Lifestyle & Recipes

Different Types Of Salads And Their Health Benefits

salad on plate and on a table

The term salad in the current modern setting easily conjures massive images. Generally, it means an exciting dish that’s not just made of raw vegetables which are unattractive. Salads are dishes that have evolved over the years and outlined below is a review of some of the most popular varieties.

What’s a Salad?

A salad is a raw dish made of edible fruits and vegetables. It may also refer to small pieces of foodstuff such as veggies, fruits, meat, or pasta which are then mixed with dressings such as mayonnaise, etc. Salads may be used as appetizers, snacks, side dishes, or main course meals.

How Healthy Is Your Salad?

It is a general assumption that salads are healthy. However, this is not true because it depends on the ingredients used to prepare them. Using toppings such as croutons and bacon bits can be harmful because they contain unhealthy fats with high amounts of calories.

As much as nuts and seeds are considered healthy alternatives, they also have a high number of calories. Other calorie-rich ingredients that you should look out for when preparing salads include cured meats, fried chicken, and cheese.

What Are The Main Types of Salads?

There are numerous salad varieties. What makes them distinct is the number of ingredients used to prepare them (is it one or many?), the type of ingredient, and whether the ingredients are warm, cooked, or chilled. Common types of salads include:

Simple Salads

They are Simple because it’s very easy to prepare them. Simple Salads are prepared using just one type of ingredient. Although dressings are usually essential in Simple salads, they may be served with separate dressings. One of the most common Simple salad recipes is Tomatoes salad with Vinaigrette dressing.

Mixed Salads

Like the name suggests, mixed salads are prepared with a wide variety of ingredients. They are the opposite of Simple salads. Dressings used with Mixed salads normally help to bind the contents together e.g. strawberry and mandarin salad.

The Main Types Of Salads

Warm Salads

They contain cooked or warmed ingredient(s). The festive steak salad and warm potato are examples of warm salads. Note that these types of salads are usually great for the winter season. This is because their warm temperatures help to enhance the desirability.

Classical salads

This covers salad recipes which have been around for years. Classical salads can also refer to cultural or ethnic salads as well. They are very popular because of the classic techniques which are used to prepare them. One of the most popular types of Classic salads is the Thai beef salad.

Fruit Salads

They are made with just fruits only and may contain one or multiple types of fruits. Fruit salads are usually made with seasonal fruits which are chopped and then tossed in a bowl with juice or syrup. They are very easy to prepare and make great desserts. Some of the fruits that are normally used to create crunchy summer salads include berries and apples.

Note: when fruit salads are combined with alcohol and sugar, they become fruit cocktails.

Vegetable Salads

They are prepared with vegetables only as the main ingredients. Vegetable salads are normally served with complementing dressings and prepared using a variety of leafy ingredients which include asparagus, corn, lettuce, beets, and others.

Composed Salads

These salads have a source of inspiration. It has a noticeable order and detail from the bottom to the upper part including the salad dressing. It’s usually arranged to create a crafted salad. Composed salads usually have four layers: the base, body, garnish, and dressing.

The base is what anchors everything and it’s usually not salad greens. The body normally consists of the main ingredients i.e. greens or vegetables and garnish is normally added for color. The salad dressing is normally added last to complement the contents and not mask them.

Health Benefits of Salad Greens

Using greens to prepare salads can provide your body with lots of health benefits. Most of these ingredients contain high amounts of nutrients including vitamins and minerals which are essential for growth. Salad greens provide the body with health benefits such as:

  • Strengthening and building bones: these dishes are rich in vitamin K which is responsible for enhancing the bone density and improving bone strength.
  • Salads made of veggies such as red leaf lettuce and spinach help to sharpen eyesight
  • Help to ease the symptoms of breast cancer
  • Improve heart health by decreasing the production of low-density lipoprotein
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes and insulin resistance
Final Thoughts

Salads are great dishes which are perfect for consumption as main meals, side dishes, snacks, or just as appetizers.  They are normally served at room or chilled temperatures. Taking salad greens is beneficial for the body because it helps to improve the level of immunity by fighting diseases and enhancing bone strength.

Sources

  • https://theculinarycook.com/types-of-salad-and-salad-dressings
  • https://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/sandwich-salads-and-soups
  • https://health.ucsd.edu/news/features/Pages/2018-05-11-recipes-how-to-build-a-better-salad.aspx
  • https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/build-a-healthier-salad