Salads themselves are not a recent phenomenon though; they have actually been around for thousands of years.
The ancient Greeks and Romans ate mixed greens with dressing, and during imperial expansion, they spread the culinary tradition to Europe.
Today there are many different types of salad, and they can be enjoyed as appetizers, side dishes, main courses and even desserts.
While salads have evolved over the centuries, one thing has remained constant: when they are comprised of healthful, whole foods, they are a nutrient-rich meal.
The Real Truth About Salad and Health
Before we talk about why salads can be so healthful, we need to mention how their health benefits can be ruined.
It really all comes down to the ingredients.
If you pack your salad with animal foods, oil-based dressings, and other high-fat, high-salt ingredients, the nutritional value of your salad will simply vanish.
However, when filled with fresh veggies and fruits, salads can be incredibly good for you, full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals that boost energy, immunity and overall health and wellness.
And as we have discussed in the past, fiber-rich salad is a great way to start your meal because it will fill you up more quickly and help you avoid overeating calorie-dense foods later on.
How to Celebrate National Salad Month
So, how should you honor National Salad Month this May?
Eat some salad, of course!
Just be sure you pay attention to the toppings that you add.
Some ideas to try include sprouts (alfalfa, bean, broccoli, red clover) and veggies such as shredded carrots, onions, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, artichokes, tomatoes, and colorful bell peppers.
You may also like to add fresh and dried fruits (cranberries, raisins), nuts (walnuts, pecans, almonds), or seeds (pumpkin, sunflower). And to make the salad more filling, try some starches such as wild or brown rice, rice noodles, quinoa and roasted potatoes.
Not only will these ingredients add crunch, bulk and flavor, but they will also add more nutrients to your already wholesome leafy greens.
And if you are looking for a super special salad that will wow friends and family, give our recipe for Avocado Mango Quinoa Salad a try! It is the perfect way to celebrate National Salad Month.